August 03, 2015

Infill Development Brings Large Lots To Germantown

By Eric Smith
– Memphis Daily News –

Doug Dickens of Boyle Investment Co. has developed real estate in the Memphis area since 1975, but of all the land he’s scouted in the past three decades, none of it compares to the old Taylor property in Germantown.

With 18.5 wooded acres at 7947 Dogwood Road, just south of Poplar Avenue, the land long has been Dickens’ ideal spot for a subdivision.

“I’ve coveted this piece of property the whole time I’ve been in the business,” said Dickens, vice president of special projects for Boyle. “It came available, and we were able to purchase it.”

Boyle, operating as B.K. Pinnacle LLC, bought the land for $2.7 million in March 2006 and since has transformed it into an infill development dubbed The Pinnacle of Germantown. The 16-lot gated subdivision is atypical of infills, however, featuring large lots ranging from a half acre to 1.25 acres.

But the important thing for Dickens was maintaining the property’s rural look and feel – which attracted him to it in the first place.

“We developed it for building sites without changing the terrain at all,” Dickens said. “We’re keeping all the trees and that natural terrain and the water courses in it. The real estate was beautiful to start with. All we had to do was love it a little bit.”

Bud Hurley is one of the builders who fell in love with the Pinnacle. He bought two lots last fall for a combined $835,000 and promptly began building his own residence there.

Hurley, owner of the building company ArcCon Inc., recently started a market home in the subdivision. He took out a $1.7 million construction loan from Trust One Bank and now has the foundation laid.

What drew Hurley to the development was how much it resembled the sites where he normally builds in Eads.

For example, rainwater runs into The Pinnacle’s creeks instead of street gutters. That allowed Boyle to keep most of the property’s trees.

“I’ve seen a large demand (from) people that want that rural feel, not the city street lights, not the average curb and gutter,” Hurley said. “For Germantown, I have to give them a lot of credit; they were able to do something different for once.”

Hurley also figured the formula of large estate homes on oversized lots – typical for the spacious outer county rather than the denser suburbs – could succeed in Germantown.

“I think there’s a lack of supply for the uniqueness of this,” Hurley said. “That is it, in a nutshell. There are a lot of houses that are $2 million on nice pieces of land, but they’re not in a subdivision this nicely taken care of by Boyle. It’s amazing how much TLC they give a subdivision even after they sold some of the lots.”

Nine lots in The Pinnacle sold between August and October, and seven still remain. Dickens attributed the lack of sales after the initial rush to the housing downturn and tightening in the credit markets.

“We jumped off to a great start,” Dickens said. “The crunch hit, but we still get a lot of calls. A lot of people are interested. We feel like when the timidity of the marketplace changes, we’ll be sold out.”

Four houses are under construction with plans under way on two more, Dickens said. Anyone building in The Pinnacle must adhere to tight architectural controls, and Boyle has established a builders and architects list for the subdivision.

Also, The Pinnacle has both a minimum square footage requirement (4,000 square feet) and a maximum (6,500 square feet).

“The purpose of that is not to have any monuments, but to keep the character of the development even after the houses are built,” Dickens said.

Once the houses are built and The Pinnacle is complete, Hurley said it’s going to stand apart from other developments in Germantown or anywhere else.

“There’s not going to be anything else like it for a long time,” he said.