Sensing a market rebound, Southworth buildng again in The Weirs

LACONIA — Signaling its growing confidence in the real estate market, Southworth Development LLC , the managing developer of Meredith Bay at The Weirs, plans to add a mid-rise building to its growing inventory along either side of Scenic Road.

North Lodges at Meredith Bay is planned on a 6.7-acre lot at the foot of Brickyard Mountain across Scenic Road from the Town Homes at Meredith Bay, which line the shoreline northward from Look Out Rock. The four-story building will house 24 two-bedroom condominium units, six on each floor. Three elevators serving the building will open directly into each of the six units. Chris Duprey, project executive for Southworth Development, anticipated the units would be brought to market in 2014 and priced "beginning in the low $400,000s," noting that the price with vary with the choice of optional features.

In 2010, Southworth began building the Town Homes, 19 two-bedroom town houses on three levels with garages, divided among five buildings along the shoreline. Duprey said that 11 of the have been sold or are under contract. At the same time, the Planning Board approved plans for three mid-rise buildings on the other side of Scenic Road, known as the Lodges at Meredith Bay. Like the North Lodges each of these buildings would house 24 condominium units on four-stories. Construction of the Lodges, which requires extensive site work, has not begun.

Meanwhile, Duprey expects the pace of sales at Meredith Bay, the 129-lot gated community atop Brickyard Mountain, to quicken. He said that 32 of the 129 lots have been sold, most of them since Southworth Development acquired a significant stake in the project in 2007. He said that prospective buyers are seeking to purchase homes rather than lots and there are currently two model homes at the the site.

Duprey stressed that with the construction of the North Lodges Southworth Development will diversify its inventory to include single-family homes and house lots at Meredith Bay, townhouses on three levels at the Town Homes and condominiums on one level at the North Lodges. He said with the completion of the three remaining mid-rise buildings, which have not been scheduled for construction, development the firm's shorefront properties would be virtually complete, leaving space only for a few single-family homes or duplexes.