WHY IT WORKED: Bower & Bailey's market research showed that there was a “gap need” for entry-level housing in this market. The trick was coming up with plans that fit onto small lots (averaging 4,000 square feet) but feel large inside. The builder currently outsells its competition by a 5-to-1 ratio.
The Bishop, Blanchette, and Meriwether plans—named for historical explorers Glen Bishop, Louis Blanchette, and Meriwether Lewis—feature gathering rooms in place of more traditional living rooms. Each is adjacent to the kitchen and dining room, which gives the first floor a wide-open feel.
The homes at Charlestowne include an array of standard features that are considered options at other nearby neighborhoods. These include hardwood entry foyers and double-glazed insulated vinyl windows with wood sills and aprons.
Energy-saving features include an 80-percent high-efficiency gas furnace, a 13-SEER air conditioner, and R-13 wall and R-30 ceiling insulation.
Charlestowne is close to the historic Main Street of St. Charles and has easy access to Route 370 and Highway 70.
PROJECT CREDITSProject: Charlestowne, St. Charles, Mo.; Sales started: August 2006; Sales through mid-October 2006: 34; Units planned: 105; Price: $175,000 to $185,000; Unit size: 1,400 to 1,700 square feet; Builder/Developer: Bower & Bailey, Clayton, Mo.; Architect: Mitchell Wall & Associates, St. Louis; Land planner: Cole & Associates, St. Louis