WEST BRADENTON -- A seaside home built for an IMG Academy golf prodigy near the height of the housing market collapse is about to be occupied by an owner for the first time.
On May 19, LPGA golfer Paula Creamer sold a waterfront home she had built in the Legends Bay development on Palma Sola Bay. According to county records, the 6,000-square-foot, two-story home sold for $2.1 million. LBW Owner LLC, a company managed by Creamer, was the registered seller. The buyers were Russell and Joanne Vernon of Tuxedo, N.Y.
Built in 2009 at 5510 Inspiration Terrace in Bradenton, through a partnership between Lakewood Ranch builder Gibraltar Homes and Creamer, the home has been sitting empty since. Creamer worked with Gibraltar to build the home and retained the right to buy out the builder's share and live in the home, according to Albert Sanchez, president of Gibraltar Homes.
Sanchez said the home was "built at a time when the world was having serious economic problems" and was never occupied. He said Creamer had intended to live there to remain close to IMG where she works with a golf instructor at the school.
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Sanchez said he was pleased to hear of the sale.
"It now has a homeowner I suspect is very happy," he said.
LBW paid Gibraltar $1.2
million in 2010 to take ownership of the property.
Sanchez said the four-bedroom, four-bathroom home dubbed the "Anna Maria" in the company's housing line has been on the market for as much as $4.5 million. When the Vernons came to look at the home, the list price was down to $2.3 million, according to Jayne Kocher, a real estate agent with the Longboat Key office of Premier Sotheby's International Realty. Kocher represented the buyers in the transaction. Premier Sotheby's also handled the seller's side.
Creamer is currently ranked 11th on the LPGA's official money list. She has won more than $10.8 million in prize money during her career, according to the LPGA. She's won 10 tour events and placed in the top 10 at 93 events.
Gibraltar Homes is still building in Legends Bay, a waterfront development on the south side of El Conquistador Parkway near IMG. Gibraltar is one of several builders in the development, including Arthur Rutenberg Homes and D.R. Horton. Sanchez said his company will finish two lakeshore homes in the 2,500- to 3,000-square-foot range in the development by early next year. The development boasts four small lakes in addition to a long section of shoreline on the bay.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.