The Transylvania Times -


By John Lanier

GlenLaurel Preserve Getting Back On Track


GlenLaurel Preserve, a large, residential development planned in the Cherryfield community, is once again back on track.

A few years ago, a group of developers planned to build some 280 residences, along with a clubhouse, pool, outdoor amphitheater and extensive trail system. They had put in water, sewer and natural gas lines, as well as pump stations. They had contracted with the town of Rosman to turn those facilities over to the town in return for Rosman’s handling the water and sewer from the development.

“We basically built the water and sewer system and gave it to them,” said Ted Futrelle, one of the original developers who now just oversees the daily work of the project.

In addition, Comporium had laid the wiring for TV, Internet and phone service.

Then, the bottom fell out of the real estate market and Regions Bank foreclosed on the property in 2009.

“It was the result of the real estate depression,” said Futrelle of the foreclosure.

Futrelle said the company had the money to pay off their vendors and the interest, but could not pay on the principal. As a result, the bank foreclosed on the development.

In August of 2011, however, a group of investors led by Rick Judson of Charlotte purchased the property at a significantly reduced price and the project has been rejuvenated. Judson had been a minor partner in the first undertaking at GlenLaurel Preserve, but now is the major partner of GL Partners LLC. Roger Petit, a Rosman businessman and member of the town’s board of aldermen, is also a partner in GL Partners LLC.

“The new owners came to me to manage the day-to-day affairs,” said Futrelle.

Futrelle, who owns MountainSide Homebuilders, also is the major contractor.

His company will build all of the townhomes, but any contractor can build a single family detached home as long as they meet certain guidelines.

While the number of residences, the original site plans and the amenities have not changed, there are several significant differences from the first undertaking.

The major difference is price.

Futrelle said the lot prices have come down dramatically, almost half of the original price, and that has decreased the overall price.

When the project was first announced, 2,100-plus square foot townhomes with two garages were going to be sold from the low to mid $400,000 range.

Now they will be sold in the low to mid $300,000 range.

The price decrease for single family detached residences is even more dramatic.

Originally, those homes would have cost $600,000 or more.

Now they will cost in the high $300,000 to $400,000 range.

“That’s a dramatic difference,” said Futrelle.

Some of the frills have been removed, but the quality still remains. The structures, for example, will have hardwood floors and custom-made cabinets.

Futrelle also said he has been able to lower the cost of construction by purchasing directly from vendors instead of a third party.

“It’s amazing how good you can be when you don’t have anything else to do,” said Futrelle.

Futrelle also pointed out that anything constructed by Mountainside Homebuilders would be a green product.

While the cost may be a little higher upfront, it should save homeowners money in the future. He said their heating costs are projected to be below $35 a month.

“We’re saving a lot of money in energy,” he said, adding that the structures will meet Indoor AirPlus and EnergyStar Plus ratings.

While the materials are being purchased directly from manufacturers, the labor will be local. The original plan several years ago called for much of the construction to be done by groups out of Charlotte.

Another significant change is the way in which the property and homes will be sold. Typically, a large-scale development has its own sales team. But this time, GlenLaurel is collaborating with four real estate agents to sell the property: Art Fisher, Jeremy Purcell, Margaret Garren and Paul Wilander.

“That’s a very unique collaboration,” said Futrelle. “There’s nothing more local than that.”

Futrelle is pleased that much of the original concept has remained intact – the lot size, the quality construction, the amenities and the infrastructure.

He also believes the location of GlenLaurel will be a draw because people will feel like they are living in the mountains, but only be a few minutes from Brevard.

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