Land Trust Buying Riverfront Property at Seven Falls

Bill Moss / Hendersonville Lightning

Once envisioned as an upscale Arnold Palmer-designed golf course at the Seven Falls Golf & River Club, a 146-acre tract on the French Broad River could become a public park.

The land that was to charted for the golf course for the failed Seven Falls development is under contract to Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, which plans to preserve the riverfront property and would like to ultimately make it available to the public for walking trails and passive recreation.

Marketed under a new name that tries to put the Seven Falls debacle in the past, the property is listed for $716,000. It contains 14 acres of lakes and ponds and nearly a mile of frontage on the French Broad River, the sales agent says.
Seven Falls left the community with “a black eye and that was unfortunate,” said listing agent Terri King, CEO of the Western North Carolina Coldwell Banker office. “But what we’re doing is we’ve sat down with the owners of this property, we’ve looked at the property, went over it very carefully and said, ‘How can we set this sale up so this becomes a very positive piece of property for the future of the community and how do we set it up so whoever comes in has an opportunity to be a good steward of the land?’ That didn’t happen the first go-round. I’ve presented this property in a way that would draw the buyer that did have an interest in moving forward in a positive direction for the community.”

Kieran Roe, executive director of CMLC, said the land trust had been aware of the property for several years.

“We had been talking to Scott McElrath for a while and when we learned recently that they were putting it on the market for a lower price than he’d been mentioning we decided that there was enough importance to the site in terms of conservation that it was something we wanted to pursue,” he said.

“It is right along the French Broad, it’s about 80 percent in the floodplain and it has a tributary creek that flows into the French Broad,” he said. “We’ve really begun to regard land along the French Broad and land of that character to be a high priority in terms of retention of water quality, restoration of the bottom land and wetlands protection.”

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