First residents move into Condominiums at Sugarloaf

  • Developer Mark Wightman stands outside his senior condominium project at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in South Deerfield.  STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Developer Mark Wightman, left, talks with resident Shirley Howard outside her new home at the Condominiums at Sugarloaf in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The interior of one of the finished homes at the Condominiums at Sugarloaf, an over 55 housing community in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Development continues at the Condominiums at Sugarloaf. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Development continues at the Condominiums at Sugarloaf, an over 55 housing community Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Development continues at the Condominiums at Sugarloaf. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The interior of one of the finished homes at the Condominiums at Sugarloaf, an over 55 housing community in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • One of the finished basements at the Condominiums at Sugarloaf. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • All doors in the units are opened with levers at the Condominiums at Sugarloaf, an over 55 housing community in South Deerfield. Developer Mark Wightman said levers are easier than door knobs for people with arthritis or joint pain. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2019 7:44:40 AM

DEERFIELD — The first five dwellings of a senior condominium project at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain are occupied, and the project’s developer said two more are expected to be available in a couple of months.

The Condominiums at Sugarloaf, approved by the Deerfield Planning Board in April 2017 after months of deliberation, is an in-the-works housing community for anyone with someone 55 or older in their household, according to developer Mark Wightman.

When finished, the property will consist of 35 duplexes with 70 units on 22 acres. Wightman said the project is in its first phase, which consists of constructing the initial 16 duplexes. He expects the first phase to be completed in roughly a year and a half and the project to be finished in four and a half to five and a half years.

The units will come in three sizes — 1,288, 1,310 and 1,500 square feet. Wightman said the smallest units will sell for $299,900 and the 1,310-square-foot ones will go for $301,450. The largest units will feature two-car garages and sell for $375,900. The two smaller options will have one-car garages, and Wightman said he is working on a plan to expand them to fit two cars, for an additional fee.

People can choose from 12 different colors for their unit’s exterior, from six different stains for kitchen cabinets, three door styles for the cabinets and four types of solid wood floors. There will also be six types of porcelain tiles to choose from.

Wightman, who grew up in Greenfield and lives in Deerfield, said he wants to deliver a high-quality product. He said units will have extra-thick vinyl siding and concrete patios and porches. He said the goal for the project is to allow senior citizens to age in place.

No units have door knobs — all doors in the units are opened with levers, which Wightman said is easier for people with arthritis. Also, there are no thresholds between hardwood floors and porcelain tile. This reduces the likelihood of people tripping.

Shirley Howard moved into her 1,288-square-foot unit on Dec. 12. Originally from Duxbury, she explained her son moved to this area for college and stayed, later getting married and having a daughter. Howard moved to Deerfield two years ago to be closer to her family, and she rented an apartment until her unit was complete.

“I spent all day yesterday making my change-of-address calls,” she said inside her new home.

Howard complimented the general contractors and sub-contractors and the quality of their work.

“They’re working like the dickens,” she said. “I’m going to live here 30 years and not do any repairs.”

All units have basements, and there are six different granite countertops to choose from for the kitchen. Every building will have town water and town sewer.

Joanne Dickinson was the first of Wightman’s “pioneer women,” moving in on Nov. 28.

“I love it,” she said holding her border terrier. “It is so well-made here. They did not cut corners at all. It is definitely craftsmanship all around.”

Her 10-year-old dog is named Kooley, making the pooch Kooley Dickinson, a play on Cooley Dickinson Hospital, where Dickinison works as a surgical technician, and which bears the name of her great-great-uncle, Caleb Cooley Dickinson.

As Dickinson was talking to a reporter, a woman approached the unit to inquire about the Condominiums at Sugarloaf, and Wightman stepped outside to speak with her.

Wightman, 59, told The Recorder he purchased the property about two years ago for just more than $1 million from three sisters who were willed three houses and land from their father, who Wightman said tried to create a subdivision on the terrain in the 1980s. Wightman purchased the land and two houses, and one of the sisters lives in the third home. Wightman also bought 5.7 acres from the sisters’ uncle.

But Wightman’s connection with the property, which he expects to be valued at $23 million when finished, is not new. He said he worked on the land, picking tobacco, when he was 15.

Wightman said Deerfield has been wonderful to work with.

“The government has been great,” he said. “High marks for sure — all the way across the board.”

He said the condominiums will contribute $350,000 in tax revenue for the town.

“And I am very proud of that,” he said.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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