Boutique neighborhoods offer privacy in prime locations

Story by Hollie Deese
Photography by Peyton Hoge and Sam Carbine

A large, private lot in one of Middle Tennessee’s hottest neighborhoods may sound too good to be true, but a new trend in home building offers just that to hungry homebuyers holding out for a near impossibility these days.

Boutique neighborhoods are finding their place in current development trends, thanks in part to builders preserving leafy tree lines in new neighborhoods, and new neighborhoods that are a fraction of the size of larger developments.

It’s low-risk, high reward for builders and buyers alike as developable land and continuous acreage is diminishing, says James Carbine, president of Carbine & Associates.

“When you’ve got a 200-300 lot deal, it takes a decade to build them out. There’s never an end date, it seems,” he says. And the thought of years of construction isn’t appealing to buyers or builders.

Scaled-back living

Earlier this year Carbine & Associates announced a new boutique Franklin neighborhood, Water Leaf. Located off Gosey Hill Road, the community will have just 26, acre-plus home sites offering privacy, while still having easy access to community resources and Williamson County schools. Prices range from the mid $800,000 to more than $1 million.

Similar in style to the Southern Preserve neighborhood, the new community near Arrington Vineyards will have large home sites with a quarter of the neighborhood property dedicated to green space. The first homes are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

“It’s just a nice community feel when you’ve got 20-30 homeowners versus 300,” Carbine says. “These aren’t laden with pools and tennis courts and things that carry high HOA fees with them. It pretty much lets the homeowner decide their lifestyle, and pay for what they want.” HOA fees at Water Leaf are $150 a month.

Another Carbine neighborhood planned for Franklin, just beside Moore Elementary, is bordered by Five Mile Creek on one side and by the Harpeth River on the other. It’s going to have those same tree lines and buffers, but with 33 smaller lots.

“The location is fabulous, and the property has a lot of character to it,” Carbine says. “We try to make the lots fit the topography of the land so we’re not just cookie cutter. That way we end up designing a specific product for a specific lot.”

Neighborhoods grow in Nashville too

Realtor Josh Anderson says the appeal of any kind of community-focused neighborhood is clear, and is a trend that is growing even among Nashville’s more urban neighborhoods like 12South, Germantown and East Nashville —which until a few years ago were not truly sustainable all on their own.

“Some of these neighborhoods are really just getting to the point where they have their own restaurants, their own retail, their own office spaces, their own walkability,” Anderson says. “And people are paying more money for that. People want to live, work and play all in one area.”