Covering just over 4,500 acres, the Chilhowee Mountain tract (commonly known as the Three Sisters) is located less than 15 miles from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Tucked into the valley downhill from Chilhowee is the elite, internationally renowned Blackberry Farm Resort ( In 2004, Zagat Surveys recognized Blackberry Farm as the #1 small hotel resort in America.

The owners of Blackberry Farm purchased the 4,500 acre Three Sisters tract to protect their resortís idyllic setting and preserve the natural environment that is so critical to culture of this region and the brand of Blackberry Farm. Employing the highest of standards regarding sustainable design, Blackberry Farmís owners hired Waterfield Design to perform land planning, development analysis, and feasibility studies to determine how to integrate an elite residential community within the nature preserve they desired for the Three Sisters tract.

Our evaluation illustrated how land conservation and environmental sustainability could co-exist with strategic development of portions of the land, providing an income stream that would forever fund the preservation of nearly 80% of the original tract. We evaluated permitting requirements, engineering feasibility, community planning, economic development, construction impacts, and construction cost analyses.