At Home in the Highlands

When David Brogden first purchased 725 acres of mountain foothills spanning Chelsea and Pelham, Alabama, he was planning on creating a place for his family to subdivide and build. “I thought each of my children could have a couple hundred acres and we would all live on the mountain together, ” he says. But then he decided it was just too pretty not to share with his friends too. As his enthusiasm for developing the property grew,  David knew he wanted to honor the land while creating a place for generations of families to put down roots. He named his burgeoning neighborhood The Highlands and invited friends to take a ride in his ATV across the 4-mile ridge so they could enjoy the views and catch his enthusiam for the mountain landscape.

Friend and artist Daniel Moore and his wife Brenda were immediately convinced and have already chosen their lot—a 2-acre mountaintop site with old-growth hardwoods and natural rock outcroppings. “We were looking for a place to build that felt like a true getaway but was still close to city conveniences, ” says Daniel. “We fell in love with the views of Double Oak Mountain. And with all of the amenities planned, we knew this would make a great place for our children and grandchildren to gather as well.” 

Working with a team of engineers, David has sculpted the valleys to form lakes and trail systems more than 8 miles long. More than 200 acres have been put into a conservation land trust, ensuring the light footprint he intends for the development. “Everything about this project just keeps getting to be more fun, ” David says. Indeed, it is his playground. “I’m not a full-time developer, but this has turned into my hobby.”

A watercolor chart of the property pinpoints resort-like amenities: two fishing and canoe lakes with waterfalls, a timber-framed pavilion with stone fireplace, a 3, 000-seat outdoor amphitheater for concerts and other performances, a soon-to-be-finished clubhouse with infinity pool, and a future location for a covered bridge. Topping it all off are plans for a concierge that will include delivery and maintenance services.

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In addition, David has teamed with architect Chris Reebals of Christopher Architecture and Interiors to design public spaces and custom house plans. “Buyers can have a custom plan without the custom expense, ” he says. Home designs are carefully created to fit in with the mountain topography and design aesthetic. “There will be no red brick anything, ” David says. “The home designs have that woodsy, Adirondak style with big timbers, wood siding, stone accents, and lots of windows to take in the views.”

So has David chosen his own lot? “Not yet, ” he says. “They are all so pretty. It's hard to choose.”

To schedule a tour, contact Amy Stump or Marc Scholl at ARC Realty,
205.969.8910 or [email protected]

Text by Cathy Still McGowin

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