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Vassallo Interviews: Former Chi O Social Chair Now Planning A Community

Clubhouse at The Grove at Grand Oaks at The Country Club of Oxford.

Margaret Britt Baker was going through “rush” just a short ten years ago. Now the Oxford native is the marketing director for her community’s exciting new development –The Grove at Grand Oaks at The Country Club of Oxford. We visited with Margaret this past week to find out all the details of the project’s progress.

Margaret Britt Baker

HottyToddy.com: Margaret, before we start discussing the Country Club, tell our readers  a little about your Ole Miss history and especially your sorority.

Margaret Britt Baker: I pledged Chi Omega primarily due to my mother and sister being Chi O’s before me and I was overwhelmed with the sorority in all respects. There were 340 active members at the time and 89 in my pledge class. I enjoyed living in the house and getting to know the other girls better that I had only casually known prior.

HottyToddy.com: Your academic accomplishments were most impressive.

Margaret Britt Baker: Following my undergraduate years I received a full scholarship to Mississippi College School of Law. I had always been interested in Real Estate Law and did an internship with an Oxford Law Firm prior to entering Law School.

HottyToddy.com: With your professional story it appears to truly be a “family affair.”

Margaret Britt Baker: Working with my family has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. My father, Larry Britt who is a Civil Engineer, acquired the Country Club Clubhouse in 2012 along with other family members and formed a new partnership. They also acquired several hundred acres with real estate development potential surrounding the Country Club of Oxford. I was recruited (from Jackson where I was working at the time) to return to Oxford where I grew up to help develop and market the property.

 HottyToddy.com: The success of this project has been staggering!

 Margaret Britt Baker: We have sold 39 of the 43 lots in the first 3 phases of real estate and now we are building a new approximately 14,000 square foot clubhouse to accommodate the anticipated growth of the Country Club. This is planned to open in the summer of 2016. The current clubhouse will be converted into a fitness center which we are calling a SportsPlex. We have about 550 members currently and our new facility will be able to accommodate up to 800. When I arrived in 2012, we were at 207 members.

HottyToddy.com: Wow! This is unprecedented growth. Tell us about the houses and acreage that are driving all of this.

Custom house
Custom house

Margaret Britt Baker: Our houses are basically custom builds, but we have some 8 spec homes in the $600,000 range which vary from 3,200 to 3,400 square feet that will become available soon. We have a 2,500 minimum square footage requirement. The developers initially purchased approximately 500+ acres to develop. The Golf Course consumes about 150 acres; the Clubhouse, pool, tennis courts about 18; a 35 acre lake in the design phase; which leaves approximately 313 acres for housing and related infrastructure to be developed in the coming years.

 HottyToddy.com: You apparently have a good number of major selling points. Describe some of these that jump out for you and your clientele.

Margaret Britt Baker: Located in the eastern sector of Oxford is a major plus. The Fazio design golf course is attracting golfers. The mature landscaping at the Grove at Grand Oaks features towering Oaks. The views are quite appealing here. We are also within the Oxford City School District and are just a few minutes drive from the square.

 HottyToddy.com: What about the size of the lots?

 Margaret Britt Baker: The first two phases contained 1 acre lots. Phase 3 reflected 1/2 to 3/4 acre lots. We are now pre-selling Phase 4 with only 3 lots remaining that are 3/4 acre lots.

 HottyToddy.com: Your hometown of Oxford is now attracting people from everywhere.

Margaret Britt Baker: What I believe is driving this is Southern charm that still encompasses the small town feel. Ole Miss is certainly adding to our exposure with its great ambassadors. Retirees love relocating here because of the ideal climate and the many amenities associated with Oxford and the features such as safety. With the national success of the the football program, this is even driving the attraction moreso.

 HottyToddy.com: It seems to be the perfect storm coming together not only for The Grove at Grand Oaks, but for Oxford as well.

Swimming pool at the Country Club of Oxford

 Margaret Britt Baker: Oxford presents a vacation type environment. If we can attract individuals here for a weekend, they then want to return often after experiencing this wonderful community.

 HottyToddy.com: I understand the Country Club has some new exciting news involving my hometown of Nashville.

Margaret Britt Baker: That’s correct. We have just initiated a reciprocal agreement with the Governor’s Club in Brentwood (located on Concord Road). The Nashville club features an Arnold Palmer signature golf course and will be a great benefit to our members.

Margaret exemplifies why Chi Omegas are so special. These ladies are making a positive difference in their communities. Margaret Britt Baker is certainly no exception!

Steve Vassallo

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. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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