LAFAYETTE - Markel Homes closed recently on the purchase of eight acres of vacant land owned by Boulder Community Hospital that is slated to become part of a new 53-home single-family neighborhood in Lafayette called Blue Sage.

An affiliate of Markel paid $800,000 to the Community Hospital Association for the land, which sits just north of the intersection of W. South Boulder Road and Cimarron Drive near Lafayette's border with Louisville.

Markel Homes president Michael Markel said his company is under contract to purchase an adjacent five-acre piece of land to the west that will also become part of the new neighborhood. That land abuts the Louisville border to the west, and also abuts Phase II of the North End development that Markel is building on the east edge of Louisville.

Michael Markel said it was largely coincidence that the new land purchases fell next to North End, though he said the two neighborhoods will have some connectivity eventually.

"The property was up for sale," Markel said. "We think it's a good opportunity, and we think it's a good location."

Blue Sage will include homes with a mix of front- and alley-loaded garages, with lots ranging in size from 5,000 to 7,000 square feet. Homes will range from 2,200 to 2,800 finished square feet and from roughly $400,000 to $600,000 in price - comparable to the single-family homes in North End.

The neighborhood will feature a mix of ranch, single-level and two-story homes.

"We'll have some designs that will be totally fresh to the area," Markel said.

In addition to the homes, Markel is dedicating a park area to the homeowners association as well as some open space and a trail to the city of Lafayette. The trail will connect Lafayette to the North End area, which includes some commercial and retail aspects in addition to the townhomes, lofts and single-family homes there.

Markel said his company is set to close on the second parcel of land in March, and is working through the development review process with the city of Lafayette now. He said Markel Homes would likely break ground on Blue Sage about a year from now, with the first homes coming online in about 15 to 18 months.

Markel's Blue Sage project is not affliated with the newly formed financial firm Blue Sage Advisory LLC.