Contractor clearing land for upscale development

Published 4:52 pm Friday, September 21, 2018

Twenty-two 5-acre mini-farms are for sale in Eest Batesville between Hwy. 6E and Brewer road. The tracts are listed for $62,500.

Photo by Jeremy Weldon

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Local contractor Chris Brocato said this week he is trying to do something that has never been done in Batesville with his ambitious housing development at the corner of Mill Cross and Brewer Roads in East Batesville.

“I want to make this something really nice for Batesville, something we’ve never had here before,” Brocato said. “With the economy getting better and people willing to spend money now our factories are about to start filling back up, and lots of other good things are coming in Batesville. There’s no place around Batesville right now that offers this kind of choice to people.”

The property the contractor began clearing this summer is located just off Hwy. 6E and can be accessed from Mill Cross or Brewer. He has been careful to leave the oldest of the hardwoods, including some trees 150 tall and more than 30 inches across. “It’s full of virgin timber and absolutely beautiful back in there,” Brocato said.

Signs advertising the five-acre mini-farms went up about two weeks ago and calls have been steady. “Lots over in Oxford are fifty thousand dollars for a half acre and people just don’t want that anymore,” Brocato said. “This has everything people want now and they can have dogs, horses, chickens, but no cows or pigs.”

He said a realtor who is working on the project advised him to advertise the mini-farms as chicken friendly. “It’s all you hear about now, everybody wants chickens.” Anyone interested in keeping horses will be required to purchase at least two tracts according to covenants that will be strictly enforced.

Houses will be required to have a minimum of 2,300 sq. feet heated and cooled (about a 3,500 sq. foot home) and will have a number of restrictive covenants. “I really want it be nice and be good for Batesville, and when it fills up I want to start another one,” Brocato said.

The property does have city water, but not sewer service there. Batesville annexed the property more than 10 years ago, but has never extended the sewer to the houses on Mill Cross. In the new development, builders will probably use water treatment plants or large septic systems because officials have not been willing to spend the money necessary to provide sewer to that portion of the city, although it is within the incorporated limits.

Brocato said covenants will also not allow propane tanks placed above ground. Dozer workers have begun building a road through the property, and prospective buyers will soon be able to ride through for a closer look at all the proposed sites.

The property was owned by the Dorr Family for many years (north of Brewer was the Trotter Family land) and Brocato said he was able to salvage some of the old home, which had been on the place since the 1900s. The house was built with hewn wood with cedar shake shingles, and some of the logs and siding were salvaged for furniture and picture frames and other crafts.

“We got to recycle some of that beautiful wood and it was good to see it used for other things again,” Brocato said.