Market snapshot: Manatee's Palma Sola Trace



Located on a former golf course on 75th Street West, just north of Cortez Road in Manatee County, Palma Sola Trace is an attractive planned community. Its 100 acres were developed starting in 2007 by Taylor Morrison, one of the nation's largest home-building companies.

Taylor Morrison created lakes and retention ponds and put in mature palm trees and lush landscaping throughout, giving the neighborhood a well-lived-in look and feel.

Market Snapshot: Palma Sola TraceIt has 546 residences in three distinct subdivisions. The northernmost section has 148 single-family homes. A more central area next to the community clubhouse and swimming pool consists of 126 paired villas. The last portion has 272 coach homes or condos, with eight units per building, of which all but 48 are completed.

The two entrances off 75th Street are not gated, but two pedestrian access points on 71st Street require key cards.

A master homeowners' association governs the entire community. Monthly fees cover basic cable TV, homeowner's insurance, exterior maintenance and pest control. The CDD (community development district) takes care of streetlights, creek and ponds.

Market Snapshot: Palma Sola TraceThe community has been popular. All of the single-family homes and villas are sold out. Taylor Morrison built condos in anticipation of the 2012 season, and all but four of them have sold.

"Last year, we were able to exceed what we forecast, and we're starting up very strong, and we're really excited about that," said Cammie Longénecker, vice president of sales and marketing for Taylor Morrison.

What makes the community so attractive to buyers?

"People love the location because of the close proximity to the beach — it's less than four miles to Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island," said Carmen Triana, senior sales associate.

Blake Hospital is just down the road, as is Robinson Preserve.

At the same time, shopping venues are almost in the backyards. The two pedestrian entrances allow residents to walk or bike to a newly renovated shopping center on Cortez, which offers grocery and department stores, a Starbucks, Cold Stone Creamery and a slew of popular restaurants, including First Watch, Bonefish Grill and Stonewood Grill.

"That's a huge selling point — that you don't have to get into your car for eating out or to go shopping," Triana said.

Market Snapshot: Palma Sola TraceLongénecker also thinks the sense of community plays a role. "The residents are extremely involved here. They care about their neighborhood and want to make sure it is pristine looking and welcoming."

Many take advantage of the clubhouse, the Nautilus workout room and the lagoon-shaped outdoor swimming pool, which is heated to 84 degrees. Free Wi-Fi access to the Internet makes it a great place to hang out with laptop computers or tablets while enjoying the water and sunshine.

The community room has a lending library and catering kitchen. It can be rented for special events, and a variety of activities, from bingo and mahjong to yoga and Pilates classes, to potlucks and Saturday morning doughnut get-togethers, are held there.

Palma Sola Trace is one of the few neighborhoods in the area that has no size restrictions on dogs in the condominiums.

Residents are a mix of families, professionals, retirees, snowbirds and second-home owners who plan to retire there later. A number of families with children enrolled in the IMG Academy enjoy the proximity to the sports complex there.

"Back in 2007, we had a lot of cash buyers and people purchasing second homes, but now we have first-time home buyers as well," Triana said.

One of the reasons is that Palma Sola Trace has been an FHA-approved community for the past two years. The combination of affordable prices — $150,000 to $190,000 — and being able to get financing with only 3.5 percent down payment has proved irresistible. Another reason is that, besides the two-story, townhouse-style coach homes, single-story, ground-floor condos are are available.

"People find that surprising and appealing," Longénecker said. "Some retirees don't want to have to climb stairs."

Besides the four new condos, some resale homes are on the market. They include six single-family residences, priced from $360,000 to 469,900; two villas at $234,000 and $289,900; and six coach homes, ranging from $151,900 to $165,900.

Plans are to finish the final condo buildings over the next two years. But things may happen more quickly.

"We actually sold in the summertime, which is unusual for our community," Triana said. "The market has definitely come back."


Last modified: March 2, 2013
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