EAST COUNTY — National homebuilder Lennar Homes will soon break ground on its newest project in the East County and its first development within Lakewood Ranch.
The company, which is still building out its River Strand community within its Heritage Harbour development, expects to begin sitework on Bridgewater at Lakewood Ranch by the end of the year or early 2013, said Matt Devereaux, vice president of sales for Lennar Homes in Southwest Florida. Lennar closed on the 172-acre property located immediately south of the Esplanade development, just north of State Road 70 and east of Pope Road, earlier this month.
“There’s a lot of planning that’s still going on,” Devereaux said, noting Lennar is finalizing pricing, marketing strategies and floor plans to be offered. “The initial plan is for 281 home sites. We are still in the development stage.”
At this time, Lennar plans to offer two style homes, including those in its Manor and Estate model series. The Estate floor plan will be similar to the one offered in River Strand, but likely will be updated, Devereaux said. Homes will range in size from 1,861 to 3,800 square feet and be three to six bedrooms, with two- and three-car garages.
The community, which will be comprised of all single-family homes, will not have a large community center or significant amenities, so as to capitalize on the Ranch’s existing offerings and to keep costs low for prospective homeowners.
“We feel Lakewood Ranch has so much to offer, we want to keep our association fees as low as possible within the community and show the lifestyle that is within Lakewood Ranch,” Devereaux said, noting the community has shopping, entertainment, recreation and more. “Lakewood Ranch is a fantastic place — from the location to the amenities offered inside the community.”
“There’s a place for everybody inside of Lakewood Ranch,” Devereaux said. “We’re proud to be a part of this community.”
Jimmy Stewart, vice president of sales for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch subsidiary LWR Communities, said SMR originally had planned to develop the property itself, selling off lots to builders as in its other communities, until it began conversations with Lennar. The project seemed like a perfect match for the company.
“It just made sense to go ahead and do this (as a parcel sale),” Stewart said. “Then we can go ahead and keep concentrating on our Country Club East property.”
Stewart said Bridgewater will offer home price points and size offerings below what is offered in the Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club, but higher and larger than what is offered in Central Park, for example. The community, Stewart said, is geared more toward families.
“That is a market niche we need to continue to be able to fill,” Stewart said. “Lennar’s product and pricing is really a nice fit it.”
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