EAST MANATEE -- Rye Wilderness Estates just grew 129 homesites larger, thanks to a $2.4 million purchase by D.R. Horton, a Texas-based national homebuilder.
The half-acre lots make up Phase IV of Rye Wilderness Estates and are zoned for single-family development.
On Dec. 13, the property was first purchased by Clearwater developer Florida Properties II, LLC.
Florida Properties paid $1,527,750 for the property, which it purchased from FNB bank, then sold it to D.R. Horton for $2,394,000.
"These will be luxury homes with tile roofs and paver driveways," said JoAnn Strutt, sales professional for Rye Wilderness Estates. Costs per homesite begin at $284,000 and include lots of 2,300 to 4,300 square feet. But no sales will begin until the estimated 60 remaining lots in Phase III have been purchased.
In the existing subdivision, 36 homes were sold in two years and four are currently pending, Strutt said. It shows the change in the economy since 2009, when then-owner Lee Wetherington Homes offered "free" lots in Rye Wilderness Estates to buyers by allowing that amount to then be applied to the cost of building the house.
In 2010, D.R. Horton acquired the remaining homesites, according to Strutt. When they are down to about 25 remaining spots in Phase III, Strutt said she expects to see development to begin on Phase IV, which is located 4.5 miles from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard at the intersection of 167th Boulevard NE and Rye Road in eastern Manatee County near Rye Wilderness Preserve.
Originally, Rye Wilderness was developed by builder Ronald Shenkin.