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Building Bayside

By: Nick Brandi, Photography By: Grant L. Gursky

In the July-August issue, we extolled the virtues of a life at Bayside in Selbyville/Fenwick Island. We told you about its 1,000 verdant acres, spectacular vistas and bay views, the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and the many other outstanding amenities that Bayside offers all of its residents. We even told you about the incomparable convenience of a community that not only offers its own mini-mall but also boasts the region’s most exciting outdoor performance venue, The Freeman Stage, right on its own grounds. Apparently, however, that was only part of the story.

It appears that between the community’s intrinsic allure and the strongly rebounding economy, the active interest in Bayside is at an all-time high. So much so, in fact, that Bayside’s developer, the Carl M. Freeman Companies, was impelled to dramatically accelerate the community’s expansion in order to meet the skyrocketing demand. Thus, following a months-long process of assiduous screening and deliberation, three more industry-leading builders will join the community’s current builder, NV Homes, in the bid to make Bayside bigger and better than ever.

“We knew that interest for homes in our community would drive our expansion,” shared Chris Garland, vice-president of Retail Development and Construction for the Carl M. Freeman Companies, “but we also knew that finding new builders who could deliver at the same incredibly high standard that we and the current residents have enjoyed from NV Homes would be extremely difficult. After a long and exhaustive search, we are confident we have found them in Marnie Oursler, Schell Brothers and Echelon Homes.”

By pure coincidence, Oursler was also featured in our July-August issue, as the home she built for herself in South Bethany was one of the focal points of this year’s Friends of the South Coastal Library Beach & Bay Cottage Tour. Oursler is lauded as a premier custom-home builder who specializes in working with each of her clients one-on-one in the realization of their grandest residential aspirations.

“Bayside is a very special place, so I’m very excited to be joining them as a builder and contributing my expertise to expanding their community,” said Oursler, who is a fifth-generation builder. “A unique feature of my homes is that I use over 90% American-made building materials in each one. I feel that domestic products support our economy, benefit our environment and are both high-quality and cost-effective. Since Bayside residents are exceptionally community-minded, I expect they will embrace that philosophy wholeheartedly.” Oursler will have seven lots with wonderful golf-course views that will serve as her canvas in the fabrication of as many brand-new custom masterpieces.

Now in its 11th year, Schell Brothers is the same elite Sussex County builder that received national exposure in 2011 as part of an ABC-TV Extreme Home Makeover project in Lewes. The company specializes in rock-solid, first-rate construction with industry-leading energy efficiency in all of their new homes. Echelon Builders, meanwhile, is a subsidiary of Schell Brothers that offers the same impeccable reliability as their parent company but instead concentrates on custom-home construction, viewing each new creation as an essential work of functional art rather than merely a commodity.

“I think what we love about this team of builders more than anything else,” offered Garland, “is that each brings something unique to the community, yet all are irreproachable when it comes to talent and credibility. The other exciting thing is that this level of quality and diversity is completely consistent with what it means and has always meant to be a Carl M. Freeman community, a message we wish to drive home with crystal clarity here at Bayside.”

Garland said that they are shooting for as many as 65 new homes by the end of the year and up to 80 for 2014. Once a lot has been developed (which usually takes about two months), a home at Bayside can be ready in as little as four to six months from the time the contract is signed (custom-built homes may take a little longer). The community offers three standard types of home, including 2,100—2,200 sq. ft. townhomes, 2,200—2,500 sq. ft. duplexes and single-family homes that may range anywhere from 2,500 sq. ft. to well over 4,000. But now that there are four industry-leading builders – including two custom-home builders – to choose from at Bayside, the limits are only those of one’s imagination.

Prospective homeowners are encouraged to stop in at Bayside’s brand-new sales-and-information center, located at the entrance of the community.