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88-acre Braewood property sold at auction

FLAT ROCK— An 88-acre tract of land that was once the site of proposed 121-home residential development sold at auction on Tuesday for just over $1 million.

A developer who bought the Braewood property visited Flat Rock Village Hall on Wednesday, the day after the auction, to check on zoning and village development regulations, said Village Administrator Judy Boleman.
The Village of Flat Rock had authorized a 121-unit planned residential community on the undeveloped property in gently sloping woods on West Blue Ridge Road that would include walking trails, a 50 percent set-aside for open space and access to Jordan Lake. The property is across from Bonclarken between the Mill House Lodge and Flat Rock Middle School.
Hilton Swing and his father, Kenneth Swing, received a special-use permit in August 2007 toward the tail end of Henderson County's real estate building boom. The Braewood development never got off the ground. When the special-use permit expires on Jan. 1, the property will revert to R10, R20, and R40 residential zoning, which require quarter-acre, half-acre and one-acre lots respectively.

The high bid was $1.078 million.
"It is under contract and I expect it to close by the end of the year," said Frank Smith of the auction company Stephen Jax & Associates. "It was a good auction. Almost every (registered) bidder placed a bid. It's a very appealing piece of property for a lot of different reasons."
The property is owned by TD Bank, as successor to Carolina First Bank, which loaned money for the development. The winning bid was acceptable to the bank, Smith said.
Hilton Swing wrote to Carolina First Bank president J.W. Davis in July 2009 that "we have had some very good conversations the past few weeks" with buyers looking at lots discounted to $90,000 to $110,000. "The prices are also comparable to Kenmure's recent sales at Berwick Downs."
Swing estimated that putting in roads, water lines, sewer lines and other utilities would cost $650,000 to $781,000 for phase 1 of the development. None of the work was done.
The property includes a house valued at $227,500 and two smaller buildings. The buildings and acreage are currently assessed at $1.04 million.