River Bend is the newest Drees Homes neighborhood community being built in Hillsborough. The location off I-85 and I-40 between the Triangle and the Triad make it a great place to live and split the commute. It will also be a great place to live if you enjoy walking along rivers and hiking up mountains or walking to a quaint downtown that is as full of eclectic shops as Hillsborough.
Historic downtown Hillsborough will be a short walk from River Bend once the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust builds the Oxbow Foot Bridge and Phase III of the Riverwalk is completed by the Town of Hillsborough, in Fall 2014 (see Riverwalk History).
Miles of trails await those who like nature or want to take a connecting sidewalk to downtown Hillsborough. Riverwalks Phase II, also scheduled for completion this Fall, is part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail that will eventually link North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockeys Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks.
"We are excited to offer Drees Homes in this wonderful Hillsborough location, said David Hausfeld, division president for Drees Homes. This small, but quaint, twelve-home-site community allows easy access to Interstate 85 and residents can be anywhere in the Triangle within minutes. Homeowners will also enjoy the close proximity to historic downtown Hillsborough shopping and restaurants.
Radhika and Pushkar Phadke, medical professionals working in the Triad, moved into their home in River Bend about three weeks ago. The past six months was a busy time for this young family of four. Their youngest is now just six months old. And during that time, the family bought a lot and decided on the Wyngate floor plan which is approximately 2,730 square feet. They say they like the open floor plan and the main-floor master bedroom suite and that their house was completed in a little over five months.
So far we like living in River Bend because it is close to interstate exits to get to our jobs in the Triad and close to public parks, which my daughter Ria really likes, and good elementary schools, Radhika said.
The Phadke family had been living on the other side of Hillsborough where they found the commute a little longer to their jobs in Greensboro and High Point. Moving from a large city to Hillsborough took some getting used to as there is not the public transportation system that is available in large cities, Radhika said. But once we got used to it, we enjoy the small-town feel and being close to good public elementary schools. The good elementary schools are one of the reasons we chose to stay in Hillsborough and commute to our jobs in the Triad.
The family moved to the Triangle from Boston where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Tufts University Medical Center and a Fellowship in Endocrinology; and her husband, Pushkar, completed his residency in Anatomic Pathology. Pushkar also completed a fellowship in Dermatopathology at Duke University Medical Center and a fellowship in Molecular Genetic Pathology at Harvard Medical School.
We are thrilled with the opportunity to market Drees Homes in the Hillsborough area, said Stephanie Miller, a Drees Homes sales manager. We offer several award winning plans with the flexibility to customize and personalize to meet each customers needs and preferences."
There are 11 home plans from which to choose, ranging in price from $315,400 to $400,000 and in size from 2,500 up to 3,000-plus square feet. The model home is the Bradley floor plan, which starts at $343,400 and can be customized in size from 2,585 to 2,697 square feet. The increase would allow five bedrooms instead of the standard four; five full baths up from the standard two; and a three-car garage rather than the standard two-car, attached garage.
The Buchanan D plan at 800 Morelanda Drive in River Bend has just been completed on a half-acre lot. The house has 3,271 square feet of heated living space and includes a formal entry flanked by a formal dining room and study. The foyer opens to a great room with fireplace and stairs to the second-floor bedrooms. The eat-in kitchen has granite counters and stainless steel appliances. The kitchen is open to the family room. The house is priced at $400,000 and is move-in ready.
Elevations and floor plans can be seen at the Drees Homes website (www.dreeshomes.com) or by searching for Drees Homes Hillsborough NC and disregarding that the Website comes up as River Bend Raleigh instead of Hillsborough. Some of the River Bend floor plans are listed at zero square footage, but a call to the sales office can get you a brochure of any house plan in which you are interested. Three are four lots still available at River Bend.
Children living in River Bend homes would attend Orange County Public Schools or any of the nearby private schools, including Carolina Friends School, Montessori Farm School or Saint Mary Catholic School, to name a few. River Bend is also less than a five minute drive to the Orange County Public Library and to Triangle SportsPlex which offers ice skating, swimming, fitness and aerobics classes for all ages.
Directions to River Bend: I-85 to Exit 165 (or I-40 to Exit 266); north onto Highway 86; at stop sign, turn left onto Highway 70 Business. River Bend is on the right on Morelanda Drive. The sales office is open by appointment (919-309-1125) or at these hours: Mondays Saturdays 11 a.m. 6 p.m. and Sundays Noon to 6 p.m.
In the late-1990s, Hillsborough residents, who wanted to see land along the Eno River made usable for walking and hiking trails came together with members of the Hillsborough Town Planning Department to discuss the possibility of a greenway. The first step was a 2001 feasibility study to determine environmental impacts and a proposed route for the trail. After a decade of planning, the Hillsborough Community Connectivity Plan was adopted in 2009 with the Riverwalk a key in connecting the towns many trails and becoming a part of North Carolinas Mountains-to-Sea Trail. http://www.co.orange.nc.us/deapr/nat_cul_resources/mst.asp
The first phase of Riverwalk was completed in 2009. The second and third phases of Riverwalk are now underway with completion contemplated by Fall 2014. Construction of Phase II is by D.H. Griffin Construction Company (The Hurley Group) and design and engineering for Phase III by Summit Design and Engineering Services.
Phase II of Riverwalk from Gold Park to downtown Hillsborough is the primary route for the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Riverwalk Phase III, according to the Towns website will connect Allison Street to Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area to the west and from River Park to lands owned by Classical American Homes Preservation Trust. (www.ci.hillsborough.nc.us/content/riverwalk-greenway)
Bill Crowther, Executive Director of Ayr Mount, is raising money now to build a six-foot-wide pedestrian bridge across a bend in the Eno River called Oxbow as a partner to the Hillsborough Riverwalk system of trails and the larger statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail. The Oxbow Foot Bridge will have its foundation on two fields on opposite sides of the river one at the end of Burnside Drive off Cameron Street; and the other several hundred feet from the end of Elizabeth Brady Road off of Highway US 70 Business. Both fields are owned by Classical American Homes, the preservation trust that owns the 287 acre Ayr Mount Historic Site and the Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail.
The Oxbow Foot Bridge will connect River Bend and adjacent Hillsborough neighborhoods to downtown Hillsborough. The completion of the Oxbow Foot Bridge will also allow trail walkers to walk to the historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail via a property easement donated by Vietri, which is located at 343 Elizabeth Brady Road, and whose land backs up to the Classical American Homes field where the Oxbow Crossing foot bridge will be constructed.
If funding comes through as planned, the Oxbow Foot Bridge should be completed by the end of 2014, Crowther said. Those wishing to donate to the building of the Oxbow Foot Bridge may contact Crowther at 919-732-6886; email email@example.com or write him at Ayr Mount Historic Site, 376 St. Marys Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278.