Although construction has yet to begin on more than 15,000 homes planned for Lakewood Ranch in Waterside, Lakewood Ranch Southeast, Taylor Ranch and areas east of Lorraine Road, most of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch's original 48-square-miles of land holdings are committed.
That could leave builders scrambling to buy smaller parcels of what remains.
In March, John Cannon Homes announced plans to build the small, exclusive neighborhoods of Monarch Acres (eight homes) and Kingfisher Estates (13 homes) on smaller tracts of land.
Now Neal Signature Homes has announced plans to build the Waterbury neighborhood of 21 homes on a 23-acre parcel across Bourneside Boulevard from Monarch Acres.
Carlos Puente, the division president of Neal Signature Homes, said builders will be competing for "scraps of land" that are left over in Lakewood Ranch.
Make that exclusive scraps of land.
While Waterbury Park will not approach the $3 million to $8 million homes that Monarch Acres will offer, it will be a neighborhood with most of the homes being listed for $1.5 million to $2 million depending on which of the four models they choose. Then, Puente said, home buyers will have a lot of "flex options" and "elevated interior finishes" to personalize their homes, so the cost of the home could go higher.
A Neal Signature Homes release said, "The floor plans and lot sizes will be unlike anything we've offered in Lakewood Ranch."
"We've seen a demand for that higher-end buyer," Puente said. "Historically, we've seen that demand in eastern Florida, the demand for a significantly larger home. (In this region) we've had a shortage of that particular space. Ours will get into the high 3,000s to 4,000s square feet."
Davis Bews Design of Tampa was hired in 2022 to design the model plans. Construction is expected to begin in 2024 with a "Palm Bay" model opening on site with a casita option. Puente said 3D renderings will be available soon for potential buyers.
He said the neighborhood will have no amenities as the individual homes will have their own amenities. There will be a "preserve pond" in the neighborhood.
Puente said builders will be looking at other possibilities in terms of small neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch.
"There has been an evident success in Lakewood Ranch," he said. "Everything is expanding out, but have we ever looked at this little piece? Can we try it?"