Ryland Homes is proving that you don't have to be a custom builder to build an on-demand-style home. Snatching up the last 60 remaining home sites in the upscale Villages of West Clay, a master-planned community located about a half-hour north of Indianapolis in Carmel, the builder's local division is the sole production builder able to meet the village's strict design requirements. However, Pulte Homes is building manor-style homes at the nearby Manors of West Clay.

The division was able to make the project doable despite the limited number of available home sites by working off templates created by a sister division in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The D.C. division had developed 11 product lines for its Idlewild community in Fredericksburg, Va. The 400-acre master-planned community, host to approximately 800 home sites, aimed to reflect the historic site's Civil War-era roots. Because the Villages of West Clay intended to create streetscapes that were reminiscent of area's traditional 19th-century neighborhoods, the Indianapolis division pulled four floor plans from the Idlewild portfolio and tweaked them for local flavor.

Indianapolis division vice president of sales and marketing Craig Jensen says the division “really had to architecturally take it back” to meet the traditional neighborhood development codes and that meant “a lot of money spent on the exterior of the homes.” Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Gothic Revival styles predominate the community, so Ryland worked diligently on the details, right down to the window trim.

Because the roughly 700-home development is located in a well-to-do suburb—median income is $79,527—Jensen says the homes hit higher price points. The homes, which range from 2,300 to 3,000 square feet, are on the market for anywhere between $400,000 and $550,000. However, Jensen says connector options from the detached garage and basements can push the square footage up to 4,500 square feet of finished space.

Jensen says the division is looking to use similarly styled homes in a community in Fishers, another suburban town not 10 miles from Carmel.

Back to the Future

  • Ryland Homes is the lone production builder to commit to the Village of West Clay's stringent design standards for traditional neighborhood development.
  • The homes, with Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Gothic Revival elevations, have price points starting at $400,000 for 2,300 square feet.
  • The division plans to use similarly styled homes in a second community in the nearby suburb of Fishers.
  • Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC, Indianapolis, IN.