A major local builder has started its second foray into Hampton Roads.
Glen Allen-based Eagle Construction of Virginia, Richmond’s second-largest home builder, is beginning work on 74 residential lots in the 450-acre Ashville Park development in Virginia Beach.
The company purchased the land in October and plans to invest a total of $35 million in the project.
“It’s a big commitment, but you go through it one home at a time. And we think it’s the right setting and it’s the product that the market is prepared for down there,” Eagle President Steve Settlage said. “It’s a product we think we’re very good at producing.”
Ashville Park is owned by the HomeFed Corp., a California-based development company that purchased the project out of foreclosure in 2012.
Settlage, who took over as Eagle’s president last September, said Eagle has been looking for projects in Hampton Roads for some time. Its only other community in that area is in Chesapeake.
“We think the eastern part of Virginia provides very good opportunity for growth and expansion, but the trick was always to find out the right location to do that,” Settlage said.
Eagle is one of nine builders with homes in Ashville Park. Of the 499 homes planned for the development, 189 have been built so far. Half of the community’s 450 acres will remain open space and include 15 lakes and a forest preserve.
On its slice of Ashville Park, Eagle is planning two-story homes with 2,500 to 3,500 square feet and four or more bedrooms. They will start out at between $400,000 and $500,000.
Construction has already started on the model homes, which are expected to be finished in the spring. The lots will be available for sale by the second week in February and should be built out in about two years.
Eagle, which has been owned by the investment arm of local insurance giant Markel since 2013, is also off and running elsewhere in the state.
By the end of February, Eagle will have completed a 60-day stretch in which it either opened model homes or put lots up for sale in five communities, three of which are in the Richmond area.
Lots in Parkside Village in Goochland will also hit the market by mid-February.
At the end of 2014, the company opened model homes at the Villas of Grey Oaks in Glen Allen and at Hickory Place, a 38-townhome development near Short Pump.
And around the first of the year, Eagle opened a model home in its first neighborhood in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“It’s interesting how things ebb and flow,” Settlage said.
Founded 30 years ago, Eagle has built more than 6,000 homes and 1,400 apartments. It has homes and lots 14 neighborhoods in the Richmond area.