AVE MARIA — Ave Maria will have a second builder of single-family homes later this year when Lennar Homes, a national homebuilder with communities throughout the United States, begins construction of homes in the Emerson Park neighborhood.
Pulte Homes has been the exclusive builder of single-family homes in Ave Maria since the community's inception, but has focused its efforts in the last few years on the Del Webb "active adult" community and has not been actively marketing homes in Emerson Park or Hampton Village.
"We think it's a great opportunity and we look forward to being a part of Ave Maria," Darin McMurray, Lennar's division president for Southwest Florida, told The Ave Herald.
Lennar will begin its activities in Ave Maria in late May or early June, McMurray said, building a model home and sales office on Steinbeck Way at the entrance to Emerson Park. That will be followed later in the year by construction of some homes on currently available lots.
Details about the types of homes and pricing were not disclosed, although an advertisement by Lennar in the April 21 edition of the Naples Daily News, which listed Emerson Park in Ave Maria as one of the many Lennar communities in the Naples-Fort Myers area, described them as "executive homes from the high $100s, 1,340 to 2,765 square feet."
Valerie Dolenga, in the corporate communications department at Pulte, said Pulte has sold four lots to Lennar but declined to make any further comment about Pulte's plans for Ave Maria.
Blake Gable, president of Barron Collier's Real Estate division, said he has heard from several other large-scale homebuilders who have expressed interest in Ave Maria, spurred by a number of developments such as the start of construction on the Arthrex facility, the improvements to Oil Well Road, and the improving real estate market in Southwest Florida. Although he would not disclose any details, he did say that the overall picture has improved dramatically this year.
David Shnaider and his wife Patricia Sette are Ave Maria residents who founded community news website AveHerald.com in November 2008. Contact David and Patricia at email@example.com