Builderbrings the outside in

Published on Thu, Mar 15, 2007 by ack Kintner

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Builder brings the outside in

By Jack Kintner

Morrie De Boer is the first contractor to purchase lots in Charlie Lewsader’s 29-acre Malibu development near Point Whitehorn.

A partnership that De Boer formed with realtor Jim Kaemingk called Northwest Ideal Construction has purchased the first four lots in Lewsader’s 101-unit development where prices range from $135,000 to $169,000 per lot, most of which are about 11,000 to 12,000 square feet, larger than the typical 8,000-square-foot building lot.

“The average price in the development should be in the ballpark of about $480,000,” Lewsader said.

According to De Boer, their first unit is listed at $489,900. This house is about a month away from completion and, he says, its design shows how he’s trying to bring the outdoors inside by taking the inside out, something he’ll design into all four structures.

He’s doing this in several ways. The development itself is an easy walk to Birch Bay State Park, a few blocks north, with all its outdoor amenities.

The four houses he’s building are on the high southern side of the 29-acre development and have views of Birch Bay, Birch Point and the B.C. Coast Mountains in the distance.

Once houses are built in the lots across the street the view will be somewhat restricted but the houses will be sited to keep at least partial views between them.

The 2,450-square-foot house has a great room on the ground floor that also includes dining, kitchen and entryway areas.

The southwest-facing wall opposite the main entry features two sets of glass doors and a string of windows that face a conservation easement which rings the development around the outside edge and passes behind De Boer’s project houses. The easement takes up several acres and a trail winds through the middle of it.

Walking in the front door, visitors are treated to a panoramic view of the natural vegetation in the buffer that is so close it almost looks like a nature display.

This view can’t be blocked. Whatcom County has posted signs on the trail warning “This upland buffer and critical area is protected to provide wildlife habitat and maintain water quality. Please do not disturb this valuable resource.”

Kaemingk said “We’re targeting empty nesters, like the couple retiring from Boeing who told us they wanted a place they could vacation in for a few years before moving in permanently.”

He sees the protected area encircling the property as a kind of community trust, and hopes that it will be a draw for people who will be interested in protecting it.

The final touch is the outside living room, just outside a set of double-hung glass doors that frame the view of the conservation easement.

De Boer has created an inviting outdoor space defined by a concrete pad that extends out into the lawn, pillars clad in cedar, a large porch-type roof overhead and an outside gas fireplace faced with stone that goes to the ceiling.

Between the trees near the house and the roof the area should be reasonably weatherproof for outside gatherings at least six months out of the year.

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