2. Witherspoon Property
In 1993, O’Delle K. Holt passed away while living on her 257.8-acre property on Crockett Road, as one of the last in a long line of Holts to live on the family property since the early 1800s.
In her will, she granted her one-half interest of the property to her nephew, Charles Witherspoon, Jr., in the form of a life estate managed by Independence Trust Company. The other half was granted to the Brentwood United Methodist Church where the family were longtime members. In 2014, Witherspoon, then 87, decided to sell.
In January, the closing on the sale of the Holt property was held. Originally, developers Mike Ford Custom Builders LLC, who are partnering with Ragan Smith Associates and CPS Land to develop it, wanted to purchase the entire property including the historic Wildwood mansion that sits on it.
Their original plan was to purchase it, restore it and then sell it to a new buyer, but a local family instead has purchased the historic home, along with the surrounding 8.45 acres, to restore it for personal use. The remaining 255 acres will be developed as a neighborhood with 153 lots.
The combined properties were purchased for $10.5 million. After deducting legal fees, settlements, taxes and closing costs, the remaining proceeds ended up being more than $3.9 million each going to BUMC and the trust.
Pearl Street Partners LLC hope to rezone the land from R-2 (one lot per acre) to an Open Space Residential Development-Innovative Project for its proposed Holt Crest subdivision.
A preliminary site plan shows 247 lots on roughly 263-acres, with homes ranging from 3,000 to upwards of 10,000 square ft.
Pearl Street Partners principal Khris Pascarella said he expects the smaller “village” homes (50-64 ft.-wide lots) to have starting prices somewhere around $550,000; the mid-sized “manor” homes (80-95 ft.-wide lots) at $700,000 and up; and the larger “executive” homes (half-acre and up) between $950,000 and $1.5 million.
The neighborhood is designed to appeal to a broad mix of people, but is especially attractive to those who do not want to maintain larger pieces of properties, including empty nesters and retirees, Pascarella said.
“We’ve heard from numerous residents that Brentwood has not created the opportunity for people to age in place, with smaller lots, smaller homes and lower maintenance. We’ve heard the word ‘frozen’ – where if people want to move down in size, their only option is to leave Brentwood. We feel the Holt estate is really the perfect place to create this kind of neighborhood.”
The historic Wildwood mansion, built in 1835, would be fully restored and sit on its own 10-acre estate for a new family to live in.
“[The mansion] is not conducive to a club house,” Pascarella said. “We want it to be occupied by someone who loves the history, and will appreciate the cultural significance of the home.
“Creating a 10-acre lot in Brentwood is a big sacrifice, trust me. But to properly respect the history and story behind the property we had to do this.”
The land’s current owner, Charles Witherspoon Jr., said he was not told about the developer’s intention to put his family’s mansion on the market, and the idea might take some getting used to.
“I don’t know how I’d feel about someone I don’t know living there,” he said. “If that’s what they want to do, it’s just one of those things I’ll have to accept.”
Witherspoon, 87, has lived on the Holt property since 1929, but his family’s ties with the land go back to the early 1800s. He decided earlier this year to sell off the remaining 263-acres of the property, which at one point totaled up to 1,200-acres. The property is under contract for $12 million, part of which will be donated to a Brentwood church.
“I’m pleased with the overall look of the plan,” he said. “I feel pretty optimistic about it.”
Pascarella said Witherspoon will continue to live in the lower house he currently occupies, just a couple hundred yards from the mansion.
The developers also intend to preserve many of the other significant sites on the property, including the family cemetery, the existing stonewall and spring house, as well as various ponds and natural water drainage ways.
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