Developer: ‘The Retreat’ county’s ‘best kept secret’
FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP — Developer Chuck Beiling calls it “the best kept secret in Columbiana County.”
Just off of Kelly Park Road in Fairfield Township, Bunker Hill Road provides the gateway to an area known as “The Retreat” where the finishing landscaping touches are being made on a new million-dollar house on Spring Hill Street.
The 110-acre area that Beiling owns was home to an abandoned, run-down farmhouse, a silo falling down and a creek running through the land.
“We paid $92 for the whole 110 acres,” Beiling said. It was purchased in 1993.
The transformation into a secluded, multi-million dollar development has been almost magical.
“It’s beautiful. I can remember when Bunker Hill was just a dirt road,” said Fairfield Township Road Supervisor Mel Miller said.
Beiling is a 1962 engineering graduate of Ohio University.
“I’ve been a developer for over 40 years, and put 14 housing developments in,” he said. “I was born and raised here.”
He has developed Eldon Court in Columbiana, annexed 24 acres of Minerva property he developed in that village and is also in Calcutta.
Being a developer isn’t what some think it is, he said.
“It’s not,” he explained as there are up front cost, surveying, engineering drawings and putting in roads.
But he also looks at it this way.
“It’s like when I was a paperboy. I was circulating dollars, now I’m circulating hundreds of dollars.”
Beiling said each house has to have a minimum lot size of 1.8 acres per the township zoning. “The Retreat” includes a 16-acre common ground blended in for those living there who can use it for swimming, fishing and recreation.
“The Retreat” — when the newest street called Red Tail Drive is in completed — will have four streets.
Red Tail Drive is now being laid in for access for more development, probably four mores houses, Beiling said who told the story of how he came up with the name.
Years ago he raised and released pheasants in the area.
“Six big roosters,” he recalled releasing. The next time he returned to see how they were doing, he discovered that a red-tail hawk had killed them.