In another sign that the Triangle has shaken off the recession, a golf course community in Holly Springs that fell into financial troubles nearly a decade ago is expanding by 443 homes.
Tampa-based residential real estate developer Landeavor LLC took over the 912-acre 12 Oaks development from Wells Fargo in 2013. Landeavor has built more than half of the 1,136 homes that have been completed since the project began in 2007.
12 Oaks was one of several large subdivisions in southern Wake County that were hit hard when the housing bubble popped in 2007 and the country was thrown into an almost two-year recession. The 12 Oaks project had barely gotten off the ground when construction halted as the full effects of the recession hit Wake County. One home owner told The News & Observer that 12 Oaks “looked like a post-apocalyptic ghost town.” At one point, only 20 homes were occupied, 50 homes sat vacant and the golf course had a handful of members, The N&O report said.
The community was taken over by a court-appointed receiver in 2009, before eventually being bought by a Chicago-based private equity firm for $29.2 million. That firm, Walton Street Capital, partnered with Landeavor on the deal, according to an N&O report.
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In 2013, the community returned to expansion mode, according to an N&O report that year.
Five years later, the community is still expanding. Fueled by widespread growth throughout southern Wake County, Landeavor is now expanding by 133 acres on Woods Creek Road next to the development. Holly Springs has grown in population by 41 percent over the past seven years, and now has about 35,000 residents. The opening of an interchange on the Triangle Expressway has helped spur growth there.
Landeavor is collaborating with two homebuilders that will split the construction: Meritage Homes from Phoenix and Stanley Martin Homes from Reston, Va.
David Mason, vice president for development at Landeavor, who is based in Holly Springs, said Meritage will build 240 homes, along with a saltwater pool complex, pool house, playground and “pocket parks.” Stanley Martin will build the other 203 homes.
Construction is expected to begin late this summer and wrap up by the end of the year. The swimming pool and playground are scheduled to be done by next summer.
The houses will range from 1,700 to 3,000 square feet. Prices will begin at around $300,000.
That is a price range that has become typical for new construction in the Triangle, which has seen listings of homes under $300,000 plummet in recent years as rising land and labor costs have increased the cost of new construction. Building supplies, like lumber, have also gotten more expensive in recent months because of tariffs.
The resurgence of 12 Oaks is part of a greater push by developers into southern Wake County. A lot of the area’s new construction has been focused on the outer edges of Wake County, which have lower land prices and are still close enough to the job centers of Raleigh and Research Triangle Park to attract large amounts of interest.
The southern Wake spur of development includes about 7,000 homes that have been approved in Fuquay-Varina over the past three years. Most recently, that town annexed and rezoned a 400-acre proposed residential development.
The Triangle Business Journal reported Tuesday that Raleigh developer Greenfield Communities is planning a project that could mean more than 1,000 homes on 447 acres just over the Wake County line to Harnett County.