Eastern Wake County’s largest residential development, Wendell Falls, finally opened Saturday with what’s being billed as an old-fashioned “barn-raising.”
The Southern-themed festivities lasted from noon to 6 p.m. and included tours of the clubhouse and 10 model homes.
When complete, the Newland Communities development will include 4,000 single- and multi-family homes ranging in price from the high $100,000s to the $400,000s. Pre-sales are continuing, with some houses available for move-in this month.
Similar to Briar Chapel, its sister community south of Chapel Hill in Chatham County, Wendell Falls also includes 2 million square feet of retail space, 237 acres of parks and open space, and 10 miles of pedestrian trails.
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Wendell Falls was conceived more than a decade ago. Mercury Development struggled to launch the community, and Wachovia Bank, now Wells Fargo, foreclosed on the property in 2008.
Newland Communities, which restarted the project in late 2013, estimates the development will take about 10 years to complete.
Both the towns of Knightdale and Wendell have spent significant amounts on planning and infrastructure in preparation for the new residents at Wendell Falls. The community could double Wendell’s current population of more than 6,000.
“Wendell Falls will provide a vibrant attraction and strong anchor to support the town’s growth while maintaining the area’s charm and traditions,” Wendell Town Manager Teresa Piner said.
On Saturday, Wendell Mayor Tom Hinnant drew the name of Victoria Harris, of Durham, as the winner of $50,000 toward the purchase of a home in the subdivision – a contest that saw some 280 people put their name in the hat.
Bluegrass musicians Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out and Unspoken Tradition performed. Gourmet Southern food from Farmers Table and Southern Harvest Catering, craft beer from Big Boss Brewing and coffee from the recently established Grounds Cafe will be available.
Also Saturday, Newland Communities announced a $25,000 donation to the town’s parks and recreation department for the creation of a new track out program for students.