July 19, 2014

Stonebridge Trails hearkens families home for a lifetime

Sometimes you adore a neighborhood so much, you choose to build not one, but two homes there. Such is the case for Wendy Francis, who loved Stonebridge Trails so thoroughly that in 2008 she moved one block over from her first Chris George-designed home into her second.

“When we built the original house, we were literally the first ones in the community,” Francis recalled. “I have a habit of browsing model homes for fun and found one I loved, but it was in a different subdivision. Still, I refused to leave Stonebridge Trails. So we built our second home with Chris George Homes, this one larger and better meeting our needs. It’s just one block over, so I get to see my old house all the time.”

Wendy feels great pride in watching the Stonebridge Trails neighborhood thrive, and through her efforts as part of the start-up committee for Rodrock’s Mom’s Council, she’s done much to build that sense of community.

“The Council hosts so many social activities, which my kids absolutely love,” she said. “There’s a Fourth of July bike parade, Easter egg hunt and holiday hayride. The holiday hayride event is my favorite, because we have a visit from Santa and everyone enjoys a hot chocolate bar before being whisked away on a horse-drawn wagon, serenaded by Christmas carols, to enjoy the lights and decorations on the homes. It is awesome.”

This unparalleled focus on families is what first attracted Cathy and Chris Hubler to the neighborhood.

“Stonebridge Trails is a really good family community,” Cathy Hubler said. “At the beginning of the summer, we have a barbeque to kick off the season with the whole subdivision, and another end-of-the-summer bash before school starts. All our neighbors have kids about the same age as ours, so you can go outside and there’s always somebody to play with. It’s been such a great place for our family.”

Another selling point for this active family was the paved trails, which link the neighborhood to the larger Stonebridge community: Stonebridge Meadows, Stonebridge Village and Stonebridge Park.

“We loved the idea that the trail will eventually connect to Heritage Park, too,” added Hubler. “And of course, we’re huge fans of all the amenities, such as the basketball court and the workout facility in the clubhouse.”

The expansive trail system offers residents an easy way to visit friends and make use of the extended neighborhood’s impressive four pools, various playgrounds, and two richly appointed clubhouses complete with workout facilities. In fact, Stonebridge boasts a junior Olympic-size pool and water slide; zero-entry pools and changing cabanas; pergola-covered grills; picnic areas; hard-surface sport court for basketball, tennis, and volleyball; and several well-equipped children’s playgrounds.

The trails also allow many neighborhood kids to easily walk to Prairie Creek Elementary School, which won the 2013 and 2014 Governor’s Award. Rodrock has dedicated 30 acres of adjacent land for a new middle school now in the planning stages.

But Stonebridge Trails isn’t just for families with young children, as the Willers can attest.

“We were living in an older, two-story home when we retired,” explained Linda Willer. “Eventually, we decided we were ready for new, one-level living. We liked this neighborhood. There are a variety of builders and home styles to choose from. We particularly liked the reverse-story-and-a-half homes built by Rockwood Homes. Rich Pfaff, our builder, worked with us to facilitate some changes to make it ‘our’ home.”

The Willers’ grandchildren make ample use of the pool, basketball courts and playground when they visit.

“It’s a family-friendly neighborhood,” Willer said. “But our favorite activity is sitting on our covered deck and looking out at the beautiful country views. In the spring in the early morning, we can hear and occasionally see wild turkeys. That was a fun surprise.”

“It’s true that while we’re minutes from everywhere — I don’t even have to go past a stoplight to go to the grocery store, doctor or sit-down restaurant — it’s almost like it’s on the edge of the country,” Francis agreed. “I look out the window and see deer and turkey in our backyard. The location, the sense of community, the people who are here, and the amenities — truthfully, there’s so much to appreciate about Stonebridge Trails.”

And much of that excitement extends to plans for a new phase, which will open come September.

“Some of the 50 lots will be daylight and a few may be walk-ups, but we have so many green-space and cul-de-sac lots,” said Roberta Kranz, a longtime Rodrock Development marketing agent. “These are truly primo, primo lots.”

But she also has good news for those seeking a more immediate place to call home.

“We have two brand new model homes at the ready, the McKenna by Gabriel Homes, which is fabulous, and another beautifully designed plan by Summit Custom Homes, the Preston Ridge IV,” Krantz said. “We only have two lots left in this phase and a number of spec homes, all with different phases of occupancy times. It’s a very exciting time at Stonebridge Trails.”

Stonebridge Trails

Location: 165th Street and Mur-Len Road.

Prices: Homes from $300,000 to $400,000; home sites from $63,950.

Contact: Joan Jacquin or Roberta Kranz, Rodrock & Associates Realtors, 913-764-1667 or


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