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Sun City Center’s new developer on track for holiday presentations

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By MELODY JAMESON
mj@observernews.net

Sun City Center – December here this year is likely to be, at least from one perspective, the month of Minto.

The retirement community’s latest and probably last developer, Minto Communities, LLC, is on track and on time to present five of its models chosen for Sun City Center as well as open its sales center during the holiday season.

In addition, the company is outlining a new, high end residential section.

The Canadian builder, which purchased the remaining land suited to another 800 or so homesites from WCI Communities early this summer, currently is constructing two villa style structures in Kings Point’s Oakley Greens and three single family homes in the Siena section of Renaissance, according to Bill Bullock, the company’s West Central Florida manager. Roof trusses were to be raised this week on the two KP buildings – each containing two villas, and at the same time foundation slabs for the single family dwellings were scheduled for pouring.
scc-sign
Melody Jameson photo
Corporate branding by Minto Communities, LLC, Sun City Center’s latest and most likely last developer, is extending across the retirement enclave beyond its entrance signage. The Canada-based builder is at work on five model homes in varying sizes expected to be ready by the holidays and is refurbishing the expansive sales center on S.R. 674 at I-75 for a December debut. Minto, which has constructed homes in several upscale communities across Florida, also is carving out a new “estate home” section as the retirement center approaches its 50th anniversary.

The villa designs run from 1,300 to about 1,800 square feet, Bullock said, while the Minto single family concepts are in the 1,540 to 2,180 square footage range. The single story homes all are concrete block and will not differ greatly in exterior appearance from the houses already built around them. However, the Minto differences will be noticeable in interior configurations, he said. Pricing is not yet set.

The company also has formally leased the former WCI sales center on the south side of SCC Boulevard near I-75 where it has set to work refurbishing the expansive, high-ceilinged front section as the onsite center of Minto marketing efforts, Bullock noted. Minto is not structurally altering the elaborate sales center, built by WCI before the national real estate market meltdown and unused since early 2009, but is “freshening up” its projected sales headquarters with new paint and décor, the Canadian executive added.

The visitors information and housing demonstration area operated by WCI also contained several samples of that developer’s models, built around a landscaped courtyard, full sized, decorated and furnished, but unplumbed. Designed solely to present realistically the former builder’s exterior architectural and interior design features, the models were not intended for habitation and are not included in the lease arrangement with Minto, Bullock said. They remain empty and shuttered on the back side of the enclosed sales center, he added, noting he did not know what the final disposition of the one-time models would be.

Another and unexpected aspect of the early Minto development plans also has surfaced, Bullock added. Perceiving a certain emerging market for what is termed in builder circles the “estate home” – larger, more elaborate and luxuriously appointed, the company has designated early on a new section of 21 homesites in a 90-foot frontage width. Most homes in the community, as in similar communities, are built on lots ranging from 35 to 50 feet wide, he said. But, on the last sites of about double that width, the company can offer somewhat customized single-story homes up to approximately 3,000 square feet in size.

“This is for the buyer who may have seen a favorite home in Lakewood Ranch or has a special affinity for one of the early WCI designs,” the housing executive asserted. Minto will try to work with such a buyer, he indicated, to produce to specifications the upscale “estate home” in the new section dubbed Calabria. Calabria, expected to feature lakefront or golf course sites, is to be located next to Club Renaissance.

While the new section is not being actively pushed at the present time, Bullock said, Minto marketing plans for the community as a whole are taking shape. “December,” he summed up, “is going to be a great month in Sun City Center.”

Copyright 2010 Melody Jameson
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