Real estate in brief: University Park, and Kibler Ranch



New home building in one of the region's most prominent country clubs will resume for the first time since the real estate crash.

The developers of University Park broke ground this week on the community's first new phase in seven years.

Lansdowne Crescent, named after a traditional community in London, will feature 19 home sites alongside hole No. 3 of the University Park Country Club golf course, with homes ranging from 2,300 to 2,800 square feet.

Custom builder John Neal Homes will be the exclusive builder in the new section. It plans to break ground on a new model for the neighborhood this summer.

"We've been working on plans for this beautiful private enclave of homes for nearly two years," Charles Varah, partner representative for University Park, said. "Now with the market recovery and this location growing so quickly with new amenities, the timing is good to begin this next phase."

— Josh Salman, Inside Real Estate


The 1,000-acre Kibler Ranch, near Myakka City off State Road 64 in eastern Manatee County, will be put up for auction at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Besides having lakes, two and a half miles of Manatee River frontage, woods and pastures, the ranch has a four-bedroom riverfront lodge and five other smaller houses, along with barns, stables and equipment sheds.

Past guests have included politicians (President Lyndon Johnson, U.S. Senators George Smathers and Lawton Chiles, Florida Governors Claude Kirk, Farris Bryant and Spessard Holland), businessmen (Publix founder George Jenkins, Armand Hammer and homebuilder Jim Walter) and famous lawyers (Chesterfield Smith and Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski).

The property has orange groves, cattle range and lots of hunting and fishing opportunities, said owner Thomas Kibler, who is proud of the "serenity and beauty" of the land. More information is online at

Last modified: May 31, 2013
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