August 03, 2015

Boyle Sees Gold in Infill Residential

By Einat Paz-Frankel
– Memphis Business Journal –

Boyle Investment Co. is developing a high-end gated community in Collierville’s historic district, located within a short walking distance from the town’s square.

The 16 houses at Washington Gates of Collierville will range from $450,000 to $850,000, which would bring the total value of the development to $7.2 million-$13.6 million. Groundbreaking is expected this fall with completion within about three years, says developer Doug Dickens, vice president at Boyle.

Over the years, Boyle has developed several communities in Collierville and Eads, including Spring Creek Ranch, Wickliffe, Notting Hill and, most recently, Avilla. Before joining Boyle, Dickens and his partners developed Magnolia Square, which is located less than one mile from Collierville’s square.

Washington Gates is located east of the corner of Washington and Mount Pleasant Road, one block off Collierville’s historic square. It’s poised to attract empty-nesters, families and people with a “strong desire for the urban and the rural at the same time,” Dickens says.

“Walkability to the square is the ticket,” he says. “The square badly needs rooftops to support it. We’re about putting upscale rooftops.”

Laura Todd, executive director of Main Street Collierville, welcomes Washington Gates to the square.

“This development is very important to enhancing the historic district,” she says. “Revitalization of the square requires rooftops.”

The district, which stretches to the streets surrounding the square, includes 118 commercial properties, she says. Restaurants that opened on the square recently have been drawing more shoppers to the area.

“Those who come to dine may stay and shop,” Todd says. “Walkability is part of our downtown redevelopment plan.”

The architectural style of Washington Gates will closely follow styles dating back to the mid-1800s in the spirit of the historic square, Dickens says. Looney Ricks Kiss designed the master plan and will design homes. Engineer on the project is David Engineering Co., Inc.

Boyle has yet to reach a decision on whether lots will be sold to individuals interested in custom-built homes or to homebuilders, Dickens says. Lots will be priced under $150,000 and will average one-third of an acre.

Washington Gates’ location north of the railroad tracks “means something to Colliervillians, traditionally higher-end,” says Dickens, who resides in Collierville.

He’s fully aware of the sluggish housing market, but says the community’s location two blocks south of West Poplar makes for a good investment.

“We’re not in denial that the market is slow,” he says. “But if you’re in the right place, there’s still a market. The Poplar corridor usually stays the healthiest. People still want and can afford to live there. The market is not the best, but desirable parcels survive as well as return (on investment) quicker than others.”

At the site of Washington Gates, Boyle removed four houses to make way for this “low-impact” infill project, he says.

Considered a residential infill expert, Dickens recently developed the award-winning Pinnacle of Germantown, an infill subdivision located on Poplar.

Last year, the preliminary plan for Washington Gates was opposed by residents of nearby Natchez Lane. Boyle has since reduced Washington Gates’ footprint from 8.3 acres to 5.3 acres and redesigned the community so it won’t back up to Natchez, Dickens says.

“You’ve got to respect people even if you disagree with them,” Dickens says.

The new plan recently won preliminary approval from Collierville’s planning commission and in the coming months will be brought before additional committees and the town’s board of mayor and aldermen for final approval.