Charming, light-filled cottages right in the heart of Johnson County

08/15/2014 7:00 PM

08/16/2014 12:00 AM

Envision a European-style village filled with charming cottages and friendly neighbors. Now position it squarely in the midst of the best that Johnson County has to offer.

Sound too good to be true? Well, sometimes you come upon a development so rare, words fail to capture its magic. Such is the case with the Cottages at Woodridge, which is cozily situated just north of the thriving 135th and Metcalf corner.

As a professional artist, Penny Dillon has spent the better part of her 75 years trying to capture magic on canvas. With a discerning eye for beauty and a professional need for ample natural light, she’s a most discriminating homebuyer. And she’s also the Cottages’ biggest fan.

“I just love the Cottages,” Dillon said. “Each cottage, no matter how small, has three exposures — mine is north, south and west. While all the homes are connected, the architect was able to give us three exposures no matter the size of the unit. We have high, high ceilings, which helps make even the smaller homes seem larger. It’s just delightful. And everything is on one floor, so the Cottages age gracefully with their homeowners.”

Designed by one of Kansas City’s most gifted architects, Wolfgang Trost, the ranch-style homes range in size from 1,560 to more than 2,200 square feet. Elegant arched entryways and windows, cathedral ceilings, extra-wide doorways, two-car garages, and solariums opening onto beautiful patios are just some of the thoughtfully designed elements that make the Cottages truly one-of-a-kind.

But an eye on design was only part of what tempted Dillon to make the Cottages home these past five years. “It’s absolutely centrally located,” she said. “We go out to eat a lot, and we can get anyplace so easily. And a lot of us in the Cottages find it comforting that the police station, St. Luke’s South and so many doctor’s offices are within a five-minute drive.”

There are currently 11 occupied homes in this tight-knit community. “Just like the name ‘Cottages’ implies, we’re like our own little village,” Dillon said. “We just got together for a picnic the other week. If one of us goes out of town, we watch each other’s places.”

Phillip Sanders, president of Darol Rodrock Homes, will be starting the new phase at the Cottages, which will include 12 new home sites (made up of two buildings of five-plex villas), and two freestanding homes with a price range of $300,000 to $380,000. Two home sites have already sold.

But the most exciting part may be that Rodrock listened to the feedback of current homeowners, seeking to improve on the already distinctive designs.

“The original six cottages were on a slab,” said Leslie Young, a longtime Rodrock Development marketing agent. “The feedback was that a lower level was desired for storm protection and storage. We plan to suspend the garage floor to create a large storage/storm shelter basement area. The 20- by 22-square-foot room is accessible by stairs from inside the house and offers protection in case of severe storms while also accommodating overflow items people tend to have when they scale down.”

In addition, Young said, there are three cottages available for sale now. “We have two cottages with two bedrooms called the Eastborough and a three-bedroom called the Southbridge. One Eastborough is on summer special for $274,950, while the other is $279,900, and the Southbridge is priced at $295,000.”

The Cottages at Woodridge are nestled on private driveways and face an English-inspired courtyard graced by a gazebo, verdant interior green spaces, and attractive landscaping. As a maintenance-provided community, building exterior (including roofs), lawn care and landscaping, in-ground sprinkler systems, and snow and trash removal are all taken care of.

“Our homeowners enjoy a truly carefree lifestyle,” Young said. “Their homes are full of light and beautifully detailed so they can proudly entertain. Or they can spend time shopping at the new Corbin Park, explore the new Prairie Fire development, or dine at countless restaurants located just minutes away on 135th street. And what a better group of neighbors to explore the thriving community with. This village is an absolute gem. It’s a vibrant, rare find right in the heart of Johnson County.”

Cottages at Woodridge

Location: 132nd Street between Metcalf and Antioch, Overland Park.

Prices: Homes from $279,900 to $380,000.

Contact: Leslie Young, 913-238-2487, lyoung@rodrock.com.

Cottage Hours: 12-5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Web: Rodrock.com.

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