Homerama 2009 moves again

Published 5:36 pm Saturday, February 14, 2009

For the second time in three months, Homearama 2009 has been moved – this time out of Suffolk.

Tidewater Builders Association announced Friday the Homearama 2009 showcase of homes will be hosted at Culpepper Landing, a mixed-use traditional neighborhood development in Chesapeake.

The event, set for Oct. 3-18, is expected to feature 12 single-family homes ranging from the mid- $300,000s to the low $500,000s.

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The event was moved from Hampton Roads Crossing in northern Suffolk because builders who were initially interested backed out, saying the time frame, lot size and design requirements – to build cheaper, smaller homes – did not fit their plans.

The show already was moved to Suffolk from Virginia Beach’s North Shore at Ridgely Manor community in December, because the TBA said at the time that they wanted to showcase what builders could do in a lower price range.

The Homearama event has become known for extravagant, custom-built homes in pedestrian-friendly communities. It is a showcase of the talents of home designers, builders and decorators, landscapers, appliance manufacturers and other custom home artists.

“We appreciate the chance to showcase a new and different community for our builders and our visitors – a mixed-use community with a variety of housing products on display. We are confident the prices, the products and the community will be a real attraction for Homearama visitors – and for home buyers in Chesapeake,” said TBA president Pete A. Kotarides.

The new location is central to the rest of the region and just a few miles from the interstate and is in the new Grassfield High School district.

“We’re excited about the vision we have for this neighborhood, and we’re excited about sharing that vision with visitors to Homearama,” said Culpepper, whose family has owned the property since 1926.

The site consists of 488 acres, with 150 of them designated as a dedicated conservation area. The community, which borders the historic Dismal Swamp Canal on the east and the 111,000-acre Great Dismal Swamp wildlife refuge on the south, recently earned a River Star designation from the Elizabeth River Project, one of only two communities ever to receive this designation.

Homearama Chairman Herb Watson, who has already built and sold several homes in the neighborhood, says the homes will display the same attention to quality and detail they are used to seeing in a Homearama home, but they’ll be smaller, ranging from 1,600 to over 2,400 square feet – and more affordable. Homearama homes in past years have been priced at more than $1 million.

Kotarides added that several traditional Homearama builders are already building homes in Culpepper Landing and have a vested interest in a successful event there, as well as floor plans already developed for a Homearama home.

In addition, the developers, Robinson Development Group and Culpepper Landing L.C, had already expressed an interest in hosting Homearama.