FORT RILEY, KAN. — Picerne Military Housing, a division of the Corvias Group, has completed construction on a 328-acre master-planned community at Fort Riley. The Forsyth Neighborhood is part of $550 million master-planned community.The newspaper also reported the neighborhood’s 1,389 new homes sit on land that used to be filled with World War II barracks and includes ball fields, a new elementary school, a fitness center, a dog park and community gardens.
A master-planned community is defined as a development that is designed for self-sufficiency, providing housing, educational, commercial and recreational amenities that are not typically included in a normal housing subdivision.
“We were able to turn a raw piece of land into its own small town with amenities within walking distance for our residents,” says Brian Beauregard, program director for Picerne Military Housing. “Families should not have to trade comfort and amenities when they choose to live on post. This community provides it all for our military families — the comfort, quality and convenience.”
Through its partnership with the U.S. Army, Picerne began construction of Forsyth in March 2007 as part of its development plan for Fort Riley’s family housing areas. Picerne managed the entire construction process from land development to construction and now takes care of the management and maintenance of the homes. The Forsyth subdivision is Picerne’s only completed, master-planned community in its portfolio, which includes more than 20,000 total homes at seven military installations across the country. A second master-planned community, Linden Oaks, located at Fort Bragg, N.C., will be finished in fall 2013.
Forsyth is an on-post community that includes three- and four-bedroom homes available for privates to lieutenant colonels. The neighborhood includes 14 playgrounds or common areas, a 13,000-square-foot neighborhood center, soccer and baseball fields, a pedestrian and bike trail, community garden, dog park and elementary school.
“Each amenity was added to foster a sense of community,” says Beauregard. “We want the families living here to build lasting friendships and camaraderie with their neighbors. Having places for recreation, outdoor gatherings and entertainment helps promote a sense of connection and solidarity which leads to lifelong bonds.”
The Army also built a fire station and child development center inside the Forsyth community, and is currently constructing a chapel. Picerne has invested more than $207 million dollars in the construction and development of the neighborhood.
Lyle Butler, president of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, says the construction at Fort Riley has helped the local economy, “It has created new jobs for construction workers and additional work for local subcontractors along with increased sales for most retail home building stores.”
Butler also says due to significant growth in soldiers and their family during the last five years, there has also been a large increase in home building off post as well. “New home building in Manhattan reached historical highs in 2009-2011. This helped fuel one of the most significant economic spurts for the entire economy for Manhattan.”
The Forsyth Neighborhood was designed with many environmentally friendly features. The homes and neighborhood center were built using numerous products made from recycled materials and feature sustainable elements, such as Energy Star appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency HVAC systems and other energy-efficient materials. In addition, the community garden offers the opportunity for residents to grow their own fresh vegetables.
The first homes in the neighborhood were available for occupancy in December 2007 and over the past five years, more than 2,400 families have moved into the community. To date, Picerne has built 1,394 new homes, renovated 1,195 existing homes and constructed four neighborhood centers across Fort Riley. Picerne will continue new home construction, demolition and renovations at Fort Riley through 2016.
— Rachel Goff