Forest Acres is home to many established neighborhoods, wonderful businesses and an excellent school district. And it also is home to a new gated community nestled comfortably behind The Laureate off Forest Drive. Olde Park is the location for this year’s Parade of Homes, presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia, and it is the beautiful setting for 30 exquisitely designed and constructed homes.
With exciting new restaurants such as Café Cattura, longtime favorites such as Bonefish Grill, and new businesses such as Trader Joes – not to mention Trenholm Plaza and other wonderful shopping destinations – the Forest Acres area is thriving. It’s a delight for residents to travel along Forest Drive and see the growth and continued development of such an established area of town that has been a cornerstone of Columbia since the 1940s.
And for the developers of Olde Park, it was time for a new form of residential construction in the area. “Uncovering this gem of undeveloped property provided us with a fantastic opportunity to create a new community,” says Cole Thompson, president of Rex Thompson and Company.
The Forest Acres area has long been a highly coveted area, thanks not only to its accessibility and location, but also in large part to the strong Richland One school district, which includes Satchel Ford Elementary School, Crayton Middle School and A.C. Flora High School. The low crime rate in Forest Acres is an added attraction to living in the area. Given its proximity to downtown and U.S.C., Olde Park is quickly becoming the go-to neighborhood for professionals and professors, as well. The commute isn’t nearly as traffic intensive as that of other areas in Columbia.
While its locale is a leading draw, Olde Park offers in-town living that is affordable and upscale. Constructed of HardiePlank® and brick, homes in Olde Park are built within strict architectural guidelines, preserving and protecting the integrity and beauty of the community and its natural setting. Evoking a Southern charm mixed with upscale character, these spacious homes are equipped with the finest features that discerning homeowners would expect.
The homes in Olde Park average 3,000 square feet and boast 10-foot trey and vaulted ceilings on the first levels and nine-foot ceilings on the second levels. Gourmet kitchens complete with custom cabinetry, granite countertops and commercial-grade appliances create beautiful and functional spaces. Butler’s pantries and wine coolers offer ample counter and storage space. Luxurious and spacious master suites – which include custom built-ins, large walk-in closets and body sprays in the master baths – create ideal settings for winding down after long days. Gas log fireplaces and surround sound systems add warmth and intimacy.
The neighborhood’s large pool and pool house add a sense of community, where residents can gather for cookouts, watch the kids practice cannonballs or simply lounge in the sun on a warm summer’s day. Olde Park also features a community garden, maintained and shared by the residents and a true testament to the close relationships established among neighbors. Cole, who is also a resident, says, “We all know and look out for each other here. We share in taking care of everything. You have to love your neighbors if you’re willing to create a community garden with them!”
An eight-mile creek that runs through the community is unique to in-town living, imparting a sense of peace often only found in country living. Imagine sitting on the back porch, firing up the gas logs, taking in the beautiful creekside view and observing the backdrop that is home. It doesn’t sound like in-town living, but it is.
Whether it’s lounging by the pool, relaxing on the porch or taking a stroll to grab a bagel for breakfast or a nice dinner, Olde Park residents have access to it all – and the city of Columbia is better because of it.