Country Club East Expansion Gets Rolling


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 8th, 2015 – Only less than 20 residences in the sprawling community of Country Club East (CCE) are listed in the MLS of Sarasota homes for sale as of end-September 2015. But expect the choices of sales listings here to grow very soon after, with site development now in full swing for the addition of two neighborhoods in this golf community in Lakewood Ranch (LWR).

The new subdivisions—named Prestbury and Whittlebury—are slated for a total of 190 single family homes in a 212-acre parcel east of the Highlands. This latter neighborhood is the domain of Neal Signature Homes, a unit of prolific regional builder Neal Communities.

The new incoming pair brings to 15 the total CCE neighborhoods. Their development is a joint project between LWR master developerSchroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. (SMR) and the Florida-based residential real estate investment firm Starwood Land Ventures.

Robust community base

Country Club East Expansion Gets Rolling

SMR and Starwood Land are jointly developing the infrastructures for Prestbury and Whittlebury, including private road construction, sewer, water, and, utilities, as well as dealing with the Southwest Florida Water Management District to address environmental issues. Site plans submitted for this project to the Manatee County Building and Development Services indicate no amenities for the two new neighborhoods, and its future residents will likely partake with their neighbors the many existing facilities at Country Club East and at the multi-use developments of the master-planned Lakewood Ranch.

The new CCE neighborhoods are just north of the Royal Lakes Golf Course, one of the three private 18-hole links under the management of the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club. Significantly, construction of a new clubhouse for Royal Lakes has likewise been set in motion for an expected windup in 2016.

When finished, this clubhouse will feature a private dining room, a wine area for club member parties, and a large event-style kitchen exposed to diners. Rustic in its architectural style, the new clubhouse is planned for 27,889 square feet, overlooking the Royal Lakes’ ninth and eighteenth holes. Its dining room and covered terrace with stadium-type seating will afford commanding views not only of the golf course and its putting greens but also the wetland preserves surrounding the clubhouse.

Neal steps on the gas

Among the LWR builders in CCE, it is Neal Signature Homes which appear ahead of the pack in claiming stakes at Prestbury and Whittlebury. Neal was reported around late September that it has paid $2.37 million for 19 lots at Whittlebury. Other builders with presence at Country Club East include Lee Wetherington, John Cannon Homes, and Cardel Homes. At the CCE Highlands, Neal currently has Sarasota homes for sale priced in the $500s and the $600s for models having floor plans of up to about 2,800 square feet.

Neal Signature Homes’ recent moves at CCE appear riding on the momentum of its parent company’s strong 2015 sales performance. For August alone, the company reported having sold 90 homes across its five-county market territory in the Sunshine State, sending it well en route to itstarget of 1,000-unit sales for this year.

Moving forward, Neal Communities is further gearing itself up to tap other growth opportunities in the resurgent home market. Also in September 2015, launching was announced for Neal Communities Funding, an independent mortgage banker formed as an affiliated business between Maitland-based Mortgage Funding Direct Ventures and Neal Communities.