Seventeen years ago when this intrepid reporter began searching for a home in town, new construction was fairly prevalent. Although Random Farms had been completed, bulldozers still reigned at Hardscrabble Lake. Today, available space is generally sparse except at Brandywyne, a new site located off Brandon Drive.
Construction continues here at a brisk pace, despite the fact that this development has actually been under consideration for many years, dating back to the late 1980s when the former owner sought approval to build 23 homes. In 1999 Antonio Velardo Inc. purchased the property and reached an agreement to build eight homes on the 77.6 acre site. Issues such as the desire to preserve the habitat for existing wildlife and access from Bittersweet Lane (which was not granted) were finally overcome. “One of the things that was required was to set up some open land,” Mario Velardo, Vice President of Antonio Velardo Inc. said. 33.5 acres have been dedicated to this end.
The homes – which are being built on speculation – measure about 6,000 square feet on lots of approximately three acres. One home is currently occupied and another is currently on the market for $2,950,000. Each home includes a generator, a virtual necessity in today’s environment. All power lines have been installed underground.
According to Town Planner Sabrina Charney Hull, very little space is available for new development in New Castle. “Less than 10% of the town is undeveloped,” she noted. At this point, the only viable option for future subdivisions is those of a smaller scale.