Brunswick Forest steadily growing in size and influence
October 9, 2014Brunswick Forest
By: Jason Gonzales
Construction is seemingly never-ending in Brunswick Forest, where a new phase of 44 townhomes is about to get underway.”It is up and coming, and there are a lot of people moving in,” said Leland Town Manager David Hollis. “It’s one of the primary reasons that Leland is experiencing growth.”
Someday, Brunswick Forest will hold about as many residents as the town’s current population of 16,000. And even though the development isn’t close yet to the 7.500 homes expected to be built there, the effects of the residents moving to Leland are being felt.
Brunswick Forest resident Larry Blank, 66, points to the current town council.
“Look at the composition of the council, and already in the years that Brunswick Forest has been in existence we have had two members on the council,” he said.
Jon Tait, elected in 2011, and Bob Corriston, elected in 2013, are strong representatives for the development, especially when Brunswick Forest residents get behind an issue, said resident Elaine Ruoff.
Permit parking has especially been a hot political topic in the past year. The issue has become a focus for the town but started on the streets of Brunswick Forest.
“We have a great impact on Leland,” Ruoff said.
Construction has moved along with little slowdown despite the 2008 recession because when residents buy lots, infrastructure has already been installed. Lord Baltimore Capital Corp., the developer, has the financial backing to prepare home-ready sites, unlike many developments in the county that were stalled or killed by the recession.Tait estimated Brunswick Forest now has 1,600 homes and estimated 3,000 residents.
Many of those residents want to volunteer, work and participate in the community, he said.
“They’re getting signed up, and they’re motivated,” Tait said.
Yet residents are quick to draw the line when talking about which community they are volunteering for. Blank said there is no Brunswick Forest-versus-Leland attitude.
“They have the ability to be the 900-pound gorilla,” Blank said. “But they love this area and want to be part of it.”
Longtime Leland resident and Mayor Brenda Bozeman agreed. Although Brunswick Forest is a political force, she said, the residents care about more than just their own needs.
“Leland gets applications for committees, and half are from Brunswick Forest,” she said. “They’re offering their services…. They help and volunteer.”
Corriston said it’s because when people moved to Brunswick Forest, they identified with Leland more than any development. He hopes someday there is no difference between old and new Leland.
“We are all one family,” he said. “And we reach to help out each other.”