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Villas breathing new life into Moss Springs

September 18, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Antrim Township Supervisors gave the go-ahead to a 135-unit addition to the Moss Springs housing development that its owners hope will attract older, retired buyers.

Site work on the 40-acre tract begins this month with construction on the first units scheduled for later this fall, said Gary McCray, a partner in the development company building the project.

McCray, 49, said the units, called villas, will be built four to a lot. Each will measure 2,000 square feet and feature a two-car garage.

They will have two bedrooms and cost up to $145,000, depending on options.

The villas are being built by PMC Enterprises, Inc., of McConnellsburg, Pa., the company formed by McCray and his partner, Frank Plessinger. Plessinger also owns P&W Excavating in McConnellsburg. He and McCray graduated from Southern Fulton (Pa.) High School together.

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Their land abuts Moss Springs, a housing development started in the late 1960s, McCray said.

In 1989, the partners bought 80 acres adjacent to and east of Moss Springs. Their plan was to sell about 80 lots in two phases. Roads and utilities were built in the first phase in 1989. It too was called Moss Springs.

"We only sold 12 lots in nine years," McCray said. They were sold to owners who built upscale homes on them, some as large as 4,000 square feet and costing nearly $400,000, he said.

"I don't know why they didn't sell, but the project wasn't going anywhere. There are 2,000 single-family lots available right now in Antrim Township. We knew something had to be done. The retirement market here is getting better every day," McCray said.

The partners decided to convert the second 40-acre section to multifamily homes designed for retirees.

They followed new Antrim Township rules that allow for planned residential developments. Such developments allow more than one home to be built on the same lot.

The Township Supervisors approved the partner's permit last week on a 3-2 vote.

McCray said while the villas are aimed at retirees, anyone can buy one.

"We can't discriminate," he said.

Residents in the older Moss Springs development learned details of the new plans at public hearings this summer.

Teresa Schnoor, an Antrim Township administrator, said some residents expressed concern about traffic. Others wanted a buffer between their development and the new one.

Moss Springs, old and new, lies between Allison Avenue and Interstate 81. The oldest section is in Greencastle borough.

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