High-end Home Market Seen Revving Up


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, September, 24, 2013 – Luxury homebuilder WCI Communities has recently provided fresh indications that activity in the high-end home market is building up momentum. Toward this direction, Sarasota Bay Real Estate notes a recent Associated Press report that WCI is planning an initial public offering of about 8.4 million shares of its common stock.

The Bonita Springs, FL-based company is reportedly eying to raise about $135.5 million in this IPO at a target price of between $21 and $23 per share. Its proceeds are expected to be spent for general corporate activities including land acquisition and development and home construction.

Early this year, WCI acquired at a purchase price of $48.5 million the 2,400-acre Sarasota National, a golf community in Venice. This community, with 30 homes already built, is approved for 1,584 residences. Out of this total, 800 are platted around the community’s golf and country club area.

Upscale amenities

Prospective home buyers will find at Sarasota National an existing 18-hole golf links which is an Audubon-certified sanctuary designed by the famed course architect Gordon Lewis. Its ancillary facilities, besides a golf pro shop, include chipping and putting greens and a driving range. Over 1,300 acres of this community are designated nature preserves and conservation areas.

On the drawing board for this development too is a resort-type main clubhouse featuring fine and casual dining facilities, a spa and fitness centers, swimming pools, and tennis courts. Reservations on home sales are now accepted, although WCI is yet to publicly announce pricing levels. Singe family homes and carriage homes are the residential types that are set to be offered in this community.

Sales in nearby sister communities brisk

WCI’s initiatives in its new golf community in Venice, appears well-timed, Sarasota Bay Real Estate points out. At the Venetian Golf & River Club, which the homebuilder started developing in the early 2000s, nearly half of the 38 properties recently listed in the MLS are already pending sales.

Sales-listed high-end choices in this community have floor plans of up to 4,300-plus square feet, designed with four to five bedrooms and starting prices in the high $700s. In addition to the championship links here, the residents have access to a 70-acre nature park, which can mainly be enjoyed through the community’s River Walk. Their social activities revolve around two neighborhood centers, the Golf Club and the River Club.

Fewer options at Tidewater Preserve

Tidewater Preserve

The sales listings are even fewer in the WCI community in Bradenton—the Tidewater Preserve. Only five are in the current MLS list. On top of these options is a nearly completed 2,434-square-foot residence with three bedrooms and an asking price approaching the $400s mark.

Located on the banks of the Manatee River, Tidewater Preserve has two community centers. Once is the Port & Court Club whose features include three tennis courts. The other is The Lodge with social and recreational facilities, such as a fitness center, playground, and resort-style pool.

A nature trail and boardwalk along the Manatee River were also developed in the Tidewater Preserve. Likewise, a boat lift and canoe lift were included in the amenities available in this community.