A small piece of Goochland County’s history is undergoing a big change, with work underway to bring 63 homes to a 56-acre site once owned by a prominent local family.
Several generations of the Miller family occupied Reed Marsh, the 1810 farmhouse that still stands across from the county government complex on River Road West. And five family members served as county clerks for Goochland for a period of 152 years.
Portions of the Miller farm were previously sold to the county for the original Goochland High School building and the Goochland Branch Library.
Now, the site is home to a new residential community bearing the farmhouse’s name.
“We kept the property’s name to honor the land’s history,” said Lawrence Liesfeld, who is developing the Reed Marsh community with his business partner, Neil Farmer.
Liesfeld says he and Farmer expect to sell the farmhouse to a buyer committed to renovating it as a part of the larger community.
Liesfeld and Farmer began buying the two parcels of land that make up the 56-acre site in late 2018, and the county board of supervisors approved rezoning it several months later.
Liesfeld and Farmer were attracted to the site because of its central location in Goochland Courthouse, which “needed more rooftops,” Liesfeld said.
In addition to the government complex and library, the local YMCA and elementary school are within walking distance.
Along with increasing home-buying options in Goochland Courthouse, Reed Marsh will offer something fairly rare in the county: relatively small lot sizes.
“Normally in Goochland, you have five- to 10-acre lots,” Liesfeld said. “Here, homebuyers will have a ½ acre. It’s the best of both worlds. You can have a relaxing life in the country without having to maintain a lot of land.”
He added: “I’m really proud of the design for Reed Marsh. It’s going to bring a classic touch to Goochland Courthouse.”
Home stats and sales
Manakin-Sabot-based Boone Homes will be the sole builder in Reed Marsh.
“We’ve been building homes in eastern Goochland for a while, most recently in Kinloch, and we were looking for something else in the county,” said Caroline Ward, Boone’s marketing coordinator. “We wanted to find a project with a small-town feel.”
The company began home construction in Reed Marsh in May.
“We have six homes in various stages of construction,” Ward said. “The first homebuyers will begin moving in in January.”
The community’s model home opened last week.
All 63 new homes will be built in the Craftsman and Traditional styles with options for vinyl siding and brick. Buyers have four elevations to choose from, along with five floorplans that have a mix of first-floor and second-floor owner suites.
Floorplans range from 2,400 to 3,600 square feet, although they can be expanded.
“We’re a semi-custom builder, so buyers have the ability to customize our floorplans,” Ward said.
Base prices start at $559,990.
Early sales have been strong, which Ward credits in part to the community’s convenient location and the homes’ quality construction.
That’s what attracted David and Ann Elliotte, the community’s first homebuyers. They were planning a move from Chesterfield County’s Woodland Pond community to Goochland in order to be closer to their daughter and her family, and Reed Marsh’s location fit their needs perfectly, Ann Elliotte says.
“We can walk to the library, the Y, church and Food Lion,” she said. “It’s very convenient for us.”
After visiting some of Boone’s other neighborhoods, the couple felt comfortable working with the builder, and they signed a contract for a 2,800-square-foot home in May. They’re planning to move into the new house in January.
Being the first buyers in a new community hasn’t fazed the couple.
“This is the third house my husband and I have built,” Elliotte said, with a laugh. “This feels natural to us.”