House party: Paraprin Construction eager to show off first homes in new phase of Cold Creek Crossing

Josh Hammond knows how to sell the location of Cold Creek Crossing.  

The years-in-the-making development south of Venice Road on Sandusky’s west side is, as the marketing and recruitment manager for Cleveland-based Paraprin Construction points out, a stone’s throw from the Sandusky Bay, The Original Margaritaville and, last but not least, right around the corner from the Toft Dairy Ice Cream Parlor.

“It’s a really awesome neighborhood, man,” Hammond says during a recent phone interview.

In the works for about two decades, Cold Creek Crossing was to have been done by a master developer, but, while some homes were built and sold, that’s ultimately how it went. 

In recent years, Paraprin Construction – a newer division of Paraprin Capital – bought a chunk of land there from the city for a new phase of development and is ready to begin selling what Hammond says are about half of the 24 lots it owns and on which it will build homes. In fact, prospective buyers and any other interested parties are just a few days away from having a look inside the two styles of homes in the works. 

The first Hammond mentions is The Sheffield, a two-story, 2,800-square-foot house with four bedrooms, the master residing on the first floor. Other features include a cathedral ceiling, a corner fireplace and a large island in the kitchen. 

“It’s a really impressive house when you walk in,” he says. “It’s got a lot of depth, openness and an airy feel.”

The Sheffield starts at $399,990, he says.

Starting at $10,000 less, the Fremont is a three-bedroom ranch-style house boasting 2,300 square feet, a vaulted ceiling and, like the Sheffield, a large island in the kitchen. 

“You can sit your whole family around it,” Hammond says.

Optional features with both the Fremont and the Sheffield can increase the price, as can the size of the lot.

All the homes will have full unfinished basements, including a spot where a bathroom could be built. And oh, by the way, finishing a basement is something Paraprin would be happy to discuss with a buyer, Hammond says. 

“We have a lot of flexibility compared to some of the other large shops that are more cookie-cutter the way they do things,” he says. “We can be nimble.”

He acknowledges, however, that while Paraprin has built custom homes – including one in Marblehead – Cold Creek Crossing is the company’s first development and that Paraprin simply does not have the name recognition of some of its much older competitors. That’s why he points to two men hired when this division of Paraprin was launched: Chief Operating Officer John Sherer and Senior Project Manager Dave Linna.

“The guys we have in charge of our new building have done it for years – 50 years combined,” he says. “They’ve built thousands of homes.”

Hammond wears more hats than his title suggests, including working closely with the city.

“Aside from Paraprin,” he says, “I think they’re the most excited to have this done.”

That’s the vibe you get from Chief Neighborhood Development Officer Colleen Gilson, who also has been serving as interim assistant city manager. 

“There has been such an amazing renaissance in downtown Sandusky, as you’re well aware,” she says during a separate interview. "(The question has been) how do we now grow that and use the success that’s been brought to bear here out into neighborhoods?”

Gilson is ready to see Sheffields and Fremonts line the eastern side of Cold Creek Boulevard, which sits empty for a stretch after the turn from Venice.

“It’s showing in some respects that new construction in neighborhoods is here,” she says. "There was a slowdown in the market over the last few years, but we’re seeing more development happening – and a committed developer … that bought several lots for development. 

“That shows strength in the market.”

Plus, the building comes at a time when there is a demand for housing in many places around the country, and Gilson points to a not-yet-released regional study about the state of housing in the Firelands.

“It’s definitely pointing to a housing shortage – and not just affordable housing, which we hear time and time again, but housing in all different market ranges from middle-market housing to market-rate housing to affordable.”

As for what Paraprin is bringing to the equation, the company is just about ready to show off a completed version of both styles of the houses, with an open-house event slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 15.

“Come on out,” Hammond says. “Tour the homes and meet some of the construction crew. (Sherer) and (Linna) will be there, and I’ll be there myself.”

And if a new home in Cold Creek Crossing isn’t right for you, Gilson says the city would like to help find what is.

“They can start by calling our office, and we’ll help shepherd them through a development process, (whether) it’s something they want to develop on their own or (we can) send them off to developers that are eager to build homes.

“We’re open for business, and we want to continue to repopulate the city and increase the folks that want to call this place home.”