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Ground Breaks on Sanctuary Village in Villa Hills

Santcuary Village in Villa Hills is now underway.

Ashley Builders Group announced that ground has broken on the 100-acre site with construction of the homes to begin in the fall of 2020.

The sprawling property overlooks the Ohio River and was previously home to the Benedictine Sisters who lived in the St. Walburg Monastery there. The Sisters sold the property to Ashley as part of their plan to fund their retirement.

The original plans called for mixed-use development, with commercial properties, single-family homes, and apartments.

As the early stages of the project began, a political firestorm developed in the Kenton County city, leading to the defeat of the mayor and five of six council members, and landing the development in litigation.

Ultimately, a compromise was reached allowing the project to go forward, when Ashley agreed to scrap its plan for apartments as part of the project, pleasing some of the development's opponents.

“We are so grateful the sisters decided to partner with us,” said Jason Yeager, a partner with Ashley Builders Group. “Our team worked on finding just the right design concept for more than a year. We traveled to communities across the country that utilized this type of development planning.”

Sanctuary Village is described as a "Traditional Neighborhood Development" (TND), which focuses on building a sense of community, according to Yeager. “It really redefines how we think about subdivisions,” he said. “Execution is everything, from the pedestrian-oriented design, green spaces, variety of housing types, and town center, we are designing to create and promote community.”

Yaeger says the pedestrian-scale design elements will allow for activities like cycling and walking. Large green spaces will include dedicated, public walking and running trails overlooking the Ohio River. The centerpiece of the community will be the Town Center, featuring a community club, exercise facility, community pool with a river view, a community park, and a lake. Neighborhood-commercial retail uses will be added based on the needs of residents.

The community will include custom and single-family homes, townhomes, and cottages ranging from $300,000 to more than $1 million. “Homes will be built closer to the street with front porches that foster conversations with your neighbors, and garages in the back,” Yeager said. 

In addition to Ashley, Drees Homes and Fischer Homes will construct the homes.

-Staff report