We tend to think of far-western Henrico County as falling into two time periods: Before Short Pump Town Center and After Short Pump Town Center.

Before the shopping center – the county’s largest – opened in 2003, the area definitely had a more rural character. But even in the 1980s, residential construction was already beginning to shift the area to a suburban identity, even if some of the developments built nearly 40 years ago look different from the ones built in the last 20 years.

These days, we’re used to seeing large, master-planned communities in far-western Henrico. The houses within each development tend to share architectural styles, and the development has a clearly defined identity.

By contrast, some of the area’s subdivisions that broke ground in the 1980s developed more organically, over a greater span of time, and you can often see that reflected in the houses themselves.

Consider the Shady Grove Estates development off Pouncey Tract Road. The plat for its first phase of construction was prepared in 1986. It included 19 homesites on a 25-acre parcel of land, and Periwinkle Road ran down its center. Later that year, another plat was filed for a second section of construction. This one included 17 homesites on roughly 20 acres of land.

In 1987, a plat for a roughly 10-acre section was filed. Another section was added in 1989, and another followed in 1994. Finally, in 1996, the last section was subdivided, at the intersection of Willane and Kain roads.

While Russell H. Malone & Associates bought and subdivided the first five sections, Kenny Wilbourne Realty and Construction Company Inc. bought the last 4½-acre parcel in 1993. The company subdivided it into four homesites.

By then, Short Pump had begun to look a little like it does today. Construction was underway in the Wellesley and Wyndham master-planned communities, for example. And Kenneth M. Wilbourne Sr., owner and president of Kenny Wilbourne Realty, bought the 4½-acre parcel in Shady Grove Estates for some of the same reasons other developers are attracted to the area today.

“It had excellent schools, and Short Pump Town Center was going to get built soon,” Wilbourne said. “It was an excellent location.”

Wilbourne built two custom homes and two spec homes on his subdivided parcel, and they sold quickly.

Unlike many recent developments in the area, though, construction in Shady Grove Estates stretched across more than 20 years, with the most recent of the development’s 68 houses getting built in 2016.

Not surprisingly, the neighborhood’s architectural styles reflect more than two decades’ worth of shifts in taste.

“The homes dating back to the early 1990s are typically two-story Colonials,” said Jeannette Mock, a real estate agent with The Steele Group Sotheby’s International Realty. “There are also some homes built in the early 2000s that are a Transitional style.”

By contrast, the development’s newer homes are two-story Craftsman.

“Houses range from 1,900 square feet all the way up to 4,000 square feet,” Mock said. “According to tax records, the median home sales price is $420,000.”

Three homes in Shady Grove Estates have sold in the last 12 months.

The development’s location and its generous lot sizes (most of the homes sit on 1- to 1½-acre lots) are key attractions for homebuyers.

“Shady Grove Estates has mature trees and large homesites, and it’s very close to I-64, I-295 and I-288, making commutes easier,” Mock said. “And the subdivision is located in a great school district and is just minutes away from shopping, dining and grocery stores.”

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