Fredericton / News / City stories
Haven Heights Development (Photo submitted)

Dutcher Developments: A Great Fit for a Growing City

The new Haven Heights housing development off Brookside Drive brings together all the things Lloyd Dutcher loves most about being a developer: Building new, quality homes for people in a great location with a small, loyal team.

“Back in 1997, it was just me and two other guys,” Dutcher said. “Since then, we’ve grown to 7 and, in addition to Bramble Way, we’re working on a number of other homes throughout the city. And somewhere in there, I even managed to get my own home built,” he added, chuckling. “My wife is happy we had time for that.”

The Haven Heights development is made up of 45 lots on 3 hectares of land past the West Hills subdivision off Brookside Drive. “These are smaller lots, 40’ wide by 120’ deep, with a few larger ones mixed in,” Dutcher explained. The layout also incorporates a medium-density apartment building lot.

Bruce Grandy, Chair of the City’s Development Committee, said Haven Heights is one of several new smaller-lot developments that add to the overall mix of living options that are needed in a growing city. “We know that an important part of any development is to foster a sense of community.  One way to achieve this is by integrating a variety of housing types into the development. Once completed, Haven Heights will offer current and future residents’ choice of either affordable detached homes or an apartment unit in an area close to City amenities and employment nodes.”

A carpenter by trade, Dutcher made the leap into development after years of building houses for other companies in Fredericton. “My wife wasn’t crazy about it at first, because it’s kind of a risk,” he recalled. “But we paid off our own house mortgage fast so we could borrow the money to build a spec house. I can still remember walking into the bank manager and saying, ‘Let’s do it.’’

But then the spec house didn’t sell for eight months – a bit of a gut-check for the Dutchers. “But I did manage to get work off it anyway because it served as advertising and led to us building 2 or 3 houses. Then it eventually sold,” he said.

A large residential development in Oromocto followed in 2002, Dutcher has had a successful career building new homes for people to enjoy since. “I mostly delegate the design work to other people, but I do have the final approval,” he said. “I guess my favourite part of the homes in Haven Heights is the fact that their layout is a bit different from what you’d expect, and I really like the stonework. And the lampposts in the development are very nice, as well.”

The project is a partnership with Fredericton Realtor Pam Doak. “I’m building them, and she’s selling them,” Dutcher explained. “And Pam is the one who first found the location a few years ago. So far, we’ve serviced 27 of lots, and we’ve built and sold 19 homes.”

Dutcher added that two of the acres in Haven Heights are zoned for either a 48-unit apartment building or a couple of 24-unit apartment buildings. “We’ll be building those after all the homes are completed,” he explained.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles spotlighting exciting development projects in our community, and the interesting people behind them.