In a deal that officially closed Nov. 3, Mungo Homes paid $15 million for 242 acres off U.S. 17 in Pender County adjacent to Poplar Grove Plantation, with a 62-acre portion of the Abbey Nature Preserve leased and managed by Pender County.
"Because it's such an important property, we had multiple offers within a very short time," said Tony Harrington, a Realtor and owner of The Property Shop International Realty, who represented the previous owners, the Foy family, in the sale to Mungo.
Officials announced in July that the Pender County Board of Commissioners had entered into a lease agreement (at a cost of $5 per year) to operate and maintain a portion of the preserve, which is located in Scotts Hill next to Poplar Grove and has operated as a public park for decades.
"The portion of the property falling under the management and operation of Pender County Parks and Recreation is the 62 acres of the property currently held under a conservation easement through the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust," Pender officials stated in a release.
The Foy family wanted to make sure that the Abbey Nature Preserve "was protected for the public," said Harrington, who worked with Kathy Webb, another Property Shop broker, on the transaction. "Their main concern was what was going to happen with that Abbey Nature Preserve."
The 242 acres was part of Poplar Grove Plantation and the largest peanut farm in the state, according to Pender County officials.
Based in Irmo, South Carolina, and owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Mungo Homes currently builds single-family neighborhoods throughout the region, including in Scotts Hill. Mungo officials said in an email Monday that their project, the details of which have not yet been shared, will honor the area's history.
"We are very excited about this project and look forward to delivering attractive, high-quality homes and a premier customer experience while honoring this location’s unique, rich history," an email from the Mungo Homes Wilmington Division stated. "This will be a special community – one we hope families and local residents can be proud of and enjoy for generations."