Avignon in Solebury Township, Pa., will include 26 houses on over 32 acres of open space

The Packet Group
   Most of us learn quite a bit from our fathers, mothers, grandparents — just about any family member who was a mentor. In the case of the Gigliotti Group builders, however, the idea of learning from previous generations takes on a special meaning.
   "The building and carpentry skills evident in our family has been developed over many generations," explained Chris Gigliotti, president and co-owner of the family business known as the Gigliotti Group. "My father was an immigrant to this country with a trade in carpentry and cabinetmaking. When I was a kid he would take me out to his projects and I eventually worked with him. Building got into my blood and never left."
   In the early 1960s, the Gigliotti family settled in a comfortable home on Buck Road in Northampton Township. Just as the Gigliotti children grew and thrived in that atmosphere, Chris’ homebuilding business had evolved into a successful building operation. Gigliotti Corp. developed not only large residential communities but also shopping centers, apartment complexes and commercial properties.
   During this time Chris’ three sons, Ron, John and Chris Jr. were introduced to the business. At first the young men took on only small tasks, such as mowing lawns or cleaning up the building site, but they were quick to learn from their father. Today Ron and John have joined their father in running the business, while Chris Jr. runs his own building business in New Jersey.
   "Over the years housing styles have evolved dramatically, and my sons have helped the company change along with the needs of homebuyers. It was my turn to learn from them," expressed Chris. "The product that we build today is a big change from the homes that we constructed in Hillcrestshire and Village Shires in Holland, or the homes that we built in Justa Farms in Huntingdon Valley. Our goal was to build a home with more attention to detail and to add many more customizing options. In order to do this we had to scale down our production and concentrate on fabricating high quality, luxury style homes."
   Remaining in focus with their goals, the Gigliotti Group also turned much of their efforts into developing communities that are sensitive with the surrounding environment. Protecting the integrity of the land, complete with mature trees and natural growth, is now a key point in the development of every one of their communities.
   "During the initial development phases of a recent community, we observed that what gave the area much of its character was the mature trees and surrounding growth," said Mr. Ron Gigliotti. "Vowing to protect as much of the land as possible, we hired a horticulturist to analyze each tree and catalog them in terms of health and vitality." The Gigliotti Group then designed the lots to accommodate as many of the healthiest trees that they could. "This extra step cost our company a great deal of money, but we have proven that a builder does not have to plow down endless amounts of trees in order to erect a new community," he said proudly.
   Perhaps no other community better demonstrates homes built in continuity with the surrounding environment than one of Gigliotti’s newest developments in Solebury. Called Avignon, the community includes 26 homes on over 32 acres of open space. Mature trees are clustered throughout the neighborhood, as well as newly planted trees that line the gently curved streets. Also evident are open meadows and views of gently rolling hills.
   Having spent over three years in the approval process, it took the ingenuity and ideas of Chris Sr., Ron and John Gigliotti to derive a plan that would adhere to both Solebury’s strict requirements and Gigliotti’s drive for perfection.
   "Although some people are discouraged by the rigid building codes and township requirements present in Solebury, we took it on as a challenge. After all, they are only trying to protect the integrity of the land. Once they understood that we wanted to do the same, we worked well together to come up with this very unique community," said Mr. John Gigliotti.
   Located on the borders of Street and Honey Hollow roads, the houses in Avignon sit on lots of about a third of an acre. All of the homes are grouped in small cul-de-sacs, so that every homesite boasts a back yard with serenity and privacy. Six models of homes are available in the community, ranging in size from 3,368 to 4,577 square feet. All of the models have been newly developed especially for this project.
   The homes proved a variety of unique features. The Matisse model, for example, has a first floor library that could easily lend itself nicely to a guestroom; because located directly off of the entry area is a private guest powder room. The Cezanne model offers a first floor with both the main bedroom and a second bedroom — an ideal choice for those who want the opportunity to do most of their living on the first floor.
   "We expect nearly 50 percent of these customers to be ’empty-nesters’ and ‘move-up’ professionals — mainly people who want to stay in the area and live in beautiful homes, but also would like to scale down on the exterior work and maintenance," explained Mr. John Gigliotti.
   The homes at Avignon range from $484,900 to $564,900 before upgrades. With the many customizing options available, it would not be uncommon for a finished home in that neighborhood to reach a price of around a million dollars. "All of the homes built by Gigliotti give the buyer extensive choices and customizing opportunities," said Mr. Ron Gigliotti, explaining that some people welcome the opportunity to have a say in everything from their kitchen cabinet selection to their electric wiring capabilities. Others, however, may be overwhelmed at even the thought of making that many choices. "We can customize as much or as little as needed."
   While acquiring land in this area is always a challenge for any builder, Gigliotti has also managed to obtain a premium piece of property in Northampton Township. "It has become increasingly difficult to acquire land in Bucks and Montgomery counties, and in addition to that we have become even more selective about the land that we build upon," said Mr. Chris Gigliotti Sr. "We were happy to be able to buy a tract along the intersection of Holland and Middle Holland roads. This area has been a favorite among homebuyers because of the excellent Council Rock schools and the ease in commuting to just about anywhere."
   On this tract of land, Gigliotti has begun construction on their newest community. Called Olde Forge, the development will be small by today’s standards — only 10 homes are to be built, however, each lot is abundant with space and openness. Lot sizes range from one-half to three-quarters of an acre. "We feel this community will appeal to young families who want a little bit larger yard for their children to play in and want to be in an area bordering established, prestigious communities," added Mr. Ron Gigliotti.
   Six different models are offered at Olde Forge, all of which have proved to be the most popular in past building projects. Interior home size ranges from 2952 to 3693 square feet, with plenty of options to add on rooms or add square footage to the planned room sizes.
   Following suit with all of the builder’s layouts, the models offer unique and innovative features designed to suit the lives of families today. A convenient computer alcove is nestled on the first floor of the Monet model, and just off of the kitchen in the Clivedon model a relaxing morning room entices families to spend a little more time together before rushing off to daily activities.
   Prices for the homes at Olde Forge start on the lower end of the $400,000 range. The cul-de-sac street that services the entire community will be lined with trees, which will also be planted on the perimeter of the backyards on some lots. Mainly stone and stucco, the facades of the homes are designed to form an eye-pleasing look when peering down the main street of the community.
   Sondra Cochran, regional sales and marketing manager with Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors handles marketing and sales aspects for the Gigliotti says she is excited about working with the team. "The knowledge and integrity that Gigliotti has to offer makes my job much easier. They strive to envision the future, stay a step ahead, and flow with the market."
   This attitude, coupled with hard work and enthusiasm, has earned the Gigliotti Group six Pinnacle awards in the past two years. Pinnacle awards are given to builders who are innovative, creative and overwhelmingly successful. The company is expected to add to that number with the communities being built this year.
   For more information, call (215) 794-4460, or the sales center at Olde Forge (215) 942-6442.