Architect Bill McGuinness, co-founder of Sun Homes along with builder Bob Dale, developed and designed Kensett to respect its natural site as well as the surrounding community. Protecting nearly five acres for a nature preserve meant siting the houses with a higher density.
Kensett comprises a total of 62 houses clustered around an award-winning community center while nearly 1/3 of the 15-acre site is devoted to a recreational nature preserve.
Those five acres were cleaned up by removing all invasive species, planting native flora such as a field of wildflowers, opening up the forest canopy so heirloom trees can thrive, and adding mostly flat, gravel trails wide enough for wheelchairs, Kensett residents also enjoy a large pond with an interesting history of its own. ”We dredged this rectangular pond and discovered it was a foundation of an old homestead,” McGuinness says.
Although the development is geared toward active empty-nesters, several young families have bought houses in the development.
A three-story community center modeled on New England meeting houses provides an architectural focal point while housing multiple activities.
A state-of-the art fitness center, swimming pool, hot tub, pool table, grand piano, indoor fireplace and outdoor fire pit, wet bar, plush chairs, and elegant tables are all arranged for maximum community building and entertainment.
Kensett’s success proves that a variety of home buyers, even in luxury markets, are willing to live in high-density communities that offer walkability, accessibility, recreation, interaction with neighbors, easy commuting, and a strong connection to nature.
Built-ins are thoughtfully speced to improve organization while reducing clutter and the need for a lot of furniture.
Including details typically found in custom houses attracts buyers and doesn’t have to strain the budget or cut into profit margins.
A custom clock graces the center’s façade. Like many of Kensett’s cool features, the clock also serves double duty. It keeps time for the community and serves as the required secondary egress for the guest suite. The entire thing swings open on heavy iron hinges. “I’d never designed a clock before,” McGuinness admits, “but our gate maker created the face, hinges, and latch then we ordered clockworks and glass for both sides so light filters all the way through into the suite—like in Hugo.”