With a new builder on board and home sales underway, the latest residential development from a pair of frequent collaborators is in full swing in the heart of Goochland County.
Site work is progressing and initial houses are under construction at Reed Marsh, a 64-home subdivision by Neil Farmer and Lawrence Liesfeld that’s set to fill 56 acres across River Road West from the county government complex.
The roughly $5 million project is the first in Goochland for Farmer and Liesfeld, who have collaborated on several subdivisions in the region including the Enclave at Bacova, part of the massive Bacova development on the former Liesfeld family farm in Short Pump.
“I’m kind of the one behind the scenes; he’s been the face of it,” Farmer said of his partnership with Liesfeld. “I find the land and get most of the zoning done, and he’s good working with the contractors and everything like that.”
While Liesfeld had initially planned to build half the homes at Reed Marsh, the pair have brought on Manakin-Sabot-based Boone Homes, which is under contract for all of the half-acre lots. Homes will start in the mid-$500,000s and range from 2,500 to 3,500 square feet and up, with floorplans including three to four bedrooms, 2½ to 3½ bathrooms and two-car garages.
Zoning for Reed Marsh was approved two years ago, following some pushback from opponents and a thumbs-down vote from the Planning Commission, which argued the project’s density exceeded what was allowed there in the county’s comprehensive land-use plan.
County supervisors disagreed and approved the rezoning, finding the project consistent with the county’s goals for the area through its Courthouse Village Overlay District.
With initial roads now paved and a model home up, Liesfeld said the project is off to a good start. Situated beside a prominent county crossroads, the development is highly visible to commuters at the intersection of River and Sandy Hook roads.
“I am very proud of the entrance sign, fence and overall subdivision design,” Liesfeld said. “It adds a classic touch to the Goochland Courthouse area.”
Liesfeld and Farmer have been working on Reed Marsh with Andrew Browning of engineering firm Youngblood, Tyler & Associates. The project has required upgrading the intersection’s traffic signal and other infrastructure improvements involving an onsite pump station and offsite utilities.
Plans also call for sidewalks and crosswalks connecting the subdivision with the next-door Goochland Branch Library, as well as the nearby Goochland Family YMCA and Goochland Elementary School.
Boone Homes started sales in early May and had sold three home lots by the start of July. Construction on those homes is underway, and Farmer said an existing, century-old farmhouse on the site will be preserved as part of the development.
“We’ve tentatively got somebody that’s going to buy and restore it for us and keep it as-is,” Farmer said.
A boon to Boone
Reed Marsh adds to a growing workload for Boone Homes, which is already busy building in several communities across the region.
In Goochland, it’s been active in the Kinloch community, and it’s currently building its first quad homes in a section of Mosaic at West Creek, the 200-acre age-restricted development by HHHunt Communities near the Capital One campus.
Boone President Mitchell Bode, who was promoted in March after joining the company two years ago, said Reed Marsh’s location and proximity to schools and the administration building made it a good project for the firm to take on.
“We’ve had a presence in eastern Goochland County for quite a while now, and we were looking for something else in Goochland. I thought it would be a great place to offer a mix of product,” Bode said of Reed Marsh.
“It’s really oriented toward families, but we’ve also seen quite a bit of 55-and-older folks that have been looking at this site, because they’re drawn to the small-town character of Goochland County,” he said.
Homes at Reed Marsh will have options for basements and will be customizable according to buyer preference, Bode said.
A custom builder for three decades, Boone has frequently ranked among the region’s top homebuilders based on sales and unit volume. The company brought on Bode, previously with The Crescent Group and StyleCraft Homes, to succeed previous President David Owen, who stepped down in March after a 20-year run.
Bode’s history with Crescent Group, the development arm of Henrico-based Cornerstone Homes, led Boone to another project that’s keeping it busy: a 29-lot section in Chickahominy Falls, Cornerstone’s so-called “agri-community” in Hanover County.
Called Little Meadows at Chickahominy Falls, the section will consist of customized villa homes starting around $570,000. Bode said average prices would reach the upper $600,000s with options added.
Restricted to buyers aged 55 and up, the villas will range in size from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, with two to three bedrooms and two or 2½ bathrooms. Sales started June 1, and Boone had sold three by the end of the month.
On top of that, Boone also is setting the stage for its next project: a 194-unit age-restricted development in Chesterfield County called the Villas at Swift Creek. Planned for 50 acres east of the intersection of Otterdale and Woolridge roads, the mix of townhomes and quads for buyers 55 and up recently secured zoning approval from the county.