Low Profile, High Impact:
Trey Park is quietly developing SML's most comprehensive community
Trey Park isn't exactly certain how the rumor got started - that he rode into the Smith Mountain Lake area from Texas to begin developing property. Nothing against the Lone Star state - Park was born in Texas, but his family moved to Roanoke when he was six.
"I've lived at the Lake the past 16 years," said Park, who graduated from William Byrd High School and later earned degrees in Management and Finance from East Carolina University. He worked construction jobs during summer breaks and got into the business fulltime following graduation. In the early 1990s, Park founded Park Place Construction and began developing small residential communities in Roanoke. In the early 2000s, he began focusing his business more at the Lake, developing the communities of Land's End and Compass Cove.
Park, 40, is now putting his extensive education and years of construction experience to the test by building LakeWatch Plantation, a 479-acre community off Rt. 122 in Franklin County described as a "self-contained rural village." The project is expected to take 10 years to complete, said Park, who's single and enjoys keeping a low profile.
So far, he said reaction to LakeWatch from the SML community has been "really positive because when we first got started we worked around all the nature aspects of the land. We landscaped with the berms to protect the view from 122 and created an internal road structure. It's not going to be a concrete jungle."
In fact, the development will have 220 acres of open space, including a trail system that will wind through restaurants, shopping, medical services and residential areas. Park said he committed to a low-impact design to help protect the waters of SML, and he lobbied Franklin County administrators to allow him to build a private sewer plant on the property, a project that cost $4 million.
"It gives us the ability to provide a hotel, YMCA, restaurants - things that the conventional system didn't allow for," he said. "By getting the sewer approved, we were able to overcome that hurdle to get the community approved."
Park said Bojangles and Chop Chop Gourmet, an upscale Asian fusion restaurant, will be among the first businesses in LakeWatch. A new 8,000 square-foot YMCA - built on 17 acres Park donated - is also set to begin construction in the spring. The exterior of all the buildings will have a similar look and feel.
"We're able to really create a village feel because we've planned all the materials that are being used. It's the same palette we're drawing from for all of the buildings," said Park, describing structures with signature stone facades and metal roofs. Even the Bojangles restaurant will have copper trim instead of its signature orange awnings, he said.
"LakeWatch is a community that I would live in, that's what makes it so easy for me to market it," said Lori Shultz-Moore, an associate broker with Long & Foster Realtors. "I truly believe in the village lifestyle and am very excited to talk about it. There is no other community at Smith Mountain Lake that offers so many lifestyle choices to the buyer."
On the residential side, Park said he expects construction of single family homes to begin soon on some of the 64 waterfront lots for sale. LakeWatch will also include 35 Carriage Homes, 25 estate lots, 68 condominiums, and a gated community of 36 cottages for a total of 228 residences. A model of the Carriage Homes - which range in size from 2,101 to 2,755, is already open.
"The community is unique because residents can shop, dine, exercise and visit their physician and never leave the neighborhood," said Shultz-Moore. "For residents who are tired of yard maintenance, this type of community is ideal."
Plans are also underway for construction of a 20,000 square-foot retail center, which is expected to house Bank of Botetourt, a sports bar, coffee shop and retail businesses. Park, who won the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber's Economic Growth and Development Award for 2006, expects LakeWatch to eventually include a technology park, fire station, auto service center, hotel and conference center, medical complex, funeral home, church and senior living facility. He's also donated land to Franklin County to be used for a library branch as well as land for recreation with a playground and youth ball field.
"Getting to know Trey has been enlightening," said Shultz-Moore. "It didn't take me long to realize how much he loves and cares about Smith Mountain Lake. Donating land to the new YMCA and proposed county library are only a few examples of how he cares about his community. We are lucky to have such a dedicated developer who is truly a visionary."
Trey Park Joins Remax LakeFront Realty
Looking forward to working with you and the agents at Remax Lakefront Realty. Remax has remarkable reach not only in this community but worldwide and we are looking forward to leveraging those strengths with our communalities and developments.
2009 Discover Magazine Voted Trey Park Smith Mountain Lake' Top Developer
2010 REMAX Nation Executive Award for Sales
2008 and 2009 Johnny Casa 5 Mile/5K Walk/Run held at LakeWatch Plantation
2006 and 2008 Chamber of Commerce gave LakeWatch Plantation the Economic Growth Development Award
2005, 2006 and 2007 the Laker Magazine Readers voted LakeWatch Plantation the Best New Project
2007 the Laker Magazine Included 250 Pine Bay Drive, built/developed by Trey Park, in Smith Mountain Lakes Top 5 Lake Homes Article