In 1950, at the height of his career, country singer Eddy Arnold bought 61 acres of Nashville property he dubbed “Windy Ridge.” He moved his young family onto the land and went on to become a country music legend, helping pioneer what’s now known as the “Nashville Sound.” Eddy’s grandson, Shannon Pollard, and Shannon’s sister spent their childhoods well acquainted with Eddy’s land – running along its wooded paths, climbing its hills, playing in the shadows of its trees. Shannon knew it as the childhood home of his mother and uncle.
Today the land has new life as Você Nashville, a residential community in the final stages of development that’s “designed from the ground up to retain and embrace the natural beauty of the land,” according to the development team. Você rests on a densely wooded tract off Granny White Pike, 15 minutes south of downtown.
“I grew up just down the street in Brentwood, my sister and I did,” says Shannon, a partner in Armistead Arnold Pollard Real Estate Services, which is developing the property. “We spent a lot of time there as kids, and my sister and I both lived on the property at one point, too. There are certain trees and certain landmarks on the property that mean a lot to us and that we don’t want to see anything happen to.”
Eddy lived on the land until his passing in 2008. Today, Shannon oversees his grandfather’s real estate holdings, and when it came time to make decisions about the future of Windy Ridge, he knew only that he wanted to preserve the natural beauty Eddy had loved, even if the land itself was given over to a new, more modern use.
“It’s bittersweet in one way to see things change about the property, but we also recognize that it has to be done,” Shannon says. “There are trees and things we still notice and can point to and go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s where this used to sit,’ and ‘That used to be there.’”
Once complete, the Você community will feature 52 homes — no two are alike. The developers are working with architects, landscape architects, interior designers, builders and the community’s residents to create the right house for each plat of land within the site, preserving as much of the natural landscape as possible within the process.
“We started with three tree surveys and identified over 500 specimen trees and tree clusters to save amongst thousands of trees,” explains Shannon. “The goal was to have more than 60% green space on the property and to have mature trees living amongst new construction.”
“They put their hand on every tree on this property,” says Jonathan Cummings, who served as Eddy Arnold’s property manager and caretaker for 32 years, in this video about the property’s history. “They actually put a number to each tree. At that point what they did, they didn’t care if it was the biggest tree or the oldest tree. They picked the healthiest trees that are on the property.”
The team then planned Você’s home sites in a way that preserves the site’s healthiest trees.
“We had to take a few trees out to make this development, not many at all compared to the volume that’s here,” Jonathan says. “We’ve got thousands of trees.”
And, adds Shannon, saving trees as well as preserving the general topography has been a major focus for Você since its beginnings eight years ago. “From an architectural standpoint, we’re building homes that have usable space rather than building McMansions,” he says. “We fit the home sites into the trees. That requires creativity. It requires different types of foundation systems. It’s all to save the trees. What you have is a brand new home that’s up against a 50-year-old tree, a 70-year-old tree. You really don’t see that in new neighborhoods. That’s the hallmark of what we’re doing.”
As for the trees that are removed, builders and homeowners are encouraged to reuse as many of the materials as possible, and many have. For example, wood is being used to create flooring and furniture for the homes. Treetops are being ground up and recycled into mulch for water retention areas and trails.
Each architect-designed home features high-end, custom finishes and cutting-edge, sustainable design with a minimal environmental footprint. Homes in the neighborhood range upward of 3,000 square feet in size and $1 million in price. Builders in the community include Castle Homes, Grove Park Construction, Chandelier Development and more. The neighborhood also was the site of the 2017 O’More College of Design Show House.
As he watches the Você community grow and develop, Shannon is confident it is a place his grandfather would have loved. That’s been his key mission all along. “I took on this project as a labor of love because it is a special place,” he says. “It’s the last piece of land like it in the area. We wanted to try to preserve as much of the natural beauty of the property as possible, and to do that, I felt like I needed to do it myself. I want this to be something that my family is proud of and that my kids are proud of, and something that’s responsible for the community.”
To learn more about Você Nashville, visit vocenashville.com.
This article is sponsored by Você Nashville.