The dream of the 1890s is alive in Buncombe County.
Instead of organizing around a golf course or tennis court, a new suburban community is centering itself around green space, healthy living, and community agriculture. It calls itself an agrihood, and it’s not the first place to do so.
What is an Agrihood?
An “agrihood” (a blend of “agriculture” and “neighborhood”) is a planned community centered around a community farm. The farm is designed as a sustainable food system that provides produce for the whole community. These developments often contain community gardens or urban agriculture systems, and many also include individual garden plots for homeowners to grow their own produce.
Agrihoods are designed to incorporate agriculture with other healthy living features shown to increase neighborhood happiness and safety: physical closeness and interaction with neighbors, proximity to amenities, cultivated and wild green spaces, and varied architecture (which fosters the sense that the space has existed for a long time). Many such communities also feature edible landscaping, farm-to-table restaurants, and a resident farm instructor who instructs residents on proper gardening methods.
The Urban Land Institute estimated around 200 agrihoods around the U.S. in 2015. Examples include:
Asheville has an Agrihood?
Almost. Olivette Riverside Community will be a 346-acre planned community along the French Broad River, 6.7 miles north of downtown Asheville between Woodfin and Macedonia. According to a recent article in the Asheville Citizen-Times:
Olivette isn’t a novelty. It’s part of an emerging trend of planned communities. Whereas subdivisions once offered tennis courts and golf courses, these new neighborhoods favor farms, trails, and community events.
Instead of a lavish clubhouse, Olivette will offer a small community center adjacent to a cemetery from the 1800s. Instead of a swimming pool, there will be river access with rafting trips and fishing guides. A small farm, already growing and selling vegetables, aspires to offer a CSA to all the homeowners.
While not the first agrihood in the Southeast (that designation goes to Serenbe Farms outside of Atlanta), Olivette will be the first for Western North Carolina. Lot/home packages, each featuring geothermal wells, start at $650,000. Townhomes, which may be built as part of a later phase of the project, are forecast to start in the high $300,000s.
To learn more about Olivette Riverside Community & Farm, visit olivettenc.com.
All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about Olivette or other planned communities in our region, our experts at Beverly-Hanks are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying homes and land in Western North Carolina.