LAKEWOOD RANCH -- A rush to buy home sites in a private, gated community in Lakewood Ranch will have at least one local builder making big quarterly purchases of small batches of lots.
On Aug. 22, Lakewood Ranch-based homebuilder Neal Signature Homes purchased six home lots in the Country Club East community from a subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Starwood Capital Group for $1.04 million, according to Manatee County records. Startwood sold another six lots in the community to Riverview-based builder Cardel Homes for $1.03 million. The price equates to more than $170,000 per lot.
Neal President Pat Neal said the buy is one of several the company will make on a quarterly basis from Starwood over the next few quarters. The development and construction company will buy 20 or more lots in batches of about a half dozen as part of a larger, overall deal. Neal did not disclose the full scope of the purchase agreement.
Neal companies have already built approximately 240 homes in the community.
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"We've made a big commitment to Country Club East," Neal said.
The lots Starwood sold in late August are part of $23.4 million joint venture pur
chase the company made from Schroeder-Manatee Ranch in 2013. Starwood is working with SMR to develop about 475 acres encompassing roughly 600 home sites in Country Club East.
Neal Signature Homes will build homes starting in the $600,000 range on the approximately 9,000-square-foot lots the company recently purchased. It has already started construction on three of the lots. The homes are in the Windy Hill section of Country Club East. Neal said the homes will be in its "medium-sized executive home" category. He expects to sell one home a month out of this new sector of inventory.
Neal companies sold 81 homes in August.
To date, Neal companies have sold homes in Country Club East ranging in price from about $300,000 to $1.5 million, Neal said.
Cardel purchased a set of lots slightly larger than those acquired by Neal. Rob Hall, Cardel's area manager for Country Club East, said his company is looking to build homes with a lot of space, some as large as 4,000 square feet.
"We're going to be aiming a little bit more for the family market," he said.
Cardel had been building in Country Club East since March. The company has sold four homes in the community this year. It purchased another six Country Club East lots from Starwood last December for $678,432, and nine lots in March for $1.58 million, according to records.
Neal has also made previous purchases from Starwood in Country Club East. Neal company John Neal Homes bought 13 lots from Starwood last December for $1.5 million, then another six in March for $1 million.
Other companies building homes in the community include John Cannon Homes, Taylor Morrison, Arthur Rutenberg, Homes by Towne and Cardell.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.