Southwest Florida – Neal Communities has begun development and construction of the first phase of the Grand Palm community, located in Venice. After seven years of planning and working with the county, this is one of the first neighborhood approvals under the Sarasota 2050 initiative. The community will exemplify Neal’s commitment to sustainability, low-impact design, and economic stimulation.
The spectacular grand entrance with many large, preserved trees, sets the tone for this neighborhood that showcases Neal’s attention to detail. Grand Palm is strategically located at the intersection of Center Road and River Road, next to Plantation Golf & Country Club and Venice Middle School. It is close to the interstate and convenient to Sarasota as well as Venice. Grand Palm will take the place of the fastest selling neighborhood, Stoneybrook, which was also planned by Pat Neal and Dale Weidemiller.
Grand Palm will be a vibrant community that appeals to a variety of people—young professionals, families, and even empty nesters. There will be four neighborhoods and one village center, which will include shops and offices. Phase 1A of the project is currently underway and will have 259 homes.
Grand Palm is the model for the highly desirable community of the future that is interconnected, with shops and businesses close to homes, making it easy to walk or take short auto trips. The community is a total of 1,005 acres and is projected to have 1,999 homes when built-out. Neal Communities will offer residents a selection of their most popular floor plans. Bestsellers will namely be from the Cottage Series, Coral Series, Celebration Series, and Cove Series.
The protection and preservation of natural beauty is a hallmark of all of Neal’s communities and Grand Palm is no exception. “Fully 33% of the land is set aside for open space. This creates a community in harmony with nature,” says Neal Communities’ President, Pat Neal. “We’re extremely proud of this accomplishment. The community has been designed using the concept that neighborhoods form the basic building block of a community and that we want to carry out the vision established by the County for the future of the area.”
“We’re preserving a multiplicity of herbaceous and forested wetland systems and preserving extensive acreage of forested uplands and a few creek systems,” explains John Henslick, senior scientist at ECo Consultants Inc.. “As we develop the property, there will be improvements to the water quality, and habitats that were previously unmaintained will now be maintained in their native state. They may have been lost otherwise.” Henslick notes that there are no endangered or threatened species on the property. “This site had been agricultural use for many years, which makes it more suitable for development.”
The amenities will be in place when the first Grand Palm homeowners move in—a monumental achievement. The heart of the community is the park, where there is a recreation center with two pools and a 39-acre lake. The lake features an eight-acre pine island, specially designed to be a place where residents can enjoy nature, hike, ride bikes, canoe, and even fish. All of the amenities will be connected by a trail system. The natural corridors are also interconnected, giving wildlife safe passageways to move from area to area.
Bill Waddill, senior vice president with Kimley-Horn and Associates, says it is easy to see why the County approved the community: “I think that they liked the plan as the first being built under 2050. They really wanted to see their vision realized,” says Waddill. “They liked the project and they liked the community— the track record of Neal Communities. This is the right project, the right time, the right developer.”
Neal Communities is ranked #1 locally by MetroStudy and #1 by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence based on number of home sales. The company was awarded America’s Best Builder 2012 by BUILDER Magazine. In addition, the company is ranked #66 nationally among home builders by BUILDER Magazine by number of homes closed in 2011. Last year, the company won the 2011 Business of the Year “Sandie” from the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance. As the area’s largest and most established locally-owned and operated private builder, Neal Communities is continually striving for excellence in every aspect of the home building and development business. Neal Signature Homes, John Neal Homes, Charlene Neal PureStyle, Waterscapes Pools & Spas, and First Continental Mortgage all contribute to the firm’s continued, record-setting local success. With over 8,600 homes built in Southwest Florida, Neal Communities’ honors and accolades include 37 Parade of Homes 2012 Awards, 48 Aurora Awards, 5 Best in American Living Awards, and hundreds of local and regional industry awards. For more information, visit www.nealcommunities.com.