Home Creations consultant Brooke Russell is excited about the housing opportunities at Independence Valley, one of the new housing additions now building in southeast Norman.
Behind her, a sign reads “Dream Big.” It’s part of the décor in the Independence Valley model home, but it seems to stand for the general attitude of homebuilders and developers in Norman, whose projects in the southeast and in north Norman seem to be ushering in a new era of quality housing.
While Norman prides itself on stiff building codes and well planned development standards, the market might be the true driving factor underlying this explosion of affordable, quality housing, builders say.
The first phase of the Independence Valley housing addition will have 43 homes. Another second phase could serve up to 100 homes with two ponds and walking trails.
“One of the things that’s important to us is structural integrity,” Russell said.
Regardless of the price range of the house, Home Creations uses three types of tornado safety features: anchor bolts; high density OSB board around the entire home, not just the doors and windows; and tornado straps on rafters to protect the room from flying away.
Creative Homes also builds energy efficient housing.
“We exceed Energy Star Standards,” Russell said.
Based on the Home Energy Rating System Index, Home Creations houses range between a 50 to 70 rating compared to an EPA Energy Star home coming in with an 85. The lower the number, the lower the energy costs.
Russell said the location of the housing addition is a selling point.
“It’s an easy place to get to other locations,” she said, pointing out highway connections going south to Dallas or north to Oklahoma City. “We’re close to everything and the cost of living (in Norman) can’t be beat.”
The area is also ripe with jobs and amenities.
The corridor along State Highway 9 East is known as a technology corridor and provides easy access to jobs located along SH-9 and in the nearby industrial park. Highway 77 and a quick connection to Interstate 35 as well as nearby 24th Avenue (Sooner Road) means developments in the area have quick travel access to a variety of locations
The university’s main campus, meanwhile, is five to 10 minutes away.
With developing Saxon Park at 36th Avenue Southeast at State Highway 9 now open to runners and trail walkers, residents in the area will have continued access to green space. Further east, Lake Thunderbird provides more recreational opportunities with SH-9 providing the corridor to nature or westward to commercial development.
Independence Valley lies between Cedar Lane Road west of 12th Avenue Southeast, south of SH-9. The floor plans start at just over 1,100 square feet and are affordably priced for families or retirees with a starting price in the $130,000 range.
Independence Valley is served by Madison Elementary, Irving Middle School and Norman High School.
On the north side of SH-9 near 36th Avenue Southeast, Summit Valley includes over 60 acres of permanent wooded open spaces. Summit Valley continues to build out, there are 151 residential lots and 237 lots remaining in the development for the addition.
To the east, the Bellatona addition is in the development stages.
That plat includes 692 residential lots with open space, including a future city-owned park, and six commercial lots that front SH-9.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is currently widening SH-9 and the portion slated for widening from as far east as 48th Avenue will be treated as urban with a center median and curbing and guttering.
Follow me @joyinvestigates