When construction started in 1981, Laconia’s South Down Farm offered an ideal picturesque setting for condominium homes. Located at the former 126 acre “Taylor Farm” the original planned community had some marketing flaws and the project stalled. I was brought in by the bank that financed the original community to sell the remaining five or six units at the Fells Condominium located in a field off of Parade Road. After we sold those original units, the original developer stepped out of the project it was then that L. John Davidson arrived in July of 1983, South Down was dead in the water and in trouble financially. Enter Davidson, a true visionary who comes up with a completely new waterfront concept plan geared to the vacation home market to give the stalled project new credibility. He then acquired multiple adjoining parcels and almost a mile of shorefront on Paugus Bay. The name was then changed to “South Down Shores” then carried forward to “Long Bay” its sister community and the rest is history.
Today, 36 years later, South Down Shores and Long Bay encompass over 360 acres with almost 1 mile of shorefront on Lake Winnipesaukee. These private, gated communities feature unique villages and single-family homes of many architectural styles. A huge investment infrastructure for roads, city water/sewer and underground utilities was made. Davidson created a private yacht club for boats complete with boat slips, racks and a launch area with multiple sandy beaches and breakwaters. Throughout South Down and Long Bay, he crafted a series of beautifully landscaped ponds, community buildings, walking trails and an immense waterfront greenbelt common area along the entire shoreline, for all residents to enjoy.
Both communities now have over 600 property owners from many geographic areas who can call the Lakes Region “home”. Many are vacation homeowners & semi-retirees and others are year-round, permanent residents. Davidson’s ‘vision’ and hard work paid off immensely for the City of Laconia. Today both communities contribute somewhere close to $3.5 million annually to the City of Laconia’s tax revenue. That’s a lot of income, which has helped the city grow its infrastructure, schools, police station, and other amenities.
Not only that but think of the economic impact these 600+ families have contributed to the Lakes Region. The pure size of the development infrastructure, amenity package and huge amount of housing constructed has created a massive amount of jobs over the years for local engineers, surveyors, architects, attorneys, site contractors, home builders, landscape companies and all of the other trades connected with the home building industry. Realtors have also benefited; I know our company and our associates have been involved in more than 600 sales since the 1980s. Most importantly, all of the vacation homeowners, semi-retirees, and residents who have called South Down Shores “home” since its inception have immensely supported all of the businesses which operate in the Lakes Region. Just think of the boat dealers, home improvement stores, contractors, furniture stores, automotive dealers, restaurants, entertainment venues, ski areas and all other attractions that have profited from the families who have become a fabric of our area.
So just who is this man that saved the South Down Farm project? L. John Davidson grew up in Andover, MA and graduated from Phillips Andover and Harvard University. As a young man he worked in his father’s restaurants, he was an air controller in the Korean War and later operated clothing stores called “The Andover Shop” in Cambridge & Andover. He also developed the 400-acre land package for the Raytheon Company Missile Systems Plant and he reconstructed Andover Square after defeating Urban Renewal in the 1960s. From 1965-1970 Davidson bought out 70 separate parcels of land, an entire valley in Quechee, VT. He became the architect/developer of one of the largest and most successful developments in New England. The community was called Quechee Lakes and included 6000 acres where Davidson placed 50% of the land in a permanent greenbelt to preserve the integrity and natural beauty of the valley. There are currently over 1700 homes and condominiums in The Queechee Development where he rebuilt a covered bridge over the Ottauquechee River, restored an abandoned mill and relocated other buildings throughout the town. He developed ski trails and built ski lifts for the residents, two championship golf courses, two lakes and a 50-mile trail system. Davidson’s “farmstead concept” was unique to the real estate industry and he was the first to offer the single-family home as a condominium. Davidson later on created condominium suites in Maine and he financed a salvage expedition that raised a 70-foot sections H.M.S DeBraak shipwreck, a British warship that sank off the coast of Delaware in 1798 rumored to be carrying vast treasures. Over the past decade, he embarked on an “egg-venture,” where he spent millions developing an egg pasteurization process to eliminate salmonella and bacteria. He now holds 6 patents. John presently resides in Atkinson, NH.
Although Stanford, Connecticut, may have more Fortune 500 Companies per square mile and Boston is certainly an economic engine, these major cities lack one critical resource that the Lakes Region has in abundance. Our beautiful lakes, mountains, forests and rivers continue to attract tourists to our area and new property owners to our area, and they all contribute to the Lakes Region growth and prosperity. Business development and industry growth is likewise important for our economy’s engine and like any community, we need jobs to prosper. However, we can’t lose sight of what our region is all about; we’re primarily a tourist, second home, and semi-retired home market. We also have a strong primary residential market in our surrounding towns, with many young families investing in the Lakes Region. All of us in the Lakes Region should strive to make it the best possible New England destination. Quality development is critical; we need to develop communities we can be proud of, like South Down Shores and Long Bay. I’ve seen the excitement first-hand in the comments from families who have purchased over the years. They absolutely love the community and the entire Lakes Region. They may have started out by renting in the community and then graduated to a small condominium and eventually into a permanent single-family home. So many of them have commented that there’s so much more to do here in the Lakes Region than there was 25 years ago. Nowadays, we have many attractions like The Tanger Outlet Mall, Bank of NH Music Pavilion, the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Gunstock Mountain Resort, The NH Motor Speedway, and many new restaurants and eateries. Additionally, there are so many more events to participate in, such as craft fairs, The New England Pond Hockey Classic, fishing derbies, car and boat shows, and the NH Pumpkin Festival.
The popularity of these two communities is evident by the strong sales activity over the past years as follows:
The average selling price of $389,856
Price range of $162,000-$770,000
The average selling price of $365,893
Price range of $174,750-$900,000
The average selling price of $456,211
Price range of $178,000-$1,175,000
At the present time in 2020, 14 homes have sold for an average selling price of $501,570 with a price range of $239,000-$1,130,000 and there are 7 properties available for sale ranging in price from $260,000-$1,249,500.
That’s a pretty good testimonial to the success of these fine communities.
This article was written by Frank Roche. Frank is president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Data was compiled by a NEREN map search on 06/11/2020 and is subject to change. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.
Looking for South Down Shores or Long Bay real estate?
MLS # 4873545
City: Laconia, State: NH
Price: $469900Come view this privately located meticulous townhouse within the gated community of South Down Shores on Lake Winnipesaukee. Located at West Harbor, you are just a quick walk or golf cart ride to the waterfront's beach, greenspace, and marina. This townhouse offers two spacious levels of living. The first floor has recently been remodeled with a new kitchen, appliances, lighting, flooring, new windows, central AC, and fresh interior paint in every room! The open concept kitchen/dining area/living room feels spacious enough for entertaining a group or just relaxing with family. This home is one of the few at South Down that offers both a deck and a 3 season porch, both of which offer a great deal of privacy toward the backyard. There is a wood burning fireplace, laundry and an office with a half bath that would make a great 4th bedroom. Upstairs youâll find a large ensuite, 2 more bedrooms and a full bath. With 1, 693 square feet, this is definitely one of the larger condos in SDS. This unit is ready to move into and enjoy. Purchase this condo and you will be able to enjoy all that South Down Shore at Lake Winnipesaukee has to offer. South Down Shores community offers miles of walking trails, basketball and tennis courts, bocce ball courts, waterfront picnic area, beach, clubhouse, playground, snowmobile trails, ice skating pond, snowshoe & cross country skiing trails. Gunstock Mountain Resort is 15 minutes away as a year round playground. All for just $469, 900 60f88dec34e2b5363d6d1185 0.00 9689 Beach Access Beach Rights Club House Tennis Court Near Golf Course Near Paths 1 0 0 2 3 3 1693 Laconia RE_1 West Harbor NH-Belknap Parade Road to South Down Shores. Through gate (code required) onto Outerbridge Drive. Right at the stop sign onto Davidson Drive. Take the 2nd left onto Schooner Lane. See unit 6B to the right. Paved Parking 6 Schooner Lane B Deck Porch neren3 0 60f88c6834e2b535887c7145 1 1 1626958532 43.5711160 1626825600 469900 Kevin Shaw 4873545 Active -71.4720292 Condo Development Level Walking Trails 4873545 1484 6 Schooner, Laconia, NH 03246 1627056539 Roche Realty Group, Inc 1 36 277 Condominium Residential Come view this privately located meticulous townhouse within the gated community of South Down Shores on Lake Winnipesaukee. Located at West Harbor, you are just a quick walk or golf cart ride to the waterfront's beach, greenspace, and marina. This townhouse offers two spacious levels of living. The first floor has recently been remodeled with a new kitchen, appliances, lighting, flooring, new windows, central AC, and fresh interior paint in every room! The open concept kitchen/dining area/living room feels spacious enough for entertaining a group or just relaxing with family. This home is one of the few at South Down that offers both a deck and a 3 season porch, both of which offer a great deal of privacy toward the backyard. There is a wood burning fireplace, laundry and an office with a half bath that would make a great 4th bedroom. Upstairs youâll find a large ensuite, 2 more bedrooms and a full bath. With 1, 693 square feet, this is definitely one of the larger condos in SDS. This unit is ready to move into and enjoy. Purchase this condo and you will be able to enjoy all that South Down Shore at Lake Winnipesaukee has to offer. South Down Shores community offers miles of walking trails, basketball and tennis courts, bocce ball courts, waterfront picnic area, beach, clubhouse, playground, snowmobile trails, ice skating pond, snowshoe & cross country skiing trails. Gunstock Mountain Resort is 15 minutes away as a year round playground. All for just $469, 900 Pets - Allowed Pets - Cats Allowed Pets - Dogs Allowed Dead End Laconia Sch Dst SAU #30 NH 2 Schooner 6 Townhouse South Down Shores B 1627056795 https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=isLdbkBskLd&mls=1 Beach Access Yes Lake Winnipesaukee No Lake 1986 03246 ListPrice 469900 1626901996 469900 ListingStatus Active 1626901996 Active Point -71.4720292 43.571116 RETS http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/fb45-4873545-1-neren3.jpg 1 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/b6da-4873545-2-neren3.jpg 2 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/5705-4873545-3-neren3.jpg 3 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/dbcd-4873545-4-neren3.jpg 4 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/3982-4873545-5-neren3.jpg 5 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/9e53-4873545-6-neren3.jpg 6 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/936e-4873545-7-neren3.jpg 7 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/c0c3-4873545-8-neren3.jpg 8 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/3bb3-4873545-9-neren3.jpg 9 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/7b37-4873545-10-neren3.jpg 10 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/ddce-4873545-11-neren3.jpg 11 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/e8d1-4873545-12-neren3.jpg 12 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/7154-4873545-13-neren3.jpg 13 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/dfbe-4873545-14-neren3.jpg 14 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/d0a6-4873545-15-neren3.jpg 15 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/9018-4873545-16-neren3.jpg 16 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/dd7d-4873545-17-neren3.jpg 17 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/0c33-4873545-18-neren3.jpg 18 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/696f-4873545-19-neren3.jpg 19 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/dceb-4873545-20-neren3.jpg 20 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/fe08-4873545-21-neren3.jpg 21 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/b6b2-4873545-22-neren3.jpg 22 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/4f80-4873545-23-neren3.jpg 23 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/b1ed-4873545-24-neren3.jpg 24 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/2166-4873545-25-neren3.jpg 25 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/0b99-4873545-26-neren3.jpg 26 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/8922-4873545-27-neren3.jpg 27 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/073d-4873545-28-neren3.jpg 28 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/79e5-4873545-29-neren3.jpg 29 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/e08a-4873545-30-neren3.jpg 30 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/6db1-4873545-31-neren3.jpg 31 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/4f06-4873545-32-neren3.jpg 32 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/52f4-4873545-33-neren3.jpg 33 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/2f07-4873545-34-neren3.jpg 34 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/cc89-4873545-35-neren3.jpg 35 1626971196 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/02e6-4873545-36-neren3.jpg 36 1626971196 1626971196 1626971259 https://tour.neren.com/6-Schooner-Lane-B-Laconia-NH-03246/unbranded
MLS # 4869306
City: Laconia, State: NH
Price: $739000Gorgeous home in Long Bay at Lake Winnipesaukee â one of the few gated communities along the lake. This three-bedroom, three-bath, open-concept home is turnkey and ready for summer. Once you have entered through the two-car garage, you will find a mudroom and laundry room. An open concept layout, vaulted ceilings, and large propane fireplace in the living room make this a comfortable home for entertaining and hosting the entire family. There is a master suite, a second room that could be another bedroom or office, and a 3-season porch with screens and windows on the main floor. The home's second level consists of two large bedrooms and a full bath. A full basement provides additional storage, and the unfinished bonus room above the garage would be perfect for another office or a fifth bedroom. Long Bay has 2, 000' of waterfront on Lake Winnipesaukee. You can enjoy two beautiful beaches, an inground pool, playground, clubhouse, kayak racks, tennis, pickleball & bocce ball courts, and miles of walking trails, minutes from Gunstock Ski Area, Laconia Opera House, BNH Music Pavilion, downtown Meredith, shopping, golf, hiking, many restaurants, and marinas. 60da391334e2b5734d158e22 0.00 9689 Beach Access Beach Rights Club House Day Dock Dry Dock Tennis Court Near Golf Course Near Snowmobile Trails Interior 1 0 0 2 3 3 2132 Laconia RE_1 NH-Belknap Hard Surface Flooring Paved Parking 148 Long Bay Drive Patio Pool - In Ground Porch neren3 1 2 Attached 1 1 60da383534e2b572f523c2c2 1 1 1 1 1626697051 43.5826837 1624838400 739000 Kevin Shaw 4869306 Active -71.4733544 Level Trail/Near Trail Walking Trails 4869306 1484 148 Long Bay, Laconia, NH 03246 1626697249 Roche Realty Group, Inc 1 40 346 Single Family Homes Residential Gorgeous home in Long Bay at Lake Winnipesaukee â one of the few gated communities along the lake. This three-bedroom, three-bath, open-concept home is turnkey and ready for summer. Once you have entered through the two-car garage, you will find a mudroom and laundry room. An open concept layout, vaulted ceilings, and large propane fireplace in the living room make this a comfortable home for entertaining and hosting the entire family. There is a master suite, a second room that could be another bedroom or office, and a 3-season porch with screens and windows on the main floor. The home's second level consists of two large bedrooms and a full bath. A full basement provides additional storage, and the unfinished bonus room above the garage would be perfect for another office or a fifth bedroom. Long Bay has 2, 000' of waterfront on Lake Winnipesaukee. You can enjoy two beautiful beaches, an inground pool, playground, clubhouse, kayak racks, tennis, pickleball & bocce ball courts, and miles of walking trails, minutes from Gunstock Ski Area, Laconia Opera House, BNH Music Pavilion, downtown Meredith, shopping, golf, hiking, many restaurants, and marinas. Pets - Allowed Laconia Sch Dst SAU #30 NH 2 Long Bay 148 Detached Long Bay 1626697995 Beach Access Shared-Private Yes Lake Winnipesaukee No Lake 2006 03246 ListPrice 739000 1624914195 739000 ListingStatus Active 1624914195 Active Point -71.4733544 43.5826837 RETS http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/b0bc-4869306-1-neren3.jpg 1 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/95f2-4869306-2-neren3.jpg 2 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/4932-4869306-3-neren3.jpg 3 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/8378-4869306-4-neren3.jpg 4 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/f8c8-4869306-5-neren3.jpg 5 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/e66b-4869306-6-neren3.jpg 6 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/cfaa-4869306-7-neren3.jpg 7 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/c977-4869306-8-neren3.jpg 8 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/b5ff-4869306-9-neren3.jpg 9 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/eec0-4869306-10-neren3.jpg 10 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/86a4-4869306-11-neren3.jpg 11 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/09f5-4869306-12-neren3.jpg 12 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/0cc8-4869306-13-neren3.jpg 13 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/ddc9-4869306-14-neren3.jpg 14 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/5926-4869306-15-neren3.jpg 15 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/70cc-4869306-16-neren3.jpg 16 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/419b-4869306-17-neren3.jpg 17 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/4135-4869306-18-neren3.jpg 18 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/d204-4869306-19-neren3.jpg 19 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/c794-4869306-20-neren3.jpg 20 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/e301-4869306-21-neren3.jpg 21 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/2312-4869306-22-neren3.jpg 22 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/14f5-4869306-23-neren3.jpg 23 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/38ff-4869306-24-neren3.jpg 24 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/c667-4869306-25-neren3.jpg 25 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/9d86-4869306-26-neren3.jpg 26 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/a091-4869306-27-neren3.jpg 27 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/9962-4869306-28-neren3.jpg 28 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/ca3e-4869306-29-neren3.jpg 29 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/2038-4869306-30-neren3.jpg 30 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/6343-4869306-31-neren3.jpg 31 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/fa75-4869306-32-neren3.jpg 32 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/b3a0-4869306-33-neren3.jpg 33 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/3da7-4869306-34-neren3.jpg 34 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/34b7-4869306-35-neren3.jpg 35 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/5e60-4869306-36-neren3.jpg 36 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/997d-4869306-37-neren3.jpg 37 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/88d8-4869306-38-neren3.jpg 38 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/c8cf-4869306-39-neren3.jpg 39 1626698514 http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/apiv1.photos.master/ecb9-4869306-40-neren3.jpg 40 1626698514 1626698514 1626698582