New D'Iberville Townhomes Go Modular

A $9.4 million housing development is going up in D'Iberville. The new neighborhood is called Orchard at the Bay. It's going up on Gorenflo Road just north of Lemoyne Boulevard. The 120 townhomes will help ease the area's housing crunch. The developer says the homes will be finished faster at a more affordable price because of the way Orchard at the Bay is being built.

Workers for Enhanced Technical Construction say they have a lot of experience putting together modular housing units. Just not with as many pieces as Orchard at the Bay in D'Iberville.

Project manager Dustin Rhodes said, "We've got 120 total units and each one has got two boxes, so that's about what we're looking at."

Crews says there is a slightly different technique to building modular on a large scale.

"This is a newer product. Something people are just getting into," said Rhodes. "It's a little bit of a longer road, but at the same time it does speed things up. It's a lot better product. The quality has really exceeded what I expected."

The speed is part of what convinced the developer, Georgia-based Moon Family Properties, to go with modular. Construction on Orchard at the Bay started in early February. People could be living there before the summer is out.

"We should have this building available in the middle of August and the subsequent buildings will follow so," said developer Curt Patton. "Our goal is the first phase, 77 units, and we should have those finished by the end of the year."

Much of the interior work is already done when the modular parts arrive. The developer says that keeps costs lower for customers.

"They are $189, 900 and we're excited about that because we don't feel like there is a lot available under $200,000," said Patton. "That qualifies for a first time home buyer mortgage."

Workers say while large scale modular developments are scarce around here now  they don't expect it to stay that way.

Rhodes says, "It's definitely a new way that's going to take off and the construction industry is becoming more and more about progress and speed, and this does speed up the process a lot."

So this something we're going to continue to do and I'm sure other companies are going to continue to do so it's the wave of the future in my thinking. The townhomes have three bedrooms and two and a half baths.