30045 Eagle Crest Road • Milton, DE 19968 • (302) 645-9464
Project begun 23 years ago
After 23 years and through three generations of family-driven development, the Villages of Five Points in Lewes is being handed over to the people who live, work and play there.
“Now that the vision is complete and the residential units are sold, we as developers have finished our role and are turning over the reins and control to the property owners' association to govern the day-to-day issues of the common areas and architectural bylaws within the community,” said Jamin Hudson of Hudson Management.
“This POA turnover will memorialize and finalize the completion of the community,” said Christian Hudson, Hudson Management. “The original vision for the community has been completed. Our grandfather, father, Mike Lynn and now my brother and myself have created, built and delivered on what was approved and permitted. We have fulfilled the original vision for the once 200-acre farm field into the small town that it is today.”
The Villages of Five Points became the very first traditional mixed-use, master-planned community in the First State. After supporting the development for almost 20 years, the Hudsons are ready to relinquish proprietorship and transfer ownership of Five Points to the community.
“Our work here is done,” said Christian Hudson. “It is time to give control of the community to the people who call it home.”
Ideas and conversations surfaced around a planned community after father-and-son developers Joe and Craig Hudson purchased 200 acres at the corner of Route 1 and Savannah Road in Lewes.
“When my grandfather and dad first bought the land for Five Points I was just a freshman in high school,” said Jamin Hudson. “Growing up, I remember Dad talking about his plans for developing the property. It was an exciting time for our family. As soon as I graduated from college I started work alongside my dad, grandfather, brother, Mike and Robin. It was a project that the whole family was involved with and it became a labor of love. From construction management, to home-building, to leasing, sales, marketing, landscaping and manual labor, we did a little bit of everything.”
“My dad and grandfather were a little frustrated when they purchased the land back in 1998 because it was far more expensive than everything else in the area,” said Christian Hudson. “Pop Pop said, I think it is worth it. I am going to buy it. Dad said, then I will too. And the deal was done. They wanted to do something different. They wanted to go big.”
The father-son team had experience with single-family subdivisions, mobile home communities and small residential developments but this would be their biggest project yet. They brought local builder and commercial developer Mike Lynn of RDM on as a partner. The concept and vision for a sustainable planned community started to take shape.
“With 200 acres, we had an opportunity to create an integrated community where people could walk anywhere for anything they needed,” said Lynn. “We focused on a model that would allow the community to maintain integrity and the unique core values the development was built on.”
The team hired architect James Ritter from Alexandria, Va., Martin Dusibber of GMB in Lewes and Jeff Clark of Land Tech in Ocean View and spent the next several days walking the streets of downtown Lewes, Dover and Berlin, Md., to gather ideas.
In 2003 the team delivered the first home. Robin Davis, a former Hudson Management employee and project coordinator of Five Points, was part of the project from the beginning.
“I am a realtor now and Five Points is my favorite place to sell in,” said Davis. “We started with North Village and took reservations. The first building sold out in two hours. The demand was there. The community was ready for this development. We even sold lots where some didn’t build right away because they were saving them for their retirement homes.”
By 2001, the condominiums in North Village were completed and the Hudsons broke ground on the restaurants downtown. Then two more phases. Single-family homes filled West Village and townhomes in Town Center West. Additional town center condominiums sold out, and developers finished the community out with single family homes in the East Village and added lots of amenities including two pools, eight tennis courts, children’s playground, soccer field and pavilion, and over 1.5 miles of walking trails.
As with any development, concerns were expressed by nearby residents. The Hudson’s didn’t hide; they welcomed the feedback and addressed the issues. This is the reason Villages of Five Points has mass transit with a public bus service that runs through the development.
The Villages of Five Points now has 586 residential units and 140,000 square feet of commercial space.
Beth Umstead, association manager, of ResortQuest, has managed the common area in Five Points since 2007. She said it is a town all its own.
“The homeowners love it because it is a walking community,” said Umstead “The walking path will get you to the grocery store, restaurants, bars, coffee shop and retail stores. You can leave your car keys at home and conveniently walk wherever your heart desires."
As the development phase of the process comes to a close for the Hudsons they can now reflect on the milestones and accomplishments this project has brought to their family business.
"The Hudson family has done so much to spur economic development in Sussex County,” said Scott Kammerer, CEO of SoDel Concepts. “The Villages of Five Points is a great example of a successful mixed-use community that has a variety of housing options for residents, a thriving business community, and also encourages a feeling of community through cultural and recreational events. We are happy to partner with the Hudson Family in our business, Fish On!, in their community The Villages of Five Points."
“The concept was great,” said Bill Frankis, owner of The Greene Turtle at Five Points. “The Hudsons had a visionary mind-set - live where you work and work where you live.”
“We are going on our 9th year in Five Points and the experience and business has been great,” said Ramsey Schrader, Arena's owner. “The town center definitely has a communal feel and attracts both residents and people from Lewes and Rehoboth.”
“It was a great learning experience and a real blessing to work alongside my dad, grandfather and brother on such a great project, and it is very fulfilling and humbling to finally complete the vision that Dad and Mike started almost 20 years ago,” said Jamin Hudson.