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East County Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2009 11 years ago

Rutenberg joins Country Club East


LWR Communities announced last week Arthur Rutenberg Homes Inc. will build homes in Lakewood Ranch's Country Club East community.

Local builder Derek Nelson, a former Arthur Rutenberg Homes Building Company president and second-generation builder, will operate Nelson Homes Inc., an independently owned and operated Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise.

“The commitment being made by the nation's largest franchisor of homebuilding companies is a further affirmation of the strength of the Lakewood Ranch brand and provides even more of a positive outlook for new home construction in the Sarasota-Manatee area," said Milt Flinn, LWR Communities president.

Rutenberg already has had two sales in Lakewood Ranch since purchasing lots in Country Club East; one in La Cantera in the Country Club and another in Country Club East.

“Lakewood Ranch is to me the top development in the two-county area, and that’s the main reason I’m focusing there,” Nelson said. “They have the wherewithal to weather the downturn and have a great brand. They are known throughout the state and the nation, and people come from all over to visit the models at Lakewood Ranch. I’ve seen it grow, I’ve seen it from the beginning, and I believe in it.”

Nelson said his homes in Country Club East will be priced from the mid $300,000s, including homesite. Nelson will offer customers Arthur Rutenberg Homes’ portfolio of more than 85 single-family, executive and estate designs ranging in size from 1,600 to 7,000 square feet of living space. All plans can be customized to suit a customer's particular taste and lifestyle.

Based in Clearwater, Fla., Arthur Rutenberg Homes currently works with 31 independently owned and operated franchises, building in 35 Florida counties, as well as in Georgia and in North and South Carolina. Since the company was founded in 1980, its franchises have built nearly 19,000 homes.

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