The Tunxis Heights community in Bloomfield attracts a healthy number of empty-nesters for good reason. The beautifully adorned, well-priced homes offer mostly single-level living conveniently located near work, shopping and Bradley International Airport.
“What I emphasize is the master bedroom suite on the first floor for the empty nesters,” says J.R. Beaudry of Beaudry Homes, who oversees the community.
The Town of Bloomfield is also a draw for residents. Its rural beauty and friendly hometown environment melds seamlessly with a robust corporate presence. Although financial businesses such as ING and The Hartford are almost within walking distance, Tunxis Heights is an enclave in the midst of wooded open space. “We gave the Town of Bloomfield about 22 acres to add to their wildlife corridor and almost 7.5 acres to the Bloomfield Land Trust,” says Beaudry.
His seven home designs for this project are set up more like Florida living where the family area, kitchen and dining room open to each other. “We do our own designing,” says Beaudry, who is a partner in the company his father, Fern Beaudry, Sr., started 30 years ago. J.R. joined the company after finishing college more than 20 years ago.
The Tunxis Heights community began in 2009 with a site plan for 32 single-story ranch and two-story colonial homes. Thus far, 26 homes have been sold. Each home is a single-family unit, and each homeowner owns their own land and house. City water and sewer are provided. The Town of Bloomfield owns and maintains the two cul-de-sac roads winding through the development.
Generous allowances for lightning, appliances, cabinets, counters and flooring give the homeowners numerous decisions to make. Homeowners have a choice of color and material for the cabinets. They have an array of siding, roofing and stonework to consider. In one design, the master bath may come standard with a double sink and makeup table, but those amenities may be optional in another. Walk-out basements, sometimes with over 2,000 square feet of unfinished space, can be designed with a 9-foot ceiling and become a media room, another bedroom and more. Elegant possibilities can be worked out for a coffered or tray ceiling in the dining room, bedroom or study.
Landscaping is also customized. “We have an opportunity to see what trees they would like to save, do they like walk-outs, how much mowing and maintenance do they want,” says J.R. about planning the right home for his clients. His input helps ensure that every home establishes its individuality.
Some of Beaudry’s hallmarks are arched openings between rooms and rounded corners which tend to soften the transition from room to room. He knows people like a master baths with sizable floor space and a large shower. He keeps the master bedroom suite at the opposite end of the house from other bedrooms.
Empty-nesters Ken and Susan Greco moved into their Tunxis Heights home in September of 2009. “We were offered a ranch-style house that was conducive to our lifestyle,” says Susan. “We do have a basement area that is finished, too. We have a recreational area, a fireplace, a workout area, and a bar. There’s a full bath with a sauna and a workshop.”
Several brainstorming sessions were held between J.R. and the Grecos during the design process. “He offered a lot of ideas and suggestions, a lot of good, creative ideas,” says Ken about Beaudry.
“We did modify the kitchen to what we wanted,” adds Susan. “I said, ‘I want a pantry closet over there’ and they were very amenable. It worked very well.”
The Grecos also appreciated the array of vendors available to them. “We worked with some of those vendors (such as Holloways in Simsbury, Connecticut Lighting Centers and TNB Marble N Granite in Hartford, and Walker Kitchen Design in Granby) previously and were pleased with the choices.”
The couple connected a rear deck with a porch and often enjoy the outdoors. “It’s our own private retreat,” says Susan. “We can look at a beautiful view. We have a preserve in the backyard. It’s private and welcoming and very relaxing after a long day.”
“The home is very well-built and very pleasing to the eye, not a cookie cutter,” says Ken. The couple is also pleased with the energy efficiency of their new house. “This is a bigger home than our previous home and it costs us less for utilities,” says Susan.
Just over two years ago, Kevin Burke and his wife moved into their newly constructed Tunxis Heights home. Switching from a two-story Cape Cod home nearby, the Burkes believe they made a great choice.
“We had never built a home before, so it was new,” says Kevin about the design and construction process. “The kitchen had to be laid out, what kind of carpeting, where light switches would go, eight- or nine-foot ceilings. I think, overall, we made good choices.”
Working off a basic floor plan, the Burkes appreciated how their ideas morphed the design into a personal one. “J.R. would move around closets and bathrooms for us,” says Kevin. “He was very accommodating about our changes. We have a dining room with a 14-foot ceiling.”
Beaudry is a Certified Green Home Builder. His expertise helped the Burkes develop a green home. “I’m very enamored with the geothermal,” says Kevin. “It helps keep costs down. It takes care of heating in winter and cooling in summer. Because of insulation, our electrical bills have been less than in the Cape Cod, and we don’t have oil bills.”
And there’s an additional benefit besides the beautiful home that the Burkes are enjoying. “We moved down here and didn’t know anyone,” says Kevin. “We made 30 sets of new friends. It’s mostly empty-nesters, but some people have children.”
Open houses at Tunxis Heights in Bloomfield are held on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. at 12 Beaudry Lane. For more information on the community or to schedule a private showing contact J.R. Beaudry of Beaudry Homes at 888-904-9250.
Builder: Beaudry Homes
Price: Starting at $347,000 to $408,900
Style: Contemporary, ranch and colonial
Rooms: 6 or more
Bedrooms: 2 to 4
Baths: 2 to 3
Square footage: 1,877 to 2,414 square feet
Acreage: 35 acres
Tax rate: 34.84 mills
Best feature: Custom homes with myriad options
Contact: J.R. Beaudry, Beaudry Homes, 888-904-9250
Larry Greene is a freelance writer based in Norwich.Copyright © 2015, CT Now