HottyToddy.com caught up with David Blackburn recently while he was checking on some of his projects in Austin, Texas. For those who may be unaware, David is one of the primary engines “fanning the flames” of the Oxford real estate market. David and his investment team are well into the “launch” now of Oxford Commons which is one of the city’s “hottest” areas.
HottyToddy.com — David, June now seems like a long time ago. How’s Oxford Commons been doing since the groundbreaking?
David Blackburn — It has been an amazing start for us since our groundbreaking with sales and activity far exceeding our expectations. We have already begun the second phase in both residential sections and are breaking ground this week on The Blake, the new assisted living facility, and The Park, the new professional office park.
HottyToddy.com — Share with us a little about your commercial goals.
David Blackburn — We have a two commercial sections, The Village and The Summit. The Village will be approximately 100,000 sf of retail space located just east of the theatre which will be anchored by a grocery store. The Summit will be approximately 300,000 square feet of commercial space and will be located along the new frontage road that is extension of Ed Perry Blvd. which will connect to Highway 30.
HottyToddy.com — Returning to the residential side, what does total buildout measure?
David Blackburn — The master plan for Oxford Commons consist of a total of 600 acres and we plan to develop between 500 and 750 homes.
HottyToddy.com — What is your most optimistic timeline to achieve this?
David Blackburn — We expect it to take between 10 and 15 years based on 50 to 75 home sales per year.
HottyToddy.com — What are your commercial expectations?
David Blackburn — We initially planned for the commercial not to begin for several years. But due to a lot of interest from a number of major retailers, our first commercial phase could occur a lot sooner. I think it is very realistic that we could have a neighborhood grocer committed by this time next year that could serve our residential homes and be a great anchor for other retail brands.
HottyToddy.com ‚ Would you say that the new high school is the biggest draw?
David Blackburn — The new high school and elementary schools are a huge draw for us, especially for families with school age children. With our sidewalks and dedicated bike paths throughout all of Oxford Commons, it is a throwback in time where children can walk and take their bikes to school from home.
HottyToddy.com — Is it also fair to say that resale is enhanced near schools?
David Blackburn — Definitely. For residential resale purposes, a high quality neighboring school like we have in Oxford is your best friend. We are very fortunate to have two of the best in the State of Mississippi in our community.
HottyToddy.com — The Oxford Commons concept has been around for a while, hasn’t it?
David Blackburn — Yes, it was actually started I believe around 2005 but we did not get involved until the end of 2012.
HottyToddy.com — Regarding your expectations, how has the project done recently?
David Blackburn — We opened the models in June and have already sold 26 homes which has far exceeded my expectations. What has been most exciting to me is that we have been able to attract a very diverse group of homeowners including single professionals, married couples with no children, married couples with young children, and retirees. We have had several families moving into Oxford Commons that already live in Oxford and a number of families moving in from all over the country including Seattle, Washington, North Carolina, and Florida.
HottyToddy.com — Has the success of the Ole Miss football program increased demand?
David Blackburn — It sure doesn’t hurt! We haven’t experienced the residential market through a football season yet but we are looking forward to it this year. And hoping we have a lot of wins and even more people celebrating by purchasing a home after each win.
HottyToddy.com — What are some other positive influencing agents driving Oxford Commons?
David Blackburn — I believe location and value are the biggest drivers. Where else can you find a new home that is between $239,000 and $400,000 this close to downtown Oxford? In addition, all of the activity onsite including the new Malco Theatre and Family Entertainment Center, the Hampton Inn and the new Marriott TownPlace Suites, the Oxford Conference Center, the new proposed road that will extend Sisk Ave. to Highway 6, all of these things are big drivers for the momentum we are now experiencing, especially when you put them all together with the new office park, homes, assisted living, and retail activity.
HottyToddy.com — What are your goals for the professional office area called The Park?
David Blackburn– —The professional office area will be single story office buildings ranging in size from 3500 to 5500 square feet. There will be a total of 70,000 square feet of office space and we broke ground on the first phase of 20,000 square feet this week. I am excited to announce that Hardy Reed Investment Company and Bill Turner Law Office have each purchased a lot to build their offices in The Park. In addition, we will be moving our corporate office here.
HottyToddy.com — Why should “we” residential realtors keep Oxford Commons on our radar?
David Blackburn– — hope that you will find the experience we give you and your customer is unmatched with value, service, quality, and the amount of selections both in the numerous floor plans offered and the customization allowed.
Final Note: David Blackburn has found the formula for success on the “east side.” No longer is Oxford exclusively a West Side Story. David has assembled a professional team led by Terri Peeler who is Director of Sales. Terri can be reached at 662-236-0060 or via email at email@example.com. Oxford’s unprecedented growth is being driven by a number of experienced pros. David Blackburn is one of the captains leading the charge!
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other
subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford. Steve’s lifelong dream has been to live in Oxford full-time. “I am now living my dream daily as is my wife Rosie, who works with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce,” Steve said. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.