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VOL. 126 | NO. 41 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Helping Homes

Showcase gives back while giving glimpse of new designs

By Sarah Baker

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In a market plagued by a dearth of new home construction, one Memphis-based development team is tackling affordable housing and giving back in one fell swoop.

The 2011 Memphis Home Showcase is slated for May 20 to June 5 at the Bocage community in East Memphis, an infill development just north of the intersection of White Station and Walnut Grove roads.

The show – presented by River City Land Co. in affiliation with Kircher-Belz Builders LLC and At Home Tennessee Magazine – has only two homes, one of which is pre-sold.

The event kicks off May 20 with a preview party, silent auction and dinner. It will then run that weekend and the next two subsequent weekends.

“We’re going to try to make it as much like the Vesta and give the people as much as we can for their money,” said Eddie Kircher of Kircher-Belz.

Similar to last year’s Vesta Designer Home Showcase – where roofs and appliances like General Electric, Sub-Zero and Wolf were half-priced – Memphis Home Showcase planners are taking advantage of supplier discounts.

Visitors to the showcase will be able to tour the two homes and see the latest designs and amenities that these builders have to offer.

But what will make the Memphis Home Showcase stand out from other home shows is all of the proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. A plethora of events are in the works, from cooking demonstrations to wine tastings.

“One of our challenges is that there are only two homes,” said Griffin Elkington, principal broker for River City Land Co. LLC (see Feb. 25 edition of The Daily News for profile on Elkington). “Vesta’s usually like five, so we got to make it worthwhile.”

The gated Bocage broke ground in 2007. By the time the community is built out, it will be about an $8 million development on 2.6 acres.

Bocage lots average 11,000 to 14,000 square feet and are priced between $190,000 and $220,000. Three of the nine lots are still available. Bocage houses range from 4,000 to 5,000 square feet and cost $750,000 to $850,000, including the lot.

“The homes are going to be topnotch,” Elkington said. “It’s like getting a Mercedes for the price of a Ford or Chevrolet.”

The architect for the Memphis Home Showcase is Doug Enoch of T. Douglas Enoch Architects & Associates, and the houses’ interiors will be designed and decorated by the Amy Howard Collection and Post 31 Interiors.

As for this year’s Vesta show, the Memphis Area Home Builders Association is working with builders and developers to set the date sometime during October or November.

“We want to make sure that the homes will be ready and with the weather that we had in January and February, we haven’t been able to start the homes yet,” said Don Glays, executive director of MAHBA.

As in years past, the annual show will likely take place in Germantown, Glays said.

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