WOODBROOK — For more than five months, construction crews have been busy moving earth at a 95-acre site at the southeast corner of Honore Avenue and Lockwood Ridge Road, where Neal Communities is preparing to open its newest community, Woodbrook.
But where mounds of dirt once stood, streets are lined with grass, trees and other landscaping, and a row of model homes looks as if it already has been featured in a magazine.
“The last two weeks (goes) extra fast,” said Chris Reese, Neal Communities’ vice president of land development. “Everything goes in — pavers in the front entrance, trees, landscaping.”
Neal Communities officially celebrates the opening of its newest community this weekend, with a grand opening scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 5-6, at Woodbrook, 6574 Pine Breeze Run, Sarasota.
“Our theme for the opening is kind of retro,” Neal’s Vice President of Marketing and Creative Director Leisa Weintraub said, noting interest rates have dropped to figures last seen in the 1950s. “It’ll be fun.”
Woodbrook, which is located across from The Cascades off Lockwood Ridge Road, features single-family homes and cottages from the low $100,000s to the high $200,000s. Amenities for the gated community include a pool and spa, grilling area, tot lot and other features.
The project’s first phase includes 90 home sites.
The housing offered is meant to attract a similar buyer as River Sound, a gated 172-unit single-family home and cottage development off Caruso Road that Neal opened more than two years ago.
“Traffic has been unbelievable, and we aren’t even open yet,” Weintraub said, noting Neal starts writing contracts for new homes Nov. 2. “We have 250 on a priority list. We have nine reservations.”
Weintraub said Woodbrook is unique from other Neal Communities because of its location, landscaping and other differentiators.
“The location is so accessible to either downtown Bradenton and downtown Sarasota,” Weintraub said. “We focused on a more natural landscaping look, as well.”
Reese said Neal identified trees to save early in the project and even replanted some palms and oak trees to save plants and enhance other areas within the development.
Beyond the entrance for Woodbrook and its model homes, mounds of dirt show evidence that crews are working to complete infrastructure for the project’s two future phases.
Reese said construction crews moved right in to working on infrastructure for part of Phase II because he expects home sales will outpace his ability to install infrastructure.
Reese said the first homebuyers should be able to move into their new homes as early as February.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].