Mayo Woodlands owner says interest remains high
Since the exclusive Mayo Woodlands subdivision changed hands in 2006, developers have sold more than half of the six-figure lots on Rochester’s far southwest side.
Owner Homer Tompkins said buyer interest in the high-end development remains strong and that he just sold another of the development’s 65 lots on Tuesday.
"We’re moving along real good," Tompkins said. "We just sold one last week… and we have four deals working right now. That’s very encouraging."
Lots at Mayo Woodlands range from about half an acre on a restored prairie to more than 3 acres on rolling bluffs that overlook the Zumbro River.
Mayo Woodlands was started by descendants of Charles H. Mayo, cofounder of the Mayo Clinic, near the former doctor’s sprawling Mayowood mansion. Tompkins bought 1,100 acres from the Mayo family in 2006 when members of the estate abandoned their land development ambitions at the site.
Pricing of the undeveloped lots reflects the exclusivity that living in seclusion near the famous clinic’s cofounder would suggest. Prices range from $95,000 to more than $300,000 for the multi-acre plots.
Tompkins’ company CPDC Rochester Investment recently were reported delinquent on about $400,000 in property taxes for undeveloped lots at Mayo Woodlands, according to the Olmsted County Department of Revenue and Records.
While it might raise an eyebrow or two among potential buyers, Tompkins said he chooses to pay taxes in four installments of about $125,000 each as part of his company’s cash-flow strategy.
"It’s something we do every year," Tompkins said. "It hurts a little less to write four $125,000 checks, rather than one $400,000 check … although they all hurt."
Officials at Revenue and Records confirmed that CPDC Rochester Investment pays in installments and that none of the plots are approaching repossession or sale at auction.
In addition to preserving the natural woods and restoring prairie at the site, Tompkins has recently brought up adding a private swimming pool to the Mayo Woodlands community.
At their latest homeowners association meeting, members discussed whether to build a pool on common ground.
"We think that would add value and attraction to the site," Tompkins said.
Progress has been steady enough at Mayo Woodlands that CPDC Rochester is charging ahead with development of a second subdivision southeast of Salem Road and West Circle Drive.
Road and sewer improvements have begun for Reflections on Mayowood Lake, a manmade lake on Salem Road that Tompkins hopes will attract buyers interested in waterfront property.
"I think the housing market is going to show some signs of growth here in the next few months," Tompkins said. "We’re starting to see a lot more activity already, and I think things are really going to pick up this spring."