When she was growing up in Vancouver, Louise Thompson loved the Canadian city’s South Granville neighborhood.
“It’s a beautiful area off the prestigious Granville Street,” Thompson said. “And when I was little, I always said, ‘Someday, I’m going to live in South Granville.”
It didn’t work out that way. Instead, Thompson and her husband, Earl Thompson, left Vancouver and settled down in Richmond. Earl became a custom homebuilder and residential developer, and Louise became a real estate agent. (She’s with Joyner Fine Properties.)
But the memory of South Granville lingered. So when Earl Thompson decided to develop a community on a 30-acre parcel of woodlands in western Henrico County, the couple knew that were going to call it Granville South.
The parcel wasn’t exactly sitting in a storied area, though. Thompson had bought the land, which is at the intersection of Favero and North Gayton roads, in the late 1980s, when he was building homes in the Raintree community and saw construction picking up in the western part of the county.
“That piece of land became available, and he knew to get it while he could,” Louise Thompson said.
But even when Thompson began building homes there in 1991, the area was mostly farmland and woodlands. The couple set aside five acres of the parcel for themselves and built a house for their family.
“Our kids called Gayton Road our private driveway,” Louise Thompson said. “This was one of the first neighborhoods along that corridor. Development was moving west but there were still huge farms out there.”
Over the course of three years, the community grew quickly, and a handful of custom builders, including Parke Joyner, Del Sol and Dave Shuck, as well as Thompson’s construction company, were active in the neighborhood.
“We wanted to provide really nice, custom-built homes that were higher-end but affordable,” Louise Thompson said. “The highest price for a home in Granville South when we built it was $495,000.”
Construction wrapped up in 1995.
Most of the 36 homes in Granville South are in the Colonial Revival style, but just as western Henrico was shifting from rural to suburban in the early 1990s, Greater Richmond’s suburban architecture was beginning to include examples of the Transitional style, with cascading rooflines and open-concept floor plans.
“The lots range from ½-acre to more than an acre, and most of them back up to woods,” Louise Thompson said. “Many of the homes have basements, and all have garages.”
Homes in Granville South rarely come on the market, and only four have sold in the last 12 months, with prices ranging from $575,000 to $988,000.
“On the upper end, these homes are 5,000 to 6,000 square feet, so you’re not going to outgrow them,” said Larry Mills, a broker with Joyner Fine Properties. “The more likely scenario is your kids grow up and you suddenly have more space than you need.”
Buyers find the neighborhood’s privacy and the high quality of its homes appealing, Mills says. And many of them offer sought-after features such as first-floor master suites, media rooms, private swimming pools and outdoor living areas. One property, formerly owned by a professional basketball player, has a full-size basketball court.
“It’s a quiet neighborhood bounded by creeks and woods, but it’s close to the major shopping and services in the Short Pump area,” Louise Thompson said. “And it’s minutes from Innsbrook and Westcreek with easy access to State Route 288 and Interstates 64 and 295.”
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