Briefs: Eagle Trace, architecture, affordability index and more



Neal Communities is preparing to open its Eagle Trace neighborhood near Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County. The community will be developed just south of State Road 64, near shopping, schools and a few miles from Interstate 75.

Said Michael Storey, Neal Communities’ president of building, “Being near Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and State Road 64, home buyers will have access to Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton and Parrish amenities. Additionally, Eagle Trace will lay the groundwork for future county infrastructure in this rapidly growing section of Manatee County.”

Neal will host an opening event Dec. 7-8, and is accepting names for an early interest list. The community will offer single-family homes from Neal’s Celebration and Cove Series, and paired villas from the Coral series. Models will include the new White Sand 2 and two villa models: the Crystal Sand and the Tidewater.

Eagle Trace is a maintenance-included community that will have a recreation center, two dog parks, a children’s playground, a tennis court, and a community pool. The first phase will include 182 lots with more phases scheduled for 2014.


The Center for Architecture Sarasota’s (CFAS) inaugural weekend of events introduced more than 300 people to its mission. At a reception at The Spencer House, the organization received an $85,000 donation, presented by Lily Chapell on behalf of the Chapell family. The exhibit hall at the new CFAS building will be named the Don Chapell Gallery in honor of Lily’s father, the late modernist architect Don Chapell.

The weekend included tours of The Spencer House and a lecture by architect, author and urban planner Vishaan Chakrabarti hosted by CFAS in partnership with the University of Florida and the Downtown Sarasota Alliance.

The weekend resulted in more than $10,000 in event ticket sales in addition to $18,000 in private donations and corporate sponsorships. The funds will be used to restore the historic building at 265 S. Orange Ave., Sarasota, as the home of CFAS and UF CityLab-Sarasota.


Strengthening house prices and increased interest rates in metros across the country contributed to lower housing affordability in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).

In all, 64.5 percent of new and existing homes sold between July and September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $64,400. This is down from the 69.3 percent in the second quarter, and the biggest HOI decline since the second quarter of 2004.

“Housing affordability is being negatively affected by a ‘perfect storm’ scenario,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson. “With markets across the country recovering, home values are strengthening at the same time that the cost of building homes is rising due to tightened supplies of building materials, developable lots and labor.”



Last modified: November 15, 2013
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