Developers broke ground on the $12 million initial phase of the Short Fork Farms development on the edge of Hernando off of Getwell Road July 22.
The development will include several amenities including a town center with retail and commercial space, several parks, walking trails, agricultural land, an equestrian facility, recreational buildings and much more. The development is expected to cost approximately $25 million.
Burke Hendrix, one of the developers for the project, said the favorable market conditions in DeSoto County made the development possible.
“It leverages opportunity that’s unprecedented here,” Hendrix said. “Other places in the country have been quite successful, and with our market here, we are certain that we can pull off something we can all be proud of.”
Hendrix expects phase one of the project, which includes 70 lots, to begin in early October. Phase one is still under development, so lot numbers are subject to change.
“Around the first of October, we plan on pouring slabs and building houses,” Hendrix said. “The first phase encompasses 70 lots. We’ll be playing in that 2,200 to 2,400 square feet market.”
Hendrix said Short Fork will offer a unique experience to its residents.
“Unlike a traditional subdivision, when a person pulls in from work, their day is just beginning,” Hendrix said. “We are such an amenity enriched environment.”
Hendrix said the next step will most likely be the town center.
“Our goal is to get the lots going and cash flowing,” Hendrix said. “Hopefully, by the summer of 2022 you’ll start seeing the town center construction.”
The town center will include space for retail and commercial businesses as well as apartments.
“We have about 36,000 square feet of retail and commercial space,” Seabolt said. “There will be 30 lofts upstairs and it will all be centered around a central park.”
Hendrix said there has been some backlash for the amount of homes being built in DeSoto County, but the Short Fork team is committed to quality.
“A lot of people are worried about the quantity of homes, but we’re committed to the quality of this project and the Short Fork experience,” Hendrix said. “There’s just so much to offer.”
Oliver Seabolt, a member of the design team, said they are preserving as much land as possible.
“Instead of clear cutting trees down, we’re able to have about 600 houses on only about 165 acres,” Seabolt said. “This is going to preserve about 250 acres of mature trees.”
Seabolt said this also allows for more natural walking trails.
“We’re going to be able to have several open spaces and trails,” Seabolt said. “Easily, right now, we have over 10 miles of trails so far.”
District 5 supervisor Michael Lee said the project is what DeSoto County needs to grow.
“This is what the unincorporated part of the county needs,” Lee said. “This is the direction we want to see DeSoto County headed in.”
Lee said the development will set a precedent for other developments in DeSoto County.
“This is the vision that I’ve had and the board has had,” Lee said. “It’s going to be a project that paves the way for other things like it.”
Short Fork will attract more people to the Hernando area. Lee said the development will not negatively affect local businesses or residents.
“These homes are not going to hurt other people and their shops,” Lee said. “They’re always going to have their customers, but these are going to be new people. It just shows how the county is growing, and we’re excited about that.”