NEW MILFORD — When developer John O’Bine walked a 34-acre parcel in Northville back in 2002, he realized the landscape was perfect for a luxury active adult community.

Thirteen years later, that vision has become reality with the 17-unit community of Park Glen located on 23 acres. O’Bine donated 20 acres to Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust and combined his remaining 14 acres with his business partner John P. Delay’s nine acres to develop Park Glen.

The townhouses are each 1,900 square feet, have a green building design and state-of-the-art amenities. They are designed for single-floor living, with a lower story ready to be converted into whatever the homeowner envisions. One couple has created an English pub-style family room in their home’s lower level.

The economic downturn that began in 2006 resulted in O’Bine and Delay reconsidering the development. The townhouses initially started at 2,700 square feet, plus a full garden-level (basement) footprint.

“We customized to suit everyone,” O’Bine said. “Now our offerings, with the few built but remaining to be sold, are not so large. We are about 800 square feet less in square footage, but many amenities are still offered.”

O’Bine said builders and developers have been stuck for nearly 10 years in a prolonged recession, but are starting to feel a sense of optimism in nearly every market across the country.

Outdoor spaces, new open-space floor designs, flexible space design, lighting, bathroom design, ramps, hand rails, lower sinks and brighter one-floor living are all part of design considerations, O’Bine said.

“There is a trend toward borrowed amenities, and we have followed that trend with Park Glen,” O’Bine said. “Nearby fitness centers, pools, golf courses and recreation areas are drawn on by the Park Glen community. New Milford Hospital is just a minute away.”

Tom Wetzel, president of Retirement Living Information Center in Redding, said over the past 20 years he’s seen a number of changes in what the 55-plus age group is looking for in “retirement” living.

“There is a lot more exercise interest,” Wetzel said. “Anything that keeps you active is in. People want to be near exercise facilities, walking and hiking trails they can use. Developers often make arrangements with nearby country clubs to get special membership rates for residents.”

O’Bine and Delay continued building, albeit slowly, from 2005 throughout the economic downturn, completing the last three townhouses two months ago. The townhouses, each listed for $475,000, are now on the market.

Park Glen includes landscaped lawns, walking trails, a picnic area with butterfly garden, a satellite water facility that was built and turned over to the local water company, and limited maintenance, with groundskeeping and snow removal included.

“I’m all about being part of the solution,” O’Bine said. “If someone wants to stay within the emotional ties that they have developed throughout their lives, why should they have to move away from their hometown area? After someone has worked hard all their adult life, they should have a home that makes them feel like they have arrived.”

stuz@newstimes.com; 203-731-3352