No word games this time.
The company that brought you Esplanade by Siesta Key and is currently preparing Bellacina by Casey Key — both on the mainland — has played it straight with a new infill development in Osprey.
Taylor Morrison can describe its Osprey project in one word: Bayside.
The development is part of a push into central Sarasota County for the Scottsdale, Arizona, developer/builder that, in 2007, resulted from the merger of Morrison Homes and Taylor Woodrow. It is one of the biggest home builders in the country.
Esplanade by Siesta Key, about a mile from the sand of Crescent Beach, opened in 2013 and is nearly sold out. It followed the success of Esplanade at Lakewood Ranch.
Bellacina by Casey Key is a new subdivision with the resort-style DNA of the Esplanade brand. It’s at the highly visible and mostly empty junction of S.R. 681 and Interstate 75. Models are coming out of the ground.
Taylor Morrison also has the year-old Cobblestone development in Palmer Ranch.
In Osprey, Bayside has 49 sites, but Taylor Morrison is building on only 42 of them; 10 are under contract. They are 52 feet wide, have a north-south orientation, and will hold houses of 1,800 to 3,100 square feet, priced from $417,000 to $509,000. Their owners may tie up boats during the day at the community boat dock.
The remaining seven sites are 76 feet wide and run east-west with views to the bay and Casey Key beyond. Priced from $795,000 to $900,000, they’re intended for custom homes by builders other than Taylor Morrison, and are listed for sale by Joel Schemmel of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. Each of those lots is permitted an individual boat dock.
“It is the exception to have a gated community on the water where someone can purchase a ready-to-build waterfront lot with utilities right there — especially sewer,” said Schemmel.
“The homeowner can work with the architect and builder of their choosing, just within our guidelines,” said Cammie Longenecker, recently promoted to vice president of operations for Taylor Morrison’s Southwest Florida Division. “We want to keep the overall theme of the community.”
The theme could be described as Tuscan, with barrel-tile roofs and accents of manufactured-stone veneer.
The larger lots are elevated on fill, but will have ground-floor garages with two stories above. The back yards will slope to the shoreline.
For buyers who want Taylor Morrison to do all the heavy lifting, or have smaller budgets, the company has opened its Lazio VII model on site. It has three bedrooms, up to three and a half baths, and a two- or three-car garage, with 2,275 square feet of air-conditioned area. It has a great room, a den with optional French doors and a pool area that looks out to a nature preserve.
Bayside is surrounded by Heron Bay Club to the north, The Villas at Bellagio to the south and the Happy Haven Mobile Home Park to the east. It has a 3-acre nature preserve, a gathering area with fire pit, a pond and a launch area for kayaks and paddleboards.
Buyers with boats may be able to keep them at Bellagio’s marina and then motor to the community dock to pick up guests.
The land that is now Bayside had been occupied by a small mobile-home park, tied down to land that was zoned for single-family residences, which was sold by its owner to Taylor Morrison, with Joel Schemmel representing the seller.
“I started working with the owner of this land back in 2004-05,” Schemmel said via email. “I was working with a developer out of Chicago and I approached the owner directly. We had the property under contract during the boom, but it never closed.”
In 2009, Schemmel started to work with the owner in an attempt to find a buyer.
“We had it listed both as a package of roughly 22 acres, and also as individual lots,” Schemmel said. “Included in the 22 acres were six 2-acre bayfront lots. On one of those bayfront lots, there was an older, grandfathered mobile-home park. It was not an organized park, and the underlying zoning was residential vs. mobile home park (RMH).”
The leases were converted to month-to-month when they came up for renewal. “Ultimately, when we had the property under contract in 2013, there were only a couple of tenants remaining, and they subsequently relocated.”
“It had seen better days,” said Longenecker.
Taylor Morrison closed on the purchase in 2014. As the zoning already was for single-family homes, Schemmel said, Taylor Morrison did not have to apply for a zoning change.
Models will be opening soon at Bellacina, a 302-site development on what had been ranch land off S.R. 681 (the Venice Connector). It is an “Esplanade series with resort-style living and concierge services,” said Longenecker, with no CDD fees.
It will have detached villas and also houses on 52-foot-wide lots.
An added amenity that its 165 acres are adjacent to the Legacy Trail. “You can take your bike and jump right on,” Longenecker said. “We are really excited to be the Nokomis area with easy access to the freeway. This is for Esplanade buyers who don’t want golf.”
In Lakewood Ranch, Taylor Morrison recently opened a new entrance to Esplanade on White Eagle Road, where shoppers will find seven new models.
“We saw the opportunity to bring fresh designs to the market and showcase the model park closer to the amenity center,” Longenecker said. “The views are stunning” over the golf course.
The company is building a tiki bar/grill and a wellness center with café, salon and spa rooms, fitness and performance training spaces and locker rooms.
“Our goal is to bring that resort experience to our residents right there at home,” Longenecker said. “They can walk or bike to the wellness center and engage in the activities.”
Taylor Morrison also has partnered with Stock Development of Naples in Lakewood Ranch. Stock Signature Homes is planning high-end custom homes on 20 90-foot home sites, similar to what Stock builds in Esplanade at Naples Golf & Country Club.
Stock also is building in The Lake Club and The Concession. Everything else it does is south of Fort Myers.