What a Difference Four Years Make

In June 2005, I wrote:

Tuesday dozens of people showed up for the groundbreaking of Greene County’s first active adult community. The community will have more than 500 lots and will include a 16,000 sq. ft. clubhouse. Project mangers believe the community will be an asset for the county. From WCAV.

Age-restricted communities are sorely lacking in our market. I receive a request from buyers for this type of community at least twice a month. These communities have the potential to be a fantastic asset to our region. Seniors typically bring affluence, knowledge and no drain on community resources; read: School systems.

And then in 2009, (also see the Charlottesville Bubble Blog) – the development was foreclosed on.

Most of the nearly 204 acres upon which the Four Seasons age restricted development sits in Ruckersville off U.S. 33 is set to be sold at auction Jan. 22.

But one local realtor says it doesn’t mean the sky is falling, and zoning officials assure residents that the zoning will not change.

In June of 2005 Fried Companies and K. Hovnanian Homes broke ground on nearly 204 acres off U.S. 33 near Advance Mills Road in Ruckersville to make way for the construction of Greene’s first age-restricted gated community.

The Four Seasons Active Adult Community was to consist of 535 homes starting in the lower $300,000 range and a 16,000-square-foot clubhouse for athletic and recreational activities. It was expected to generate at least $1.5 to $1.75 million in real estate taxes annually, representing 9 percent of the county’s then-general fund local source revenue – along with another $1.5 million in sales tax each year.

Since then, the real estate market slumped, recession hit.

The funny thing is – the demand for one-level living is still in the Charlottesville market. The Four Seasons development was, the wrong product in the wrong location (read the comments).

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  1. Dan July 6, 2009 at 16:40

    All the predictions I’ve read about Boomers leads me to believe they are not going to want this stuff. They will want to remain active and feel young, which probably means they will want to be around people younger than themselves. Anecdotally at least, I know that my parents do not wish to pursue the gated retirement community lifestyle that their parents chose.

  2. Jim Duncan July 7, 2009 at 06:50

    Dan – you’re absolutely right. I think they want this type of inventory, but not in this location.

    The speed with which this particular development ascended and declined really is astonishing.


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