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Del Webb eyes Frost Belt for new projects

Forget Florida. Never mind Arizona. The American dream for many who are retired or on the verge of it is in places such as metro Philadelphia or northern New Jersey or Huntley, Ill., which is where Del Webb has built its first Sun City development in the Frost Belt.

Because their families and friends and memories are there, 85 to 95 percent of Americans over age 60 have told market researchers in recent years that they would not be willing to move more than 100 miles away at retirement.

As a result, trend-setting Del Webb is considering sites outside Philadelphia (Delaware), New York (north Jersey), and Washington, among others, for its next Sun City developments.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: Fewer than half of American homeowners make energy-efficiency improvements in their homes based on their concern for the environment, a pre-Earth Day study by Owens Corning found. It said American homeowners made these basic energy-efficiency improvements in their homes during the 1990s: replacing the hot water heater, 44 percent; installing low-flow shower heads, 43 percent; installing a programmable thermostat, 27 percent; and adding attic insulation, 26 percent.