Rolling hills, open space and a view of the Olentangy River valley are just a few of the highlights of the Liberty Township development that will host the 2014 Parade of Homes.
On the heels of this year's Parade, held north of Dublin, the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio announced last week that it would host next year's event at Trails End, an Edwards Land Co. development taking shape off state Route 315, near its intersection with Home Road.
"I think this is our prettiest site we've ever had for a parade," said Edwards Co. President Charlie Driscoll, whose developments have been featured in four previous tours. "We've had some pretty nice sites, but all the open space and being up on top of the river valley and looking out over top of it is pretty scenic."
All of the homes will be built on a plateau on the north side of the development, allowing for walkout basements, private backyards and views of the river valley, Driscoll said.
The 216-acre site is low-density, with nearly half of the land set aside as green space. This will allow for an elongated entrance that will lead Parade visitors past a waterfall flowing into a large pond, up onto the plateau where homes that range from $600,000 to $900,000 will sit.
"Because Olentangy River Road is flat, people don't realize just driving by that there is a lot of topography here," Driscoll said. "You'll have to drive up to the top of a plateau to get to the area where we'll have the tour."
Although the Parade site is being praised by the BIA, it once was a sore spot for Liberty Township residents. In June 2011, two months after the land at the intersection of Route 315 and Home Road was rezoned for the development, residents led a referendum effort to overturn the township trustees' ruling that made the development possible. The referendum's merit was refuted by the developer but it made its way to the Ohio Supreme Court before being ruled invalid because it was filed past the 30-day deadline.
"I don't think neighbors realized at the time just how beautifully we'd do it," Driscoll said.
The 2014 Parade will mark the second time in four years that the home tour has stopped in Liberty Township and the third time in four years that it's made its way to southern Delaware County. The 2012 parade was held in Orange Township.
"The southern Delaware County market has remained relatively strong compared to the rest of the market," BIA Executive Director Jim Hilz said. "People have a strong desire to live in Liberty Township and Olentangy is a very good school district."
Driscoll said he has received numerous inquiries about the 148 parcels up for grabs, but the first pick of the 45 properties in the first phase will go to Parade builders in August.
In November, builders will get to work on the homes that will be on display June 14-29, 2014.