By VINCE TROIA
The $1 billion Stephens Valley development continues to move forward with the latest grand opening of one of its new Southern design homes this weekend.
Legend Homes, one of five builders in the 850-acre development off Sneed and Pasquo roads near Highway 100, is showcasing a $949,900 home on Meriwether Boulevard, a main promenade inside Stephens Valley. The 792 homes to be built, along with a town center and myriad amenities over a 20-year period, range in price now from $639,000 to $1.5 million.
The public event runs from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 2-3. A Realtor preview day is set for Tuesday, March 5.
The project, conceived in 2005 by John Rochford, president and founder of Rochford Realty and Construction Company, faced community push-back and legal hurdles, but saw its first homeowners move in last September. Situated on the former working farm of Bill Stephens near historic Natchez Trace Parkway, Stephens Valley is being developed in a collaboration between Rochford’s company and Land Innovations.
Nearly all the custom homes are being built on the Williamson County side of the project, with the smaller Davidson County parcel getting town homes, a boutique hotel, restaurant and office space.
Opponents of the development argued that Davidson County was getting traffic problems and not much
Using signs sporting the “Save Stephens Valley” motto, residents fought to preserve the scenic character of the area, but Williamson County approved the development.
Rochford has said he “heard the concerns” of the community, vowed that nearly 60 percent of the land will remain open space, and met every legal requirement for development.
“The number-one thing I said was, “How am I going to protect the Natchez Trace?” Rochford said in a press release. He plans to open seven miles of trails through the hills connected to the Natchez Trace Parkway for community use.
Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile scenic drive and recreational road through Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. It is run by the National Park Service, which has extended the comment period for civic engagement about proposed options pertaining to the Stephens Valley development.
“The development will be visible from the Parkway and will occupy an area historically managed as an open agricultural vista,” reads a Feb. 1 NPS news release. “The Parkway does not have authority to deny the construction of the development. Developers, however, are interested in working with Parkway staff to screen the road and development from the visitors’ view.”
Feedback can be given at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/natr.
Rochford Construction has built several subdivisions on or near Sneed Road since the late 1970s, including Bellevue’s Traceside, the Gardens at Old Natchez, and the Reserve at Temple Hills.
“Change is difficult, but what will happen is it will be a marker by which all new communities will be measured,” Rochford has said of the Stephens Valley development.
Besides Legend Homes, the other Stephens Valley builders and DeFatta Custom Homes, Rochford Homes, Sipple Homes, and Celebration Homes.
Visit Stephens Valley’s website for more information (https://stephensvalley.com).