REAL ESTATE: The Grove moving forward after stalled development


REAL ESTATE: The Grove moving forward after stalled development

By KERRI BARTLETT

“Rolling hills,” “pastoral”, “beautiful,” and “quiet farm life” are some of the words used to describe the small southeast Williamson County community of College Grove. One of the county’s oldest communities, the unincorporated area has also been characterized as slow to develop due to its remote location off Arno Road near Franklin, Murfreesboro and Arrington Vineyards.

“Rolling hills,” “pastoral”, “beautiful,” and “quiet farm life” are some of the words used to describe the small southeast Williamson County community of College Grove. One of the county’s oldest communities, the unincorporated area has also been characterized as slow to develop due to its remote location off Arno Road near Franklin, Murfreesboro and Arrington Vineyards.

With its access to S.R. 840, however, developers have taken notice over the past several years, as seen with The Grove development.

Original construction of The Grove development began over four years ago. However, when the lender went bankrupt, the original developer was forced to cease construction. Due to the floundering economy, finding additional financial support for the project was nearly impossible.

Judy Herbert, a Williamson County Commissioner and a seventh-generation Williamson County resident who grew up on a farm in Cool Springs, moved to College Grove 25 years ago. “They were working really hard and making progress, and one day everything just stopped. The land sat there for over four years untouched.”

Mark Enderle, a partner of Terra Verde Group, LCC, The Grove’s current developer, saw potential in the stalled development. He has been making strides in its revitalization since 2011. He bought the property and resumed development with a few edits to the original plans.

The original plans appealed to corporate events and weddings, but the concept was revamped to provide luxurious community living in a family atmosphere. The concept of the development is now “Live Where You Play,” where residents can enjoy a club lifestyle at their country estate, complete with a Greg Norman Signature Golf Course and plenty of amenities such as a clubhouse with a restaurant, pool areas with slides, a fitness center, a day spa, child care, and day camps for children.

The area consists of a little over 1,000 acres with about 50 percent open/green space with the golf course serving as the oasis of the development. The Grove will contain 800 home sites. The first phase of home construction will begin within the next  30 days, which consists of 60 reservations out of 112 sites. Home prices will range from $600,000 to $900,000, although some residents have already designed custom plans with builders at higher price points.

In September of 2011, the roads, golf course, and a sewer system were constructed, and Arno Road was widened by the developer. Also, a larger water line was extended, and a pressure substation was constructed by Crofton Hill Water Co.

The Grove

Population:
800 home sites

Price point:
$600,000’s to $900,000’s

Builders:
Atkins & Associates Home Builders, Hidden Valley Homes, Ford Custom, Classic Homes, Legend Homes, Stonegate Homes, Tradition Homes

Construction stops due to previous lender’s bankruptcy:
2008

Renewed start of construction:
Sept. 2011 with new developer Terra Verde Group, LCC

Phase I Home Construction:
Will begin within the next 30 days

Phase II Home Construction:
Will begin in next spring

Completion of Project:
Approximately 10 years

“When all is said and done,” Enderle said, “there will be about 10 or 11 phases to the development, building about 50 to 100 lots at a time. Phase two should begin next spring.”

The last three holes of the golf course will be sodded by the end of August. The first 60 residents, the “founding members” of The Grove golf club, will be able to tee off by mid- to late-September. The projected time span for completion of the 800-home development is 10 years.

“This is not a fast growing area,” Herbert said about general development in College Grove. “It’s a wonderful area with wonderful people. It represents nice, quiet farm life. Many homes sit on 5-acre lots. However, there is no sewer system so that hinders some growth. The Grove, however, built its own.”

About the Grove development coming to the community, Herbert said, “Some are excited to see the community come to the area. It looks very nice, and people are anxious to see what else it might bring to the area. However, there are mixed emotions.

“This is one of the few areas left of old Williamson County. College Grove is not into the hustle and bustle of the corporate world, and some people want it to stay that way.”

College Grove resident of 15 years, Sherry Coss, program and partnership director at Fifty Forward Martin Center said, “I hope that our community leaders have the foresight and vision to preserve our unique, small town with rolling hills, locally owned businesses and farms.”

Coss said that as the possibility of growth and development increase, she hopes that the small town essence can be preserved much like the planning that went into preserving Leiper’s Fork.

“We are not here to tell College Grove what to be but to grow in a constructive way that other’s want to see,” said Enderle, a Leiper’s Fork resident. “We love Williamson County, and are excited to be here and be a part of the community.”

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

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