Ron Gooch remembers well the four-legged surprise that turned up at his Foxmor Estates home years ago.
“Within a month after I moved in, a bobcat came to my front door,” he said, recalling the brief encounter. “As soon as I stared at him, he was gone.”
Another time, he said he rounded a corner into his backyard and found a young mountain lion resting under a tree there, about 40 yards from the back door.
“It sees me — I'm not moving. I'm very, very still,” he recalled. “I told myself, ‘I've got to get a picture of this.' I get my camera ready, and just as I was getting ready to take the picture, my daughter calls me on my cellphone. And he jumps up and runs right off into the woods.”
But wildlife is as much a part of the landscape as the homes at Foxmor Estates, which is taking shape on some 200 rolling, wooded acres in southeast Oklahoma City near SE 89 and Hiwassee Road. Turkey and deer are frequent visitors, roaming through yards and sipping water from the neighborhood's four-acre lake, and yes, the occasional wildcat wanders through.
Developer and builder Tom Jordan estimates this year's turkey tribe alone numbers at least 30. A display in Foxmor's recent Parade of Homes entry at 13736 SE 95 shows the wildlife in action in the home's backyard.
“Look at him,” Jordan said, pointing to one picture of a fawn nosing away a squirrel. “That squirrel is fighting the fawn for the corn.”
The tranquility, though, belies just how close to civilization Foxmor really is. Ron Gooch, who teaches in the Mid-Del School District, said he was concerned about adding to his commute when he and his family moved from Midwest City almost four years ago. “It just seemed like it was a ways out here,” he said.
He made the four-mile commute from his Midwest City home to school in about 10 minutes. Foxmor is 10 miles away, but he said he discovered taking stoplights out of the equation makes a difference. “Here takes 11 minutes,” he said.
But the greatest discovery may have been right overhead. “I didn't realize we had stars until I got out here,” he said. “I'd been living in town so long.”
The great outdoors is ever present in the parade home as well, where large windows face out the backyard where the deer — and sometimes the pushy squirrel — forage. Pale, curved walls and a soaring ceiling in the main room maximize natural light. Dark wood accents and smooth lines offer a hint of Art Deco without budging the design out of the 21st century.
Jordan, who has been in business since 1970, said he designed the home to suit his own tastes, with space that could be used different ways to accommodate different-size families or even empty-nesters.
“See that room there?” he said, pointing toward a room overlooking a fountain out front. It could serve a multitude of functions, he said — another eating area, a sitting room, maybe an office. “You know what you do to turn it into an office?” he said, gesturing toward a light fixture overhead. “Take out that light and put in a fan.”
Foxmor offers single-gate access, Jordan said, and residents can even monitor the gate and other cameras throughout the neighborhood on their smartphones.
Gates can be opened via smartphone as well. That, along with home alarm systems, appeals to a lot of buyers, especially those in the military.
“These guys, when they left town for a while — you know, these pilots — they felt good for their family,” Jordan said.
Mid-Del's well-regarded schools add to Foxmor's appeal, often bringing back the hometown crowd, Jordan said.
“People who grew up and went to high school in this school system, and they want their kids to have the same great experience in the same great school system,” he said.
The neighborhood is benefiting from an influx of residents including new Boeing employees, oil lease workers, and Tinker employees, all in varying stages of life. Gary Gooch, builder and sales associate with Jordan — and Ron's brother — called it a good mix.
“We've been very blessed,” he said.