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Embrey Mill ready for its grand opening

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Newland Communities today will offer the public its first look at what will be one of the largest residential developments in the Fredericksburg area.

Newland is holding a grand opening from noon to 5 p.m. today at Embrey Mill, a master-planned community off Courthouse Road just west of Austin Ridge in Stafford County.

Embrey Mill will eventually include 1,827 homes in a variety of styles. Newland Vice President Tracy Graves expects Embrey Mill to be built out over seven to 10 years. The first phase includes 472 homes.

Newland and North America Sekisui House Ltd. (NASH) bought the 831 acres in January 2012 from North Stafford Associates L.C., which retained the large planned commercial component of the project fronting Courthouse Road.

The joint venture paid $36 million for the land and said at the time that it expected to spend “upward of $200 million” on the ample site work and community amenities.

Newland started site work in April 2012. Construction crews have been working almost around the clock the past month to prepare for today’s grand opening.

Six builders—K. Hovnanian Homes, Brookfield Residential, Atlantic Builders, Richmond American Homes, Miller & Smith and Integrity Homes—have signed on to be part of Embrey Mill. The development includes both single-family homes and townhouses.

Each of the six companies has built at least one model home at the development that prospective homebuyers can tour. Newland officials think the builders are offering a variety of products that will appeal to a large demographic.

For now, the primary entrance into Embrey Mill is Shields Road off Austin Ridge Drive. Work is expected to be completed in the next couple of months on a second entrance off Courthouse Road. There will eventually be another entrance off Embrey Mill Road near the Ebenezer United Methodist Church.

Mine Road will be the entrance off Courthouse. Newland will eventually extend Mine Road as a four-lane divided road from where it ends now at Austin Ridge Drive to Courthouse Road, offering drivers a direct connection between Embrey Mill and Garrisonville Road.

The centerpiece of the community is Embrey House, which features a community swimming complex with a zero-entry area and a 25-meter lap pool. There is also a swim area built for young children.

Inside Embrey House is a fitness facility and locker rooms, a restaurant space that will serve as the second Stafford location for Josh & Bettina Grein’s Before ’n’ After Cafe, a community information area and administrative offices. There is also a large outdoor terrace overlooking the pool.

Embrey Mill also features a variety of community amenities including parks with wireless Internet connections, trails, fields and a “racetrack park” where children can ride tricycles around a course. There’s an “edible garden” that will include herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Near the future Courthouse Road entrance, Stafford has started work on a complex that will include multiple rectangular athletic fields and an indoor fitness facility featuring a 50-meter pool that will be used for competitions, as well as a gym, classrooms and basketball courts.

Stafford County will own the fitness facility, but it will be privately operated. Later this year, prospective operators will bid for the right to run it; the Rappahannock Area YMCA has expressed interest.

Newland is also setting aside land at Embrey Mill for a future fire and rescue station and a school. The company also constructed a water tower on site.

Embrey Mill is easily the largest new residential development along Courthouse Road, but it isn’t the only one. Colonial Forge and Liberty Knolls are also now being developed, and more are in the works.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405