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Posted on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Luxury home development in Superior Township aims to break ground in spring 2013

By Ben Freed

Luxury housing developer Toll Brothers is resurrecting a gated community housing development in Superior Township that was abandoned in 2006.

The company has submitted area plans for The Woodlands at Geddes Glen to the township planning commission for its meeting on Wednesday night.

Toll Brothers was a major driver of Washtenaw County's housing boom in the early 2000s, and recently returned to the county with the new Pines at Lake Forrest Development in Pittsfield Township.


Builders work on a Toll Brothers home in Scottsdale, Ariz. in 2007.

Ross D. Franklin | AP Photo

The plans call for the building of 32 single-family houses on 30 acres of land on the north side of Geddes Road just east of Ann Arbor city limits. Vice president of land development Mike Noles said prices had not been set for the properties but based on average prices from two previous Superior Township developments, he expects them to sell for between $800,000 and $1 million.

“We’re seeing a lot of activity in the market in this area, and we’ve had a desire to re-enter the Superior Township market since the selling out of our Arbor Hills and Glenborough developments,” he said. “The combination makes for great timing.”

Noles said demographics vary among home buyers, but in previous Superior Township developments, he’s seen buyers ranging from doctors at the University of Michigan and St. Joseph Mercy hospitals to businessmen who like the proximity to the Detroit Metro Airport.

Current plans are to break ground on the property in the spring and complete the installation of roads for the community by the end of July. Noles said once the township approves the area plans, the company will be able to start selling homes early in 2013 out of offices at the Pines at Lake Forrest.

“We don’t build spec build, so houses are always sold before we build them,” he said.

“We are very conservative, which I think is one of the reasons we’ve been around for over 40 years. Everything you see is either on a pre-sold basis or is our model house for the community.”

Noles said in the current housing market he expects the development to sell out within three years of sales opening. Once a customer purchases a house, it generally takes nine months to a year for the construction to be completed.

“We hire all local trades to build the house,” Noles said. “The foundations, the roofs, the drywall, are all local subcontractors. But we don’t hire a general contractor, that’s what we do.”

Toll Brothers' (NYSE: TOL) corporate office is in Philadelphia, Pa., and the company operates an office in New Hudson, Mich. The company's stock was being traded Tuesday at $34.55 a share, giving it a market cap of $5.81 billion. The company's stock is up 64 percent from $21.01 a share at the beginning of the year. The development firm currently has the land under contract and terms of sale from former owner Harry Durbin were not available.

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Ben Freed covers business for Reach him at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

Too bad these have such a hefty price tag or I would build one. The location is great. I think this is really good news for the Ypsi/Arbor community. I drove by yesterday, it looks like the developers are doing a good job [so far] preserving the woodlands and rolling hills.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

As the development is now well on its way I'm truly sad to see all the trees go. I live off of Geddes and the ride down this street was gorgeous with the natural canopy. I drove by the construction today and almost felt like I was in a completely different area because of the cleared out space and new sunlight. It's sad to see it all go.

Raul J

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

I joined this discussion because I could not agree more with BobbyJohns comments. I would strongly recommend keeping a very close eye on them during construction but even more so CHECK CHECK CHECK all your paper work Before you even entertaining signing for a house. They alter 'things' whenever they can to save themselves money. The best thing is the comments made from the CEO about how they have been able to increase prices for no extra due to the budding economy.... Especially in NYC and surprisingly Michigan. I learnt the hard way, after buying, I was absolutely flabbergasted at some of the things that supposedly passed inspection only to be found defective after serious problems. Gas boiler- incorrect venting which could have caused an explosion Electricity box - not earthed so could have been electrocuted. I thought I had kept a close eye on them but obviously not close enough but really I would not have picked up theses area. On the bright side, I have had everything corrected independently and love the area!!


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

I would strongly advise buyers of these homes to be sure and hire a quality private home inspector for these homes. I have found more than the average shoddy work on Toll Brothers homes when doing new construction inspections on them. Unfortunately, the municipal inspectors don't spend enough time at the homes to find many of the faults present.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

Ben, BusinessMEN? No business women? No business people?


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 3:45 a.m.

this is right close to the radrick golf course. and close to our gov. snyder...


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 3:39 a.m.

I have yet to meet a "Real Estate guy" who was not an optimist! Well, dude, wait until Obama Care gets thru with yer prospective "medical doctor" buyers! Geeze!!!


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

Obama is "through" with them, and they have the money to buy the houses, according to the Toll Bros.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

The Great Recession may be slowly ending so I'm glad to see active development. I'm even happier that Ann Arbor has been buying up greenbelt space so we're not looking at one McMansion after another.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

Wow, sure is peaceful here, you know what this area needs? A bunch of beige houses with no character 10ft apart from each other. Yay cutting down trees for McMansions, lets name it The Woodlands!

Life in Ypsi

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

What school district will this be in? I wonder if this is the property near the round about with the for sale sign. Geddes Road area has some beautiful homes.

Ann English

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

"Break ground" apparently means clearing the land of trees so that the properties and roads can go in. I expect it's fairly hilly land to clear.


Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 10:17 p.m.

"plans call for the building of 32 single-family houses on 30 acres of land on the north side of Geddes Road just west of Ann Arbor city limits." I believe that location is EAST of Ann Arbor.


Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

Isn't that EAST of Ann Arbor city limits? The four letter state abbreviations look pretty funny. Is that standard style?

Julie Baker

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

The direction has been corrected. Thanks for pointing it out. We follow Associated Press style for state abbreviations. Penn. is not the style, so that's been corrected as well.

Linda Peck

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

This is good news!


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

I guess...if you can afford to buy a 1 million dollar home. I won't be holding my breath waiting for it to trickle down...

Ben Petiprin

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

Funny to see how little the mindset has changed even after a historic recession. As soon as there's some light at the end of the tunnel someone wants to build a bunch of million dollar homes. And bet a lot of folks will go in debt to get a home here. Enjoy the double dip you fools.

Ben Petiprin

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

Christ, man. You have any more sound bytes you want to get out of your system? How about, "freedom isn't free"? That feels related somehow. Or "if we don't build it, the terrorists win." That's a good one, too.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Last I checked Ben, it was a free country. Toll brothers can build what they like. If you're so hot for affordable housing and apartments, why don't you build them yourself?

Ben Petiprin

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 4:16 a.m.

I don't take issue with anyone supplying a need for housing. In Ypsi, my home, a good amount of affordable housing has been torn down for some reason. What annoys me about these developers is that they continue the spirit of reckless opulence that put us in the recession in the first place. Build some apartments to make up for the ones you demolished or just some normal two bedroom houses. And I don't understand why so many are so eager to defend millionaires. They'll be just fine.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

Hate to burst your bubble, Ben, but housing values are a product of supply & demand. Right now there is a shortage of houses on the market and that is causing the recent new construction boom. Here in Ann Arbor, where we are we pretty well insulated from the rest of the US economy, I'm willing to bet you won't see much decline in market values for quite sometime. In fact, I would not be surprised to see another 3-6% jump in real estate values over the next 12 months.

Ben Petiprin

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

Well they wouldn't mention controversial loaning practices in such a promotional article would they? Plus the phrase "a major driver of Washtenaw County's housing boom in the early 2000s" means to me a major driver of its crash in 2008-present. I just think people would be better served to live modestly.


Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

Hmm.... I don't recall anything in the article about offering ARMs to high-risk customers. These houses are right next to a hospital; I predict no problem filling them with people that are making 200k++/year....