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January 12, 2019

"Chickahominy Falls: A unique 55-plus community mixes farm and home"

Take a look at our feature in Richmond Times-Dispatch!

By Doug Childers, Homes Correspondent
Credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Imagine a 55-plus community offering low-maintenance, one-floor living and resort-style amenities geared to an active-adult lifestyle. Now imagine that community with a working farm at its core. That’s the concept behind Chickahominy Falls, which is now under construction in Hanover County.

“Agrihoods,” which combine sustainable farming with residential communities, are popping up in the United States and Canada.

Chickahominy Falls, a 180-acre site near the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Cedar Lane, will be the first one in central Virginia, said Mitchell Bode, vice president of The Crescent Group, which is developing it.

“And we’re the only one in the U.S. focused on healthy living and a sustainable lifestyle for 55-plus homebuyers and residents,” he added.

The Crescent Group was attracted to the Chickahominy Falls site, which had been owned for many years by Del. Frank D. Hargrove Sr., in part because of Hanover’s rural history and the site’s agricultural past.

“We knew the site had a rich farm character, and we knew there was a large 55-plus population in the area,” Bode said.

The Richmond-based company bought the site, which borders the Chickahominy River, in the summer of 2017, and it began developing it that fall. Construction on the first houses began in November 2018.

Two builders – Richmond-based Cornerstone Homes and Henrico County-based StyleCraft Homes – have committed to construct all the community’s homes.

Cornerstone Homes, a sister company of The Crescent Group, has exclusively built 55-plus communities since its founding in 2001. It will build 316 homes in Chickahominy Falls.

This is our grandest community to date,” said Kirsten Nease, Cornerstone’s director of marketing.

StyleCraft Homes, which has built in five other 55-plus communities, will build 84 homes in Chickahominy Falls.

“We’ve found that our 55-plus homeowners appreciate amenities that focus on a healthy lifestyle, like a community garden and walking trails, so building a community around a working farm seemed to be a natural fit,” said Emily Tuteral, StyleCraft’s marketing manager.

When it’s built out, Chickahominy Falls will have 400 homes in eight distinct neighborhoods.

All the homes, which will include carriage homes and cottages, will offer low-maintenance, one-floor living. Architectural styles will include Farmhouse and Craftsman.

Sizes for Cornerstone’s homes will range from 1,683 to 3,114 square feet. Prices will range from the $360,000s to $400,000s, depending on the floor plan and selected elevation.

StyleCraft’s homes will range from 1,900 to 2,500 square feet, with prices starting “from the $340,000s to $360,000s, depending on the floor plan and selected structural options,” Tuteral said.

Cornerstone has nine homes under construction, and it expects to start five new homes monthly, Nease said.

StyleCraft will begin building homes this month.

Work on the community’s barn, which will include a professional demonstration kitchen and indoor/outdoor gathering spaces for social events and private parties, is nearly finished, with 2 acres of farmland in front. Another 8 acres of land have been set aside for the four-season Woodside Farms, which will grow fruits, vegetables and flowers. The farm will be professionally managed.

In all, the community will have more than 73 acres of farmland, wooded preserves and green space.

Other amenities to come include a 6,500-square-foot clubhouse with a fitness center, a game room and an outdoor swimming pool. In addition, a stone house built by the Hargrove family near the present-day barn will be the home of the professional farmer and his family.

Sales have been strong since homesites became available in July. Cornerstone has sold 27 homes so far. StyleCraft has sold 20, representing half the homesites available in its first neighborhood.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind community, and the location and resort-style amenities combined with a working farm and the focus on healthy living are really appealing,” Bode said. “Everybody’s really excited to see what comes out of the ground in the next few years.”

By Doug Childers, Homes Correspondent
Credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

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