More than 75 people were on hand Wednesday to celebrate the official opening of Walker Countys largest housing subdivision.
The first phase of Fieldstone Farms on U.S. 27 in Rock Spring has construction well under way, with several homes nearing completion.
This first stage of what will be a 180-acre neighborhood includes townhomes, patio homes and single-family dwellings.
Representatives from the Walker County Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Legislature and local government joined Fieldstone developers and builders to offer thanks and congratulations for bringing the vision of the project to pass.
Weve gone through a long process of having people come and show us slides and having the whole community involved in quality growth for Walker County, County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell said.
She related the story of how her friend Bill Battle, the former landowner, called and asked her advice on the sale of the property.
He said I have a buyer, but if you dont like what theyre going to do then I wont sell it, Heiskell said.
Of course its been a blessing to have these people come to Walker County to build such a fine development, she continued. This is exactly what weve been looking for.
Photo: A host of communality leaders turned out Wednesday to ceremoniously break ground for Fieldstone Farms. From left: Stephanie Watkins, Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority; Wes Smith, CEO of Northwest Georgia Bank; Kelia Kimbell, Walker County planning director, State Rep. Jay Neal of LaFayette, Bebe Heiskell, Walker County commissioner; Ed Smith, Fieldstone Farms developer; Jack Webb, Fieldstone Farms developer; Don Moon, Fieldstone Farms developer; Mike Moon, Fieldstone Farms developer; state Sen. Jeff Mullis of Chickamauga; Denise Clopton, regional representative for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson; state Rep. Martin Scott of Rossville; Bruce Tidwell, SunTrust Bank; Stacy Mauer, Walker County Chamber of Commerce president. (Messenger photo/Matt Ledger)
Developer Don Moon said that according to the National Association of Home Builders, the complete 180-acre Fieldstone Farms subdivision will generate:
* $110 million in home sales.
* $910,000 for Walker County in annual property taxes.
* 515 new jobs.
* An average of $6,500 per home in decorating expenditures.
* $3-4 million in real estate commissions.
Developer Jack Webb related how they hired a focus group to give input on the conservation subdivision, which incorporates about 14 percent of the acreage to community greenspace and pocket parks throughout the neighborhood.
The concept of conservation subdivision design is a growing trend among home developers and public planners, brought about partly in response to years of building that has contributed to suburban sprawl.
Fieldstone Parkway, the main boulevard, will have a dedicated easement of 15 feet on each side, fully irrigated, which will include walkways for much of its length. There will also be two large landscaped traffic round-abouts on the parkway.
Amenities at Fieldstone Farms include underground utilities, sodded yards, a mountain stone entry way with classic-style equestrian fencing, and custom streetlamps and wrought iron mailboxes.
The main entry road initially passes through highway frontage parcels set aside for commercial development, slated as The Shops at Fieldstone Village.
Two businesses, Northwest Georgia Bank and Fieldstone Pharmacy, have purchased one-acre lots in the commercial area.
Twenty-three builders are undertaking the construction of the 127 dwellings in the first phase. The entire subdivision will eventually have more than 500 homes, say developers.
Tim Walls of Thunderwall Builders has five lots to build on, and he says that it has been a pleasure to do business at Fieldstone.
Its a different community that will have a different feel for buyers, and Im proud to be a part of it, said Walls, who is based in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. Its worth coming down to Walker County for this.
Walls said the extra amenities and environment of Fieldstone Farms makes the homes a real value.
For more information on whats available at Fieldstone Farms, visit the website at www.seefieldstonefarms.com.
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