It’s only the second housing community of its kind, and it’s coming to Cortez

Net-zero, tiny homes coming to Cortez Village

Hunters Point Resort & Marina will only be the second community of its kind in the nation, completely energy independent community made up of small, but modern cottages.
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Hunters Point Resort & Marina will only be the second community of its kind in the nation, completely energy independent community made up of small, but modern cottages.

Would you pay about $100,000 per 120-square-feet of living space?

When it comes to the planned Hunters Point development in Cortez and all that comes with the average 484-square feet, under-the-roof living space, you just might and the waiting list is growing. In all, the homes will be more than 1,700 square feet each and will start around $400,000.

So why all the excitement?

Hunters Point Resort & Marina will become only the second zero-energy community in the United States, meaning every home will be energy independent — but won’t feel like it. They will combine the old “cracker cottage” style of old Florida living,with modern design.

It’s a concept that quickly grabbed the enthusiasm of Manatee County commissioners, staff and even the residents of Cortez, which is no easy task.

Tiny home development provided photo 2.jpg
Lots for “cracker cottage” housing units for a planned energy independent community will go on the market in January. It is only the second community of its kind in the U.S. and it’s coming to Cortez. Provided photo

The first 86 homes will go to market after the first of the year, with 62 additional lodges planned in Phase 2. A possible 720-unit completely energy independent apartment complex could come later for renters but that segment of the development remains up in the air, according to Marshall Gobuty, of Sarasota-based Pearl Homes.

Gobuty built the award-winning Mirabella community in west Bradenton that is LEED Platinum certified. Being LEED certified means a community was designed and built using strategies to improve performance in energy savings and water usage. Mirabella not only scored the necessary points, but shattered the requirements.

Hunters Point will take the concept of green living to the highest levels with model homes already producing 96 percent energy independence with the goal of 100 percent, or net-zero living.

So will people buy into the concept?

“I think we already have 1,500 people on the waiting list,” Gobuty said. “We’ll be going to market in January so we’ll see where we are at officially by then. But we are really excited because this is only the second such community in the United States and it’s going to be right here in our county, in our community.”

The homes will be built on about 18 acres to the north of 124th Street West. The developer paid $10 million for the land in 2016. Gobuty’s Pearl Homes teamed up with sonnen, which uses leading energy storage solutions and intelligent energy management software to solved a problem that has stymied solar energy experts for years.

If that kind of technology is beyond your proverbial pay grade, you aren’t alone, but leave it to sonnen, Pearl Homes and Google Home. It is the first time Google Home has participated in a master plan development for an entire community.

“Together with our partners at Pearl Homes and Google Home, we are effectively demonstrating the intersection between renewable energy, home automation and home building, establishing a blueprint for the affordable clean energy home of the future,” said Blake Richetta, senior vice president and head of sonnen’s U.S. operations.

Gobuty said sonnen’s technology, in combination with expert LEED Platinum home design, “has changed the equation for the ability to truly optimize smart homes using solar plus storage to the point where we are capable of building sustainable communities that share solar, and decarbonizes the region, one Pearl Home at a time.”

Gobuty said, for years, energy experts have struggled to bring solar energy to the level where it can sustain an entire community.

The acreage is surrounded on three sides by a canal and many of the homes will have docks for water access. The units also will be “complete homes,” meaning they will already be furnished at purchase and each home will have a charging station in partnership with Tesla, but even those will be powered by sonnen’s solar storage technology.

Plans include a marina with 47 slips, a community clubhouse and other amenities.

The community is named Hunters Point because it was referred by that name by early settlers of Cortez. The homes also will be designed to stand up to 129 mph winds. For more information visit hunterspointfl.com.