3413 Morgantown Road - 5 BR, 3 full and 1 half-bath, 5,225 sq. ft., 2.0 acres, asking price: $799,000, assessment: pending (new construction), Tim Carson, RE/MAX Assured Properties, 434-465-0846
565 Rocks Farm Drive - 5 BR, 3 full and 1 half-bath, 7085 sq. ft., 4.80 acres, asking price: $1, 275,000, assessment: $1,027,400, Sharon Donovan, Frank Hardy, Inc., 434-981-7200
Price range: $79,000-$1,275,000
Schools: Meriwether Lewis, Murray Elementary, Henley, Western Albemarle
Pros: proximity to Charlottesville, scenery, school districts
Cons: prices, nebulous boundaries
For a place that has a population of roughly 1,000 people, the Ivy area has a good bit to offer. There’s gourmet dining at Duner’s, eclectic shopping at the Ivy Corner Store, meditation and yoga at A Place to Breathe, chiropractic care at Ivy Commons Family Chiropractic, an array of organic sleep supplies at Savvy Rest, and a friendly duo manning the tiny post office and putting the lie to the disgruntled postal worker stereotype.
Where the actual borders of Ivy lie is a matter of some interpretation. There are those who consider the communities of Farmington and Ednam to be part of the greater Ivy area, while others take a more literal view, believing that Ivy begins at the road marker on 250 West and extends to the point where 240 leads into Crozet. A boundary map, found at maptechnica.com, indicates a distinct region of two square miles that begins just east of West Leigh at Ivy Creek and terminates at Tilman Road, a strict representation that a number of area homeowners would undoubtedly take issue with.
A search of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) shows that many realtors in our area don’t agree with this strict delineation, either. Though there is currently just one active listing that uses Ivy as its official city, there are numerous others that are described as being in Ivy.
“Ivy is a nice address to have,” says Steve Watson, a realtor with RE/MAX Advantage and the listing agent for 3777 Morgantown Road. “Because of that, I think the name tends to get used a little loosely. In my experience as a realtor, if you say you have a listing in Ivy, that generates almost immediate interest.”
Watson experienced the ambiguity surrounding Ivy’s official boundaries firsthand during the course of a transaction involving a property located on Turner Mountain Wood Road.
“Despite the fact that the property was a half-mile from the Ivy post office, the bank insisted that it wasn’t actually located in Ivy,” Watson says. “Ultimately, they ended up using Charlottesville as the location for appraisal purposes, even though it was in an area most people consider Ivy.”
Wherever the true boundaries lie, Ivy is a popular destination for many prospective homeowners, as evidenced by the activity and the prices recorded in the MLS. Whether purchasers are looking for an affordable home in an established subdivision like Meriwether Hills, seeking an upscale house like the ones found in Rosemont and The Rocks, or hunting for an estate property with proximity to Charlottesville, Ivy offers something for nearly everyone.
Situated within the Western Albemarle school district, Ivy is the birthplace of Meriwether Lewis, the soldier and explorer who was born in 1774, inherited the Locust Hill property from his father, and was later appointed governor of Louisiana by Thomas Jefferson. It was also the site of the Ivy Depot, which was built as part of Virginia Central Railroad’s westward expansion. The 1851 construction of the depot and the store, which still stands, provided an economic stimulus for the community situated around the rail stop, which was originially called Woodville Depot, but later became known as Ivy Depot.
During the Civil War, the Virginia Central Railroad was a key conduit for transporting soldiers and supplies from the Shenandoah Valley to Richmond. Because of its importance, the railway was targeted by Federal troops, who destroyed the depot in 1865.
The depot was rebuilt, and for many years the rail line was used to transport passengers and to ship agricultural goods, but competition from planes, trains and automobiles began to take business away from the railroad. In 1951 the Ivy Depot post office became simply the Ivy post office. Around this same time the Siesta Motor Lodge, now home to Ivy Commons and Duner’s, was built. By the 1970’s Ivy was no longer listed on the passenger train time tables, and in 1977 the depot was demolished.
So what is about Ivy that makes it such a desirable place to live?
“For as long as I’ve lived here, Ivy has had a certain connotation about it," says Watson. "It’s a pretty part of the county, there are some very nices houses there, and the proximity to town makes it a great location.”