Stone Bridge Homes NW Participates in 2012 Street of Affordable Homes

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Forest Grove, Oregon: Big ideas in a small town.

With its small-town feel, close proximity to the local tech corridor and views of the Coast Range mountains, Forest Grove is becoming more and more attractive to new-home shoppers looking for a little more elbow room.

Stone Bridge Homes NW will be giving buyers another reason to take a look at the close-knit Washington County community when it hosts the Street of Affordable Homes, July 5 through 29 at the Pacific Crossing neighborhood in Forest Grove. The annual showcase features six newly built homes, including two by Stone Bridge Homes NW.

Other builders at the Street of Affordable Homes include J.T. Smith Companies and Skyline Homes, and students from Forest Grove High School are building another house — known as “The Viking House” — as an annual project.

"Forest Grove gives you a little bit more space, and a lot of character," said Kelly Ritz, president of Stone Bridge Homes NW. "And the price point is much lower. It's a really nice place to live, especially if the big city's not your thing."

Forest Grove is probably most famous as the home to Pacific University, a private institution with an enrollment of about 3,200 students. The town and university grew up together, both having been established in the middle of the 19th Century. Several historic homes in town date back to the 1850s, and Forest Grove features 10 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located on the western edge of the Portland metropolitan area, Forest Grove still has expansive natural areas and farmland and has avoided much of the dense growth that has become common in neighboring communities.

Stone Bridge Homes NW gained a foothold in Forest Grove with the success of The Parks at Forest Grove, a community of newly built homes priced from the mid $200,000 range. The remaining lots in Pacific Crossing, also owned by the company offers homes that are similarly priced.

Prices at the Street of Affordable Homes will be in the $300,000s, a price point that is considerably lower in comparison to other high-end, luxury home shows. The homes will include a mix of single-level and multi-level plans, and all will be built to Earth Advantage standards for energy- and resource-efficiency.

"When you host a show like this, you get to highlight the entire neighborhood and introduce it to a buyer who might not otherwise see it," Ritz said. "We love Washington County and we think the location will appeal to a lot of people."

Part of the attraction will be Forest Grove's close proximity to its Washington County neighbors Hillsboro and Beaverton, where large employers such as Nike and Intel have been driving the Oregon economy for decades.

While those cities have grown more dense and urban over the years, Forest Grove — framed to the west by the Coast Range surrounded by rolling pastureland — has kept its small-town vibe with its district of historic homes and popular farmer's market.

"It's Mayberry-esque," Ritz said. "It's a great location because it's not very far from the Intels and Nikes, but it still has that small-town feel."

Ritz said she hopes visitors to the Street of Affordable Homes will discover not only the virtues of Forest Grove but also the value in the quality, well-built products of Stone Bridge Homes NW.

"We've been out there for five years now, and buyers have really responded," she said. "The more Forest Grove becomes known, the more people who work in Hillsboro and Beaverton will want to go out there and take a look at what we have to offer." |

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Maurice Nguyen
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