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Eight years ago, grand openings for new developments were a monthly occurrence.
Developers cut ribbons, handed out handsome brochures and opened sales offices on Main Street. Although the go-go days have passed, a new gated community called the Boulders is holding a private grand opening this weekend and has begun selling lots on Stony Mountain off Asheville Highway.
The developer, Peter Brower, pointed to a road above him in one of five separate sections of the development that crawls up the steep ridge. A couple from Texas had recently bought Lot 3.
"We haven't even opened yet," he said. "We've closed two" sales.
Brower said buyers have purchased the foreclosures and deeply discounted homes in the market, leading to a fresh demand.
"Everyone wants to move into something new," he said. "We're seeing people that outgrew their house because the kids left. They want to downsize."
He pictures the pool of buyers as retirees, working professionals and young families.
Homes are a design Brower called mountain craftsman, heavy on stone, timber and glass.
"The project is incredibly unique because of its location," he said. "From the top, you get seven layers of mountains, the whole Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Pisgah." Every lot has a mountain view, he said, including some breathtaking 360-degree vistas on the mountaintop.
Brower showed a visitor the 3,470-square-foot model, which has hardwood floors, three spacious bedrooms, a roomy kitchen and many upscale features.
The 59 lots are laid out on winding switchbacks over 42 acres. Most of the slopes on the mountainside are on a 25 percent grade, a county Planning Department report said, and some are more than 60 percent. The Boulders sets aside 25 percent of the acreage in green space. Plans call for a neighborhood green with a gazebo and firepit. Lots will have access to natural gas and Hendersonville city water and will have septic tanks.