Community Profile: Hickory Acres
Annual Traditions Pepper the Community Calendar
Hickory Acres in Shepherdsville, Ky., is a manufactured home community south of Louisville that feels one part farm and another part college campus.
“We have a signature entrance, a full court basketball court and open green spaces for playing football, soccer, throwing Frisbee and just gathering together,” co-owner Tony Wilcox said. “It’s important for us to have shared open spaces where neighbors can meet and kids can play.”
Situated between Salt River and Mud Run creek, just off route 44, the area is very much about natural settings. And country music, almost a way of life in a region of the Upland South called “Kentuckiana”. Wilcox owns Hickory Acres with his brother Brad Wilcox and longtime friend Mike Whobrey.
Hickory Acres Hosts Cookout and Community Gathering
A Louisville radio personality set up a live remote at Hickory Acres during an August cookout and community gathering. There was free face painting, a multiple bounce houses, ice cream and giveaways. Also, the community held a raffle for a new 4’x4’ home deck, with all proceeds going to a local children’s hospital.
The Q103.1 morning show with Dingo and Jess covers a lot of ground, dedicated to “faith, family, friends and real conversation”. And country music, of course.
General Manager Kristie Cundiff, who oversees Hickory Acres and its neighboring sister community Autumn Leaf, appreciates these virtues as well.
“It’s a big event for our communities, to show appreciation for all of our residents and provide time for neighbors to come together,” Cundiff said of the cookout. “It’s become an annual tradition.”
This time of year Hickory Acres and Autumn Leaf are preparing for the annual holiday decoration competition, another voluntary and widely appreciated tradition.
The personal touch and the thoughtful approach to property management is what sets the communities apart from most, Wilcox said. Most noteworthy, the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute honored Autumn Leaf’s with the 2016 Community of the Year.
Hickory Acres is for Affordable Living
“We’re in Kentucky. This is not Florida, Arizona or California. To that end, this is not a resort community, but rather, an affordable housing community,” Wilcox said. “That said, we are very proud of the quality and amenities offered in both of our communities. We are committed to strong and visible management, and we strive to treat all people fairly, consistently and with respect in everything we do.”
“We have try to have the heart of a teacher when we explain things, and when we sell homes. In our communities, we want to do the right thing always and ultimately provide a great place to live to our resident families,” he said.
Hickory Acres is a 176-pad, all ages community with a mix of retirees and families. Residents have paved roads, independent electric and water, boat and RV storage, and an even mix of single- and multi-section lots with rents less than $300 monthly.
Both communities allow small pets, and encourage residents to invite friends and relatives for a visit. The community has a fresh and open feel that appeals to most anyone. And the books show it. Occupancy rates are consistently in the high 90s percentile.
Therefore, Wilcox said, his properties have the revenue to see continuous investment in infrastructure as well as new homes in inventory, often from Fleetwood or Clayton.
“New homes help a lot. Most communities in the state are 50 years or older, so that’s another thing that sets us apart” he said. “My feeling is about 40 percent of the residents here bought new homes when we opened in 1997, and a majority of the rest have been here for more than a decade. It’s a stable community.”
Community Quick Facts
All ages community
Built in 1977
Home prices: $25,000-$80,000
Monthly Lot Rent: $295
Hickory Acres Community Manager Kristie Cundiff mugs with Q103.1’s Dingo during a summer cookout and resident appreciation day. – Photo contributed by Hickory Acres
At left, Dave York, general manager for the local Valumarket grocery store, has brought out a team of employees for consecutive years to grill hamburgers and hotdogs for community residents at Hickory Acres. — Photo contributed by Hickory Acres