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21-house subdivision planned for Armuchee

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Rome architect Mike Lovely and Randy Davis of Davis Contracting and Development are proposing a new single-family home subdivision called Charleston Place, to be built on approximately seven acres off Old Summerville Road near Armuchee High School.

The patio- and garden-style homes that Lovely envisions are designed to reflect the character of Old Town Charleston in South Carolina.

The plans show homes with two bedrooms and two baths ranging in size from 1,186 square feet to 1,426 square feet. There also are homes with two or three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, at 1,432 square feet.

Each home would include stairs to a second level — an attic-like area large enough to finish out as an additional bedroom or storage space.

The property is owned by a partnership which includes Randy Land, CEO of J.L Todd Auction Co., and Minesh Desai, who operates the BP convenience store and Dunkin’ Donuts on Shorter Avenue.

“Basically what we’re doing is financing the land,” Land said. “They will pay us as they sell lots and put houses on them. We want to see Rome get back in the development game so we’ll do whatever we can to help them make that project work.”

The Rome auctioneer said part of a trailer park once occupied the parcel, but it’s been gone for about 15 years.

“We bought it for an investment several years ago and have been sitting on it,” Land said. “Then Mike and Randy seemed to think the Armuchee area was ripe for that kind of a project. The plans look great.”

The tract is on the west side of Old Summerville Road. It’s just north of the Armuchee High School football stadium and east of Berry College property. Lovely said the combination of having a school in close proximity and the availability of a variety of retail businesses — including Mount Berry Square Mall — would make the project more attractive.

Davis said Armuchee is one of the hottest locations for growth in Floyd County right now.

“Most real estate people will tell you that this is probably the best in our area,” he said.

The development team is associated with Toles, Temple & Wright Real Estate. They’ve had considerable success in the last year with new homes in The Battle Farm subdivision just north of the proposed Charleston Place.

The Charleston Place project is being targeted to purchasers looking to downsize or simplify their maintenance issues.

“It’s really geared for the first-time homebuyer and the empty-nester, so there’s not a single target,” Lovely said.

The layout calls for 21 homes in the new subdivision, with about half the lots featuring rear-entry detached garages.

“It takes in the current trends in that it uses easy living, open floor plans. You’re talking about the kitchen, living and dining room in a large open space, so the cook isn’t separated from the party,” Lovely said.

“We’re keeping to the craftsman style with front porches like the old time porches of the south so you can sit and chat with the neighbor as he is walking by.”

Davis said the homes would be priced anywhere from $149,000 to $200,000. The developers anticipate the new project would most likely be built in two phases.

“It’s a response-driven thing,” Lovely said.

Back in August 2013, Lovely and Davis introduced plans for The Sixth Avenue Station House development in downtown Rome. The concept reflects images of old fire stations.

Located behind City Hall, the mixed-use development would offer condominiums, offices and retail space — including a restaurant with an outdoor food terrace, a community building, and a plaza with access to the Heritage Riverways Trail system along the rivers.

So far, Lovely said real estate agents he’s been working with on the Sixth Avenue project have expressed considerable interest but they have not received any firm commitments at this point.

Davis has been involved in both residential and commercial construction in Rome for more than four decades.

Just before the economy went sour in 2008, Davis had started developing the 69-lot Hampton Preserve off Chulio Road. He had 21 lots sold before the economy went bust and he lost the development.

Davis said he and Lovely are continuing to try different avenues to new development in the Greater Rome community, now that the economy is starting to show signs of life once again.

“There will be more,” Lovely said.