Building Business: The Meeting House at Redbrook
Though New England is no stranger to golf communities and developments that cater to retirees, Redbrook hopes to attract people from wider demographics—young families, first-time homebuyers, and professionals who seek nature’s solace yet require reasonable commute times to and from their urban workplaces. It’s fitting then that the local YMCA stands prominently across the Village Green from The Meeting House. In addition to its function as a focal point for fitness and activity within the village, the YMCA creates in Redbrook a destination for residents of the broader community and helps to eliminate the air of exclusivity that fogs over some developments.
“Redbrook’s appeal is for people who really value the natural world around them,” says Burke. For this reason, only a quarter of the 1,400-acre site will be developed, in a village consisting of 1,200 homes. The remainder will be preserved as woods with walking trails, rivers with kayaking access, ponds, and vistas for birdwatching. The A.D. Makepeace Company will also continue growing cranberries, an industry that depends on plentiful clean water. In fact, Redbrook is named for a successful clean water initiative in the nearby Red Brook, which flows from Plymouth into Buttermilk Bay in Wareham. This stream is home to one of the last populations of sea-run brook trout—or “salters”—in the area, and the company has worked closely with environmental groups and the Lyman Reserve to restore this important habitat. By removing dams and other accommodations intended to be more hospitable for these fish, these efforts became representative of the company’s approach to its land stewardship responsibilities. So what better name for the new community, to be built a short distance away, using those same principles?
Since Redbrook opened in 2015, its team has expanded to include notable builders such as Stabile Homes and Whitman Homes, and the project has garnered a number of prestigious awards in categories such as best land planning, best website, and community spirit. Saltonstall concludes, “For me as an architect, it has been really fun to see the village of Redbrook evolve from a clearing and a green to the active community that’s being created with dozens of homes. As the density increases, it’s really starting to blossom and to show its successes.”
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