North Woods wins two awards

By Jason Harris - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Tue., Dec. 11, 2012
Operations Manager Kevin Curtis and owner Alan Williams stand outside their office at North Woods. Photos by Jason Harris.
Operations Manager Kevin Curtis and owner Alan Williams stand outside their office at North Woods. Photos by Jason Harris.

Alan Williams, the owner of ASW, LLC, received two 2012 Home Building Industry awards for two models in his North Woods of Colchester development. The awards were for “Best New London County 55+ Community” and “Best Detached 55+ Home Under 2,000 SF.” Williams considers it a great achievement being recognized by peers and professionals within your own industry.

“It’s huge in our industry to receive that kind of accolade and recognition for all your hard work,” Williams said. According to a letter received by Williams, the HBRA of Connecticut HOBI awards are the most prestigious awards presented in Connecticut for excellence in design, construction, sales, and marketing and financing by members of the organization.

Every 55 and older community in every Connecticut town was eligible for these awards, Williams said.

This wasn’t the first time Williams has won a HOBI award. Back in 2011, he won two of them, “Best 55+ Detached Home Under 2,000 SF” and “Best Affordable 55+ Community.” He said he won in 2011 for the two-story “white birch model," which was based on feedback from visitors and residents. The architectural elements and the foundation from the two-story were increased, another room was added along with a large pantry, and some other changes which made the new design into a single story ranch, but with the same wow of the two-story model, he said. “It was an evolution of that same plan.”

“We’re real happy,” Williams said of the awards. “We’re real proud of what’s happening here so far.”

Williams began the North Woods development in 2007 on 78 acres of land in Colchester. They are currently working on phase three of a five-phase project, which will include 134 homes when completed, he said. Phase three is 50-percent done. There are about 72 occupants in 41 homes in North Woods at the moment, he said.

“We started in a very difficult economy and we’re selling,” Williams said. “People have realized that this is a lifestyle that they want and they’re not getting any younger.” People are realizing the pressures of maintaining a large home and the financial burden that comes with that, Williams said.

North Woods brings people a real sense of community, Williams said. “It’s like the old world community where in the evening you go for a walk and you say 'hi' to your neighbor,” Williams said. “That’s what they do. They go for a walk; they meet their neighbors and say 'hi' to them.”

Williams said this is a the next step in people’s lives who are either retired or close to retiring and want to do new things. People want to have that feeling of community and feeling like they belong, he said. “It’s a nice way of life,” Williams said. “One of the sayings I repeat time and time again is, you haven’t met your new best friend yet.”

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