New builder successful at Gold Hill

       John Bissett didn't know what to expect when his recently started J.M. Weston Homes introduced a new attached-home style at Gold Hill Mesa last spring.

J.M. Weston Homes attached homes that were built this year on Gold Hill Mesa Drive. Framing for a new three-plex is underway at far left.
Westside Pioneer photo

John Bissett stands in the doorway of the Weston model home at 1390 Gold Hill Mesa Drive.
Westside Pioneer photo
“It's always a gamble to present a new product,” he said in an interview this week.
       If so, you'd be smiling if you bet in his favor. The numbers tell the story. Seven Weston homes (in a three-plex and a four-plex) have been built this year along Gold Hill Mesa Drive, across the street from the 210-acre development's community center north of Lower Gold Camp Road. Of these, five have been sold. In addition, four other units, as yet unbuilt, have been presold or reserved. All this while “fighting a difficult economy,” as Bissett put it.
       To top it off, his company was the big award-winner in its category (attached homes between $150,000 and $250,000) at last August's Parade of Homes. In the judging, Weston was honored with best overall home, best kitchen design and best interior decorating; and in voting by Parade attendees, received the “people's choice” award in its category.

The kitchen area inside the model home.
Courtesy of John Bissett

       Among the Weston design points in which Bissett expresses pride are the building fronts, which, by not being flat across, add perspective and allow more room for windows; the kitchens, featuring detached islands; designs that offer all the bedrooms upstairs (along with a laundry room) or the master bedroom downstairs (with laundry room there); and a general effort to allow plenty of light inside.
       “We're having success,” Bissett said. “We're really happy in the Gold Hill Mesa project. It's bringing a significantly different style to Colorado Springs, much more focused on community design.”
       Weston is one of three builders currently active at Gold Hill. The others are Challenger and Creekstone.
       Although Weston is new, Bissett himself has been involved in Gold Hill since 2002. He was an executive for the Colorado region's John Laing Homes, which was the project's first builder. But when Laing went out of business in 2008 because of financial setbacks, Bissett formed his own company.
       Framing is just starting to take shape on the third Weston building, a three-plex at the corner of Gold Hill Mesa and Eclipse drives. In addition, now that the Gold Hill Mesa Partners have bought back 44 of the John Laing lots (see story, Page 1), Bissett has invested in six of those building pads, on which work is set to start in early 2011.

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