“It’s a Wonderful Life” with Standard Tech for Multifamily

“It’s a Wonderful Life” with Standard Tech for Multifamily

With his father watching over him, a fourth-generation builder is breaking ground on a three-floor townhouse community in Henrico County, Virginia deemed “Bedford Falls.”

The name may sound familiar, especially to those acquainted with the 1946 Frank Capra classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The film follows hapless George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) in the small town of Bedford Falls as he contemplates his life’s worth, only to be shown by an angel (Henry Travers) what his beloved town would be like if George were never born.

Inspired by his late father’s dream and in partnership with integration firm, Livewire, builder Cory Atack aims to give a modern update to this classic, small town concept with his family owned and operated company, Richard Atack Construction.

How exactly? Atack and Livewire will implement Alarm.com security features as standard in all 79 of the community’s townhouse models, including a three-year subscription for the services.

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Bedford Falls was inspired by Robert Atack's love of the classic film.
Bedford Falls was inspired by Robert Atack’s love of the classic film.

Builder Inspired by Christmas Classic

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a beloved film, widely considered to be a definitive entry in the canon of Christmas cinema.

It certainly played an important role in the life of Cory Atack’s father, Robert Atack. 

The builder developed 10,000 lots during his 40-year career and always held a fondness in his heart for the holiday film. Atack’s father passed away last year but not before launching the residential project he had always wanted to break ground on—Bedford Falls.

“My father was a big fan of that movie [“It’s a Wonderful Life”] and a fan of doing things fun in general,” says Cory Atack. “So, he always wanted to make a residential community called Bedford Falls. As he got sick later in life, he decided that this was the time to do it.”

To add even more nostalgia to the community, the two townhouse models offered in Bedford Falls are deemed “The Bailey” and “The Wainwright,” named after two of the film’s central characters.

The community broke ground just last week, with plans to roof and deliver by February and March, respectively. Forty-five clients have already added their names to a waiting list, as they are likely eager for not only the community qualities of Bedford Falls, but the tech being offered as well.

Tech Trends Lead to Integrator Relationship

Cory Atack has seen home technology evolve, not just through the years, but from generation to generation.

His grandfather built houses that didn’t have air conditioning, and his dad developed them without microwaves. “But now, this home automation has gotten to be so popular and really convenient. The convenience is really more of a necessity than popularity. There’s an app for everything.”

The trends Atack was seeing in home technology prompted him to pursue a builder-integrator relationship with Henry Clifford—the owner of Livewire, the largest home technology company in Central Virginia. 

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A rendering of a Bedford Falls townhouse.
A rendering of a Bedford Falls townhouse.

Embracing the TecHome Standard

Clifford has been developing a Livewire builder relation program since the company’s beginning and is excited to be working with Atack on what he considers a “first-of-its-kind” project.

The homes of Bedford Falls will include a structured cabling package and an Alarm.com security system, both as standard.

The latter consists of 100 percent perimeter door coverage, motion detectors and keypads, as well as a smart thermostat.

“Home automation, from a builder’s standpoint, is a lot more widely known, and clients have legitimate questions about it when they come to the first meeting,” says Atack. “The market has grown to the point where they expect to have it now.”


The floor plans for the two Bedford Falls models, "The Bailey" and "The Wainwright."
The floor plans for the two Bedford Falls models, “The Bailey” and “The Wainwright.”

In addition, clients will have the choice to add upgraded Alarm.com features such as keyless door locks, lighting control, garage door control and surveillance cameras.

Livewire also offers packages for HVAC systems, home entertainment setups and whole house audio/video. Both Clifford and Atack expect a handful of clients to consider choosing those add-ons upon moving into their home in Bedford Falls.

RELATED: Alarm.com Expands Smart Home Security Solutions

While Clifford considers this security standard a great option for the home, he is even more excited about the three-year subscription standard included with the Alarm.com system. “I’d say this is a very disruptive move.” And he means that in a good way.

Clifford notes that current practice is often for builders to form a relationship with security companies and receive their systems at a discount. However, this still usually involves aggressively selling a monthly subscription of these services to the homeowner.

“Sometimes it works, but other times it leaves the homeowner with a bad taste in their mouth.” 

Clifford believes that eliminating that lingering financial agreement many customers encounter when buying a TecHome will enhance the client experience and drive satisfaction ratings through the roof.


Making Things Simple

At the end of the day, simplicity is key.

A well-built home with great tech features, especially those offered as standard, enhance the experience for the homeowner and help to make life easier. For Atack and Clifford, this is what the TecHome standards of Bedford Falls are all about.

“The process can be stressful for some, and anytime we can remedy a client’s reservation or offer something to enhance this idea of simplicity, that’s a home run,” says Clifford. 

After all, that’s what Atack’s father would have wanted in the development of his dreams.

About The Author

Greg Vellante is a staff writer and multimedia specialist at TecHome Builder, as well as a content coordinator for AE Ventures events. He has over a decade of experience writing for various publications on topics that range from cinema to editorials to home technology. His favorite technologies fall into the A/V and home entertainment realm, and he’s keeping a close eye on the rising trends in robotics and virtual/augmented reality. Greg resides in Boston, holds a degree in Media Studies from Emerson College and pursues screenwriting/filmmaking in his free time.

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