LITTLE HOCKING -If Larry Lang and Ray Schaad have their way, the pair will be putting up 10 new homes in the Blue Heron subdivision on Schoolhouse Road.
When the most recent home sold this past spring on Quail Street, so far the main street in the development, they decided the time was right to get serious with the goal to build 10 homes by year's end.
Belpre and Belpre Township seem to be experiencing a small housing boom, with five new homes going up in Blue Heron, two in the Coolville/Grantsville Road area, one on Blennerhassett Avenue in Belpre and duplexes on Florence Street planned.
According to ycharts.com, the number of new homes built in the U.S. jumped by more than 8 percent in June compared to May.
"It's a good location for everyone that works in Parkersburg, Belpre or Marietta," said Schaad, 57, project manager, of Waterford.
Schaad said when properties started to move this past spring, they decided to start more.
Down the road, neighbors David and Bette Rollins, both 73, of 117 Quail St., Little Hocking, have been in the neighborhood since 2010.
"We're the oldest couple here," Bette said.
The Rollins said they love the location because of its convenience to everything they need either in Parkersburg or Marietta.
"I grew up in Doddridge County, (W.Va.)," David said. "I got tired of the hillsides. ... This was the last house we looked at."
Their neighbor, George Baehr, 50, of 125 Quail St., bought the model house for the development. After retiring from the Army and graduating from Marietta College in May, he has been looking for work but not having much success. He said the new neighborhood is attracting many young professionals because they can work in Marietta, Belpre or Parkersburg.
Dave Ferguson, Belpre safety-service director, said property values of the area increase by the taxes paid to support the schools and the city operations.
"It's work for carpenters, plumbers and landscapers," Ferguson said. "There's a trickle-down effect any time there's construction going on. There's money being spent in the community at local restaurants or businesses."
Ron Eddy, owner of Ron Eddy Builders, of Little Hocking, has been working on a new home on Blennerhassett Avenue in Belpre.
"Progress on the house has been good because much of the roof done was before the rain started," Eddy said.
The two-story house and ground level garage includes about 4,000 square feet and was started in late April.
Not only will Mario Coon and his wife, Kelli, own the house, but Mario also designed the home. He said he was an engineer in the Navy before working with other federal departments as a project manager. Kelli also is a federal employee, who was raised in Parkersburg. Mario grew up in Calhoun County, W.Va.
They are calling a small apartment in Belpre home until their house is finished in about six to eight weeks.
Mario said they chose Belpre as a site for their new home because of the availability of riverfront property and because the West Virginia personal property tax would have been prohibitive for his classic car collection.
A condominium project also has begun on Florence Street north of the Memorial Bridge landing in Belpre. The project is owned by Denver Horn, of Parkersburg, according to workers on site Friday. They also said there are plans to add to the project on the lot and across the street.
Horn was not available for comment Friday.