Posted on: January 3, 2023 Posted by: Sarah Giavedoni Comments: 0

Last Updated on March 23, 2023

Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks helps Conserving Carolina secure 34+ acres for future recreation opportunities.
View of Bracken Mountain from Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks’ Downtown Brevard office | Photo by Jeremy Owen


Bracken Preserve One Step Closer to Recreational Expansion

Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks helps Conserving Carolina secure 34+ acres for future recreation opportunities.

January 3, 2023 (Asheville, NC)—On December 29, 2022, Conserving Carolina acquired a 34.24-acre tract of land located behind Waterford Place at the entrance to Bracken Preserve. The purchase represents the culmination of a months-long community fundraising effort in conjunction with the City of Brevard for the land, which closed for $300,000 with the help of Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks, REALTORSⓇ.

“Conserving Carolina is excited to be a lead partner in acquiring this property to expand the Bracken Mountain Preserve and its trail system, and widen its recreational user base to a broader audience,” said Rebekah Robinson, Assistant Director for Programs at Conserving Carolina. “Our next steps will be to work with the City of Brevard to pursue grant funding and private donations to fund trail design and development.” 

According to a previous statement from Conserving Carolina, “The goal [for the land] is to create two to three miles of new trails, including two moderate loops and an easier way to access the existing Bracken trail network. These trails would expand the existing nine-mile trail network while inviting people of all ages, skill levels, and fitness levels to experience the extraordinary forest at the doorstep of Brevard.”

In the late 1980s, WNC Service Corporation, a subsidiary of Clyde Savings Bank (now HomeTrust Bank) developed Waterford Place in Brevard. As of late 2018, the bank was developing the remainder of available lots. However, after review, it was decided not to develop the steep land.

Dana Stonestreet, then-CEO of HomeTrust Bank (now Executive Chairman) began speaking with Jim Fatland and Paul Ray with the City of Brevard in 2020 about adding the acreage to the Bracken Preserve. In May 2022, the City began a fundraising campaign to purchase the off-market property. Conserving Carolina aided those fundraising efforts, and the City assigned the sale of the land to them.

“HomeTrust Bank has been holding this part of Waterford Place for the past 35 years instead of developing it because we felt there was a higher and better use for it,” said Stonestreet, the seller. “And now we are thrilled for it to be a key addition to the Bracken Preserve with new trails already in the works.”

The City of Brevard is excited to add nearly an additional 10% to the existing 395 acres of Bracken Preserve, a public initiative that traces its history back to 1910. 

“The City of Brevard is thrilled at the outreach and collaborative efforts that have resulted in Conserving Carolina purchasing 34 acres of land adjacent to the City’s Bracken Preserve,” said Maureen Copelof, Mayor of Brevard. “This is part of the City’s vision of expanding Bracken Preserve and adding trails that are suitable for beginning and intermediate level riders.”

Many public, private, and nonprofit entities came together to support this initiative.

“We are extremely grateful for the partnership with Conserving Carolina, who led the fundraising efforts, and for the enthusiastic and dedicated efforts of community leaders like Howie Granat, Ryan Olsen, and others who stepped up and organized fundraising events,” said Mayor Copelof. “The latest community fundraiser, BrackenFest, raised over $30,000 for this project. In all, a total of $159,000 has been raised from donations.”

“There has been a lot of broad community support for this project,” said Jeremy Owen, Vice President-Managing Broker of Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks’ downtown Brevard office. “I’m so proud of Lizzie’s involvement in making this happen. She was instrumental in bringing the seller and the City together to make this off-market purchase happen.”

“I was really honored to be part of something that will increase recreational opportunities in our community,” said Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks agent Lizzie McGann, who represented the seller of the property. “It’s a win for everyone involved, and I’m personally very appreciative of the efforts the City, Conserving Carolina, and Mr. Stonestreet put in to make this happen. Mr. Stonestreet’s generosity and forethought are the sole reason the additional acreage for Bracken Preserve became a reality. I am truly grateful to have been part of this amazing collaboration.”

McGann’s support extends to an in-kind contribution in the form of a reduced real estate commission. “We did negotiate with the seller; we’re not taking full commission,” said Owen.

“We are pleased to be working with Lizzie McGann and Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks on this project,” said Copelof. “Having worked with them in the past on other projects, we are confident in their expertise and professionalism.”

This sale marks the second time this fall Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks agents have helped spearhead land conservation purchases in WNC. In September, Susan Barnes represented Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in their purchase of 139 acres within the Biltmore Lake community and adjoining Pisgah National Forest. 

Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks remains a longtime supporter and leader of Conserving Carolina. Hendersonville agent Rick Merrill served in board leadership positions and on the land committee for 17 years. Both Owen and McGann are proud of Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks’ role in this transaction. Owen is especially proud of McGann for sticking with the sale for multiple years to see it to fruition.

“We can look out our front door from the office and see Bracken Mountain,” said Owen. “I’m glad we were able to support a sale that conserves the mountain and contributes to local recreation.”

“Of all the things I’ve accomplished in my career so far,” said McGann, “this is the most important one to me.”

About Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks, REALTORSⓇ

Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks is a full-service real estate firm offering residential and commercial sales, marketing, and consulting services across Western North Carolina. In addition to these core business platforms, Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks has strategic partnerships in several related industry ventures, including mortgage and title insurance. 

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