Builder’s new niche

Then again, we’re not talking about homes aimed at the average buyer. The Arbors range in size from 4,200 to 5,300 square feet and were priced from $886,000 to $1.02 million. They had takers within 30 days of the appearance of the sign announcing the development at Sabine and North Wynnewood Avenues.

Built by Cornell Homes of Broomall, they are believed to be the most expensive residences in a town packed tight with twins and modest single homes selling from the low-$200,000s to the mid-$400,000s.

Duckworth, 39, president of Haverford-based Arcadia, lives in one of those twins with his wife and two daughters. He acknowledged that most of the Arbors’ buyers are, unlike him, “employed in recession-proof industries.”

That he is not is why it might be some time before Arcadia has something new to show off. The 11-employee company was formed in 1997 by his father, W. Joseph Duckworth, the former chief executive officer of Realen Homes, along with a couple of partners to promote less-land-consuming, more-socially oriented walkable communities.

But for now, real estate consulting is Arcadia’s primary focus, with Jason Duckworth, a former management consultant for McKinsey Co. who joined Arcadia more than 10 years ago, leading a staff that helps banks, investment groups, and public and private property owners with land- and property-management issues. Rich Wilson, who previously was a consultant in land development and land-use planning, is Arcadia’s vice president.

“It’s more satisfying building something like this,” Duckworth allowed while sitting inside one of the Narberth Arbors homes – a $1 million Craftsman bungalow bought by his father. “But hey, we’re still in business.”

Oddly, that has a lot to do with the misfortune of others also trying to make a living in land development.

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