Like a lot of business endeavors, real estate development works better when you can take uncertainty out of the equation. That’s one of the reasons Herbert Fitzgerald and Richard Nuckols decided in 1995 to buy a 45-acre parcel of woodlands in northwestern Henrico County.

Their company, Richmond-based Realty Ventures Group, was wrapping up work on a nearby 108-home development on Mountain Road. The Deer Springs community had attracted strong sales, thanks in part to its convenient location, Fitzgerald says.

Buoyed by its success, Fitzgerald and Nuckols set out to turn the newly purchased 45-acre parcel into an 85-home community called Sheppards Way. The site, which is located at the intersection of Mountain Road and Sheppards Way Drive, is adjacent to the General Sheppard Crump Memorial Park.

The community’s name refers to the Sheppard family, who owned land in the Glen Allen area beginning in the early 1700s. Seven generations of Sheppards lived there, and the family’s farmhouse, built in 1810, is now part of a living history farm and museum in the Meadow Farm/General Sheppard Crump Memorial Park.

Realty Ventures Group bought the 45-acre parcel for Sheppards Way from the Virginia Commonwealth University and Medical College of Virginia Foundation, which had received the land from a donor, Fitzgerald says.

Construction in Sheppards Way began in 1996, with four builders active in the community – Colonial Homecrafters, Tuckahoe Creek Construction, Prospect Homes and Town & Country Builders.

Construction in Sheppards Way began in 1996, with four builders active in the community – Colonial Homecrafters, Tuckahoe Creek Construction, Prospect Homes and Town & Country Builders.

“The property has significant frontage on Mountain Road, and Richard and I wanted to avoid having houses backing up to it,” Fitzgerald said. “We designed private alleys to serve those houses so they could face Mountain Road and the fencing and landscaping we installed. The result was a much nicer look.”

Nuckols and Fitzgerald’s belief that the community would be popular proved to be correct.

“The houses sold quickly, and construction was finished in three years,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s a great location with large lots and a rural feel. A lot of the original owners are still there.”

Architectural styles in Sheppards Way include Transitional and two-story Colonial, and home sizes range from 2,200 to 3,400 square feet. The minimum lot size is 1/3-acre.

“There’s not a lot of turnover in Sheppards Way,” said Greg Spicer, a real estate agent with Hometown Realty. “In the last 12 months, the neighborhood has had six sales, with a low of $353,000 and a high of $420,000.”

Spicer was the listing agent for the highest-priced home, and he has another under contract now.

Affordability and location are driving sales, Spicer says.

“It’s convenient to schools, the Glen Allen youth center and the park, as well as being conveniently close to shopping,” Spicer said. “And the neighborhood has held up really well over time. The residents take pride in their community.”

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