While Nashville’s Vocé Community is brand new, it’s roots reach all the way back to 1950 when American country music singer Eddy Arnold settled on the land.
Arnold moved to the land in the 1950s and knew even then that he wanted it to eventually become a green neighborhood. Arnold’s grandson, Shannon Pollard, shares a lot of memories with his grandfather surrounding this land. He said, “He wanted a farm that reminded him of where he grew up in West Tennessee… He was a sharecropper, so he had a real value of land.”
Arnold had a vision of what would eventually become Vocé. He wanted it to be a community surrounded by nature, and not the kind that is planted after the homes are built. Pollard said, “Rather than maximizing every square inch of it, we wanted to have pockets of development. Literally everything was configured around the trees, the root systems… they’re all mapped out literally by standing out there with a tree survey and kind of figuring out how we can wedge a home into an area that has mature trees.”
He explained that beyond the appeal of having sustainable housing, it gives each home a lived in feeling. “It kind of gives you the feel out there that these houses have been there for a while, when really they’re brand new,” he said. “We wanted to show that there are alternative ways to do suburban home development… It’s really about creating usable space and creative architecture and interior design.” He added, “You’re minimizing your footprint on the land and you’re also able to save those trees.”
Currently, Vocé has seen eight families move into the community with many more on the way. There are 13 homes currently under construction and five more in the works. Once finished, there will be 52 homes. Over half of those 52 lots have already been sold, according to Pollard.
The community is not only earth-conscious and environmentally friendly; it has amenities that other areas can’t offer. This includes walking trails, natural ponds, and close proximity to the beautiful Radnor Lake State Park.
Pollard expressed that there are difficulties in constructing a neighborhood like Vocé. The community feels like a natural park and a neighborhood all in one. Building around root systems and natural streams is no easy feat, but he says, “it’s clearly worth it.”