LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Celebrities, athletes and business moguls call The Lake Club, the most private and upscale gated community in Lakewood Ranch, home.
About 11 percent come from overseas -- the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Spain and Poland.
And as more lavish homes continue to be built in the growing area, more can be expected to follow.
This year, five homes or mansions of 10,000 square feet or more, are being planned at The Lake Club off University Parkway, adding to the developments overall growing reputation. The development was recently named the ninth-best master planned community in America with 391 new home sales in 2011.
The Lake Club, originally developed in 2005, still has at least seven years of construction before buildout, officials say.
Mark Wilson, whose company London Bay Homes is in the process of building two more homes in excess of 10,000 square feet, calls Lakewood Ranchs growing housing market one of the great success stories in the nation.
One of the homes currently being built by London Bay -- the 2008 recipient of Builder Magazines Americas Best Builder Award -- features a Tuscan-style design, copper tin ceiling, electric shutters, a motorized chandelier and fire and water bowls near the edge of the pool. Price: $3 million.
What youre seeing is a resurgence in luxurious homes, said Wilson, who founded his company in 1990 in Naples. Most clients coming in, their businesses are doing just fine and seeing reasonable growth. They can project whats happening with their growth and that gives a lot of confidence.
Gloria Weed, managing broker at the Lakewood Ranch office for Michael Saunders & Co. real estate, concurs.
I believe people have confidence in the market and Lake Club offers a different kind of upscale amenities than other communities.
Weed and Wilson also attributed some of the rise in luxury homes to the price of construction being down.
People who are buying now are getting it for a good price, Weed said. Candice Mcelyea, spokeswoman for SMR, Inc., said the resurgence of large-scale homes in the Lakewood Ranch area shines a positive light on residential development.
I think what it says for the market is that its recovering faster than most places, she said. You have these pockets across the country that are recovering while most arent. People are buying in areas where they feel their value is most protected.
Other mansions planned on the property include a 20,000- square-foot home by Westwater Construction, a 17,000-square-foot home by Todd Johnston Homes and a 19,000-square-foot home by Paradise Homes.
It speaks very positive for the market, Mcelyea said.
Nick Williams, East Manatee Reporter, can be reached at (941) 748-0411 ext. 7049. Tweet: @_1NickWilliams.