Man and Woman Standing in Front of House

South Coventry Township housing developer bucks the cookie-cutter design trend

By David A. Kostival Reading Eagle correspondent Jan 5, 2020

While some housing developments offer little more than the cookie-cutter effect, a new development, known as the Reserve at Bally Springs, offers home buyers an endless range of custom-designed features.

The three-phase development is located in Washington Township, with convenient access to both Allentown and Philadelphia.

The developer is Rotell(e) Development Co./Rotell(e) Studio, South Coventry Township.

Site sales manager Cyndi Yaeckel said there are only a couple of lots left within the development because it has proven so popular.

“The price point around $300,000 is hard to find, and yet here, someone can get a new custom-designed home in the $300,000 range on a half-acre lot,” Yaeckel said. “Nothing is prefabricated in these homes, and clients can redesign the floor plans, move walls, expand areas and modify just about anything. We never build the same house twice.”

Buyers start by choosing between four facades: traditional, farmhouse, country French or craftsmen-inspired.

And from there, homebuyers can personalize their homes choose from a wide variety of options, including size, which can range from a little more than 1,500 square feet to over 3,000 square feet.

Location is another attractive incentive for potential buyers.

“People have easy access to to Lehigh Valley, but also to areas such as Collegeville and King of Prussia,” Yaeckel said. “There are panoramic mountain views, and you feel tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, even though the development is convenient to shopping and schools.”

Yaeckel said a unique feature is that everything is hand-framed by Amish or Mennonite craftsmen.

“Most people look at new construction as prefabricated, but the Rotell(e) client is looking for quality and the ability to customize and we do that very affordably,” she said.

Affordable communities

Person Sitting in Kitchen

Peter Rotelle, owner and CEO of Rotell(e) Development/Studio, called Bally Springs one of the last affordable housing communities available.

“It was nice to be able to offer houses starting below $300,000 for a single-family home, and the environment is awesome,” Rotelle said. “It is very difficult with (building/construction) regulations to be able to get to build on the ground with a half-acre lots.”

Rotelle said the development demonstrates something about his company’s philosophy.

“Our belief is that we deliver a great product for the value,” he said. “Our niche is to give great value for a well-constructed product and to have an excellent client and referral base.”

Rotelle said the ability to make alterations to the design of a house to meet specific lifestyles is highly desirable for today’s home buyers.

“We have some trades that have been with us for 25 years or so, and we don’t plan on jumping ship in find someone to save a buck,” Rotelle said. “We have consistency with our trades and suppliers, and a lot of them happen to be Pennsylvania Dutch and Mennonite. They do great work and we get the benefit of excellent work and craftsmanship.”

Given the ability to work with the company’s designers to custom-design the home’s features, Rotelle said Rotell(e) Studios is very in-tune with today’s trends and new styles which brings sophistication to its communities.

New homeowner

Barbara Barthold is a new homeowner within the Reserve at Bally Springs.

“When we first visited the builder, they showed us the normal layout and then worked with us to tweak it,” Barthold said.

“We really liked the idea of openness, so our layout had a kitchen with a wall dividing the dining room and breakfast area,” she said. “We asked to have the wall modified to a half-wall so the kitchen island could be extended.”

Barthold’s family originally looked at a Rotell(e)-designed home off Cedar Crest Avenue in Allentown and loved the feel of it.

“But we didn’t want to be in the Allentown school district, which prompted us to look at other locations,” Barthold said. “We saw Bally was close to King of Prussia, with a good centralized location between Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley. It was perfect for us.”

Barthold said her family was impressed with the realization they could customize many features about their home

“We had met another couple looking at the development and told them to think about what all of their options could be,” she said. “You don’t have to settle for any layout the developer shows you.”

Barthold said her experience of working with the Rotell(e) architects and designers was very positive.

“We enjoyed working with them,” she said. “They followed through with everything.”

Barthold also praised the neighborhood.

“The community and the people here are very family-oriented, and it is a community of people helping each other out,” Barthold said. “It is the strongest community I’ve been in.”

Yaeckel said Rotell(e) is also in the beginning stages of constructing another close-by development of 10 homes on a cul-de-sac known as Clover Hill.

“These are larger lots with 1 to 2 acres and a price point at $450,000 and up,” she said. “We expect to start building Clover Hill in January with the first move-in during the summer of 2020.”