MillBridge Rebounds After Rebranding

WAXHAW, N.C. – MillBridge has rebounded from foreclosure to become one of Union County’s most sought-after subdivisions, thanks to neighborhood amenities and diverse housing options.

The neighborhood has sold about 60 homes annually since 2012, according to the Charlotte Area Realtor Association. Eighteen homes sold in November and December 2015, ranging from $262,500 to $518,740.

Sales could pick up with the introduction of new products targeting empty-nesters.

MillBridge sits on 900 acres, large enough to accommodate nearly 2,000 homes.

L.M. Sandler and Sons bought the property in 2003, only for the Virginia firm to lose MillBridge to foreclosure by 2009. Landeavor, a Florida firm, took over MillBridge in 2010.

Landeavor sought to change how people perceived the neighborhood, according to marketing manager Kelley Archer. When you have a community relatively stagnant for a couple years, she said, you’ve got to get the word out to the general public, as well as builders and Realtors.

“The biggest obstacle when you rebrand is educating people about the new Millbridge,” Archer said.

The company explored ways to enhance MillBridge’s amenities, which include miles of trails, three swimming pools, an airnasium with covered basketball court, and community house with a movie theater fitness center and café.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Charlotte recognized MillBridge in 2014 with Amenity Package of the Year honors.

“Most of our activities are centered around the community house,” Archer said.

Unlike most communities, where the clubhouse is closed and must be rented out, MillBridge is open and staffed by a barista daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Residents swing by to mingle with neighbors or play games. A full-time lifestyle director organizes events for young and old, including knitting, yoga, zumba, book club or movie screenings.

The clubhouse also serves as a central location where people can learn more about the builders.

The community has homes by Bonterra Builders, Essex Homes, Pulte Homes and M/I Homes. Lennar will be coming online this year, too.

M/I Homes of Charlotte announced last month that it was introducing the Cottage Collection to MillBridge to target people whose children have left home. About 80 homes will be available.

“Whether active adults are seeking a community where they can be close to their family, or families are in search of yet one more option in Waxhaw, this new collection from M/I Homes is perfect,” Alan Beulah, an executive with M/I Homes, said at the time.

The community has seen demand from older adults asking about homes with a master bedroom on the first floor, Archer said.

The collection will range in size from 2,670 to 3,633 square feet and price from the upper $200,000s to the mid-$300,000s. MI/Homes plans to open an information center and home model in the spring.

The community also targets older adults through MillBridge Classics, a series of age-appropriate activities.

“We do see a lot of blended families, multi-generational families,” Archer said. “It’s really just very diverse.”

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