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Geneva Gardens will offer upscale amenities to seniors

Madison development targets ‘empty-nesters’ ready for smaller homes

John Jordan is rolling the dice with his first development in Madison — Geneva Gardens, a retirement community with upscale garden homes.

Geneva Gardens, named after the mother of Kathryn Clark, who sold Jordan 20 acres located at Hoy Road and Old Canton Road, is a $2 million development with 63 zero-lot-line lots from $45,000 to $65,000. Only a few lots are still available. Homes will start at $150,000; eight homes have been pre-sold.

“It’s the first zero lot line development ever approved by the city of Madison,” Jordan said. “And it has zero impact on the taxpayers.”

Started in mid-1997, the first homes should be ready by fall of 1998. Total completion date should be three years or less.

“We’re laying the sewage now, and the streets should be in by the first of May,” he said.

Jordan, 38, who grew up with builders, and who has been building since he graduated from Mississippi State University, said this is the first community of its kind in the area. Jordan, Laurie Dahlem and Delbert Hosemann form Geneva Gardens LLC, a development of Community First Corporation.

“We’re targeting empty-nesters who are coming from large homes, and don’t need as much space any more,” said Jordan.

A gated community, Geneva Gardens will house a private clubhouse, pool, and a one-acre lake with walking trails. A fountain in the upper lake will “descend with a waterfall to a lower lake,” he said.

A guard house at the entrance behind a brick fence dotted with terracotta urns will buffer French Creole-style garden homes, starting at 1,800 square feet. The largest home will be about 3,200 square feet. The main boulevard will be divided by 27-foot islands “with trees that will eventually form a canopy like those on Old Agency Road” and broadened by sidewalks with 10-foot landscape easements to “bring the community in so it’s not all concrete,” Jordan said. Courtyards, fountains, and cobblestone streets will accent common areas.

Jordan said landscaping will play a big part of the plan. An island with clusters of tupelo trees bordered by water lilies is planned adjacent to a picnic area where Jordan was able to retain 150- to 170-year-old red oak trees. Irises bordering cypress trees, wildflowers, and asiatic jasmine are part of the scheme to “provide lots of annual color,” he said.

Why target seniors? “First, by the year 2000, there will be more seniors than teens for the first time in history,” Jordan said. “Also, Madison is a designated retirement community, and our main objective is to build a class A project Madison can be proud of.

“Last, security and safety are growing issues in our society, and a gated community in a neighborhood where everything you need is within a one-mile radius provides both. Pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, fast foods, post office, police and fire departments, all of these are within one mile of the community,” he said.

Interiors will be handicap-accessible, designed with three-foot doorways.

Trash compactors, water systems, and upscale appliances are a few of the amenities provided for convenience.

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About Lynne W. Jeter

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