REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- Bluebird Hill: Scottsville horse farm ready for business
Address: 10029 Hatton Ferry Road
Assessment: $1,349,600/ $813,100 with land use
Year Built: 2007
Size: 2,200 fin. sq. ft. for humans / 25,000 fin. sq. ft. for horses
Land: 102 acres
Agent: Mary Leavell, 220-2200, Keller Williams
Curb Appeal: 8 out of 10
Bluebird Hill Farm will be home to at least two types of residents: people and horses (and possibly some pigs, goats, or chickens). Unlike a regular home, though, the horses have had the most design input.
The current owner built the farm, located footsteps from the Hatton Ferry/James River Runners complex, to be an equestrian center, with a 25,000 square-foot barn as the centerpiece. Visitors enter through a front room that could be an office or reception room with built-in benches and a reception desk.
The warm-up ring and riding ring, carpeted with soft sand, are cavernous, with high ceilings and windows to let in natural light. Without the windows and sand, it would feel suspiciously like a warehouse.
Each of the 28 twelve-by-twelve stalls has its own water source, ceiling fan, and movable partitions, and there's separate storage for tack and even a blanket-drying room. Shower stalls feature both hot and cold (apparently atypical in horsey amenities).
A 2,200 square-foot apartment was added to the complex along one outside wall, with windows on two sides. Though visitors enter from the barn, there's a clear transition to the personal space, which features a large living room opening to a roomy kitchen.
Two full baths and a stacked washer/dyer are convenient– and probably necessary here– although the barn does have another bathroom off the office for visitors. The apartment is big enough that a small family probably won't feel too cramped.
The area outside the barn has also been carefully planned. The driveway runs around the entire structure, so trucks don't have to back up to exit. Twelve paddocks have freeze-free watering and recently-treated four-board pine fences. (For non-horse people, a paddock is a fenced area for the steeds to cavort in.)
The farm boasts many riding trails including some along the James River. Railroad tracks do cross the property, but a crossing allows access.
Beyond amenities, Bluebird Hill Farm is poised to be a lucrative enterprise. With monthly boarding fees and other services, the farm could quickly start providing income to help with the mortgage. Beyond the financial investment, any farm is also, however, a labor investment, and anyone considering undertaking this enterprise will obviously have to love horses and the work that comes with them.
As an added bonus, there's an old brick rancher on the property above the complex. It's not updated, but it's satisfactory enough that the current owners live there. But even here, as with the rest of Bluebird Hill, horses are the priority– a smaller, private barn with seven stalls is within walking distance of the house. Designed in the same style as the main complex (cream with bright blue trim), it offers access directly into a paddock.
Depending on the situation, the apartment or the house could be ideal for a farm manager. If a buyer wants to run the business side of the farm, one space could even be a rental. As is, the property's obviously large enough to accommodate new construction.
And who wouldn't want to personalize such an inviting space? The horses are already taken care of. With 102 acres, it's not like there isn't plenty of room.
PHOTOS BY MICHAEL BAILEY
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The print version of this article incorrectly stated the assessment of this property. It has been corrected online.–ed