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VOL. 122 | NO. 152 | Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Halle Investment Sees Sales Potential in Collierville

By Eric Smith

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ALL'S WELL IN HARTWELL: Each of the 56 lots at Halle Investment Co.'s Hartwell subdivision in Collierville sold in one day. The lots are valued between $149,500 and $267,500. -- Photo By Eric Smith

Halle Investment Co. needed just one day to sell all 56 lots at its latest development, the Hartwell subdivision in Collierville - further proof that while the housing market is soft elsewhere, it remains strong in the affluent suburb of about 40,000 people.

Ten builders gobbled up the lots - valued between $149,500 and $267,500 each - helping Halle reap $9 million in sales revenue on the 51.4 acres it has spent the past year developing.

Company president David Halle said he wasn't surprised at the quick sales. Builders had been clamoring for months to grab a piece of this wooded parcel north of Poplar Avenue, west of Shea Road and south of Frank Road.

Simply put, the area remains desirable.

"People are buying Collierville," Halle said. "They're buying the city services, they're buying the school systems - there are numerous private schools in the area and the public school system out here is good. And the location is great - it's just off of Poplar within minutes of (Tenn.) 385."


Prominent place

Collierville's civic amenities and access to convenient roadways are just a portion of the appeal. In that part of town, near Baptist Memorial Hospital-Collierville, there's a dearth of residentially zoned land, which has sparked demand for anything that becomes available.

"It's a very scarce market in that area between Poplar and Frank Road, and Byhalia and Houston Levee," Halle said. "In that block of land, it's very hard to buy lots and very few homes are available."

Halle bought the land in 2006 from three families, naming the subdivision "Hartwell" after one of those sellers, Tommy Hart, a former Shelby County commissioner.

Halle also named the main road in the subdivision Hartwell Ridge. And Buckley Briar Lane and Duncan Woods Drive were named after the other two sellers, Madison Buckley and Elsa and Otis Duncan.

Halle, a seventh-generation Memphian and local history buff, has paid tribute to people by naming developments or streets accordingly, including the subdivisions du Bray and Almadale Farms.


Blending in

Dalhoff Thomas Daws, a planning and landscape architecture firm, designed the Hartwell subdivision, and Davis Engineering Co. Inc. served as engineer.

A pair of two-acre lots flank the front of the development, and a five-acre lot is near the back. The rest of the lots are 15,000 square feet, or a third of an acre.

Homes will be between 4,500 and 6,000 square feet and start at about $700,000, Halle said. The subdivision won't be gated, but it will exhibit the same architectural consistency as Halle's other developments, including Bailey Station and Halle Plantation.

Most importantly, Hartwell will blend in as much as possible with the existing landscape and the estate homes in the neighborhood.

"When you go down Shea Road you barely notice the development's there," Halle said. "We were able to keep a tremendous amount of the trees. We were able to put green space throughout common areas in the development, and in the back there's (access to) the Collierville greenbelt."

The subdivision also will include walking trails and a small lake that some of the lots back up to.

"Everything is completed - the plat has been recorded and the lots have been sold," Halle said. "A dozen homes under construction and we are reviewing plans for approvals on a dozen more."

Adding value

Lynn Poston, owner of Dogwood Investment Co. Inc., bought 10 of the Hartwell lots. He lauded the location of the development, but mostly he praised Halle, whom Poston has worked with before.

"David Halle is a good developer," Poston said. "You follow David Halle, and you'll do all right. Anything David touches is good. He watches over every builder. He kind of keeps his eye on everything."

Poston is building one of the two-acre lots in the front and he's working on selling the rest of them, which he doesn't expect to be a problem.

"Got one I'm just waiting on that should be ready any day now," he said. "I've got another one that I'm waiting to get drawn."

Meanwhile, Halle is working on another development, Radford, in Germantown, which will be the longtime developer's last residential project.

"We're a couple of months away from completing it," he said. "We've already sold a lot of the lots and anticipate having everything sold in a few months."

After that one, he said he plans to "take a breather and watch everybody else have fun."

Halle, who has sold 2,000 lots in Collierville since 1988, said he is proud of the subdivisions he's brought to the area, for both the aesthetic and economic impact they've created.

"I look back and I honestly think that I feel the developments have added a lot of value in the area around them," he said. "I think they have upgraded the community, and I think they have been real beneficial to the tax base. It's been fulfilling."

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 73 147 18,012
MORTGAGES 89 184 20,749
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 34 42 2,735
BUILDING PERMITS 117 258 37,094
BANKRUPTCIES 55 114 11,540
BUSINESS LICENSES 42 59 5,907
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 21 48 6,878
MARRIAGE LICENSES 27 68 4,117