Eye on Development: Olde Stonegate coming back to life

Construction resumes, homes selling in Mint Hill subdivision

by Josh Whitener

(Above) Citizens Homes has purchased the remaining lots at Mint Hill’s Olde Stonegate subdivision off Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road and construction is in full swing. Josh Whitener/MMHW photo

After several years of stagnancy, Olde Stonegate is getting another chance to thrive with developer Citizens Homes.

The Mint Hill neighborhood, located off Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road, was approved for 79 homes in September 2006, Mint Hill town planner John Hoard said recently, but construction stalled when the economy tanked. St. Lawrence Homes, the subdivision’s former builder, went bankrupt with only three homes completed.

Last year, Citizens Homes discovered the mostly vacant subdivision – and perhaps a golden opportunity. The company started building in August, focusing on smaller homes than what was originally planned for the site. While the three St. Lawrence homes were in the $300,000 to $400,000 range, the Citizens Homes products are listed at $179,000 to $275,000.

“When we first came in here, we really didn’t know what the market was going to be,” said Jason Smith, the developer’s on-site agent. “We knew that it wouldn’t work, building big homes like (the previous builder did).”

Citizens Homes uses nine different floor plans for the houses in Olde Stonegate. The plans include both ranch and two-story homes between 2,000 and 3,500 square feet. Homes this size and in this price range are selling more successfully than others, Smith said.

The houses have three to five bedrooms depending on the floor plan, and all homes will be built of brick and hardy plank siding. “It’s a 50-50 neighborhood, and there’s no vinyl,” Smith said.

Citizens Homes has five houses up in the neighborhood so far, including the model home, and Smith said the company hopes to finish its sixth house by August. Four of the new homes have already sold, including the house under construction. The three homes built by St. Lawrence Homes sold before Citizens Homes took over the neighborhood.

Olde Stonegate has two intertwining streets, one of which leads to Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road. Smith believes the location and lot sizes of the homes, which are one-third to one-half acre, are the key attributes that make the neighborhood an attractive place to live.

“The lots are big enough to accommodate ranch homes, garages, that sort of thing,” Smith said. “There’s (not a lot of) traffic, and you don’t have the hustle and bustle out here. It’s really a quality product.”

Citizens Homes has built houses in two other subdivisions in the Charlotte area and is about to start a third project in Mooresville. Other Citizens Homes neighborhoods are located in Raleigh and Wilmington, in South Carolina at Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head and in Nashville, Tenn.

The company is in charge of the construction of houses on all the remaining lots in Olde Stonegate. “We’re entirely committed to that community,” Smith said.

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