Davenport-based Feltrim Group is expanding its newest residential community: Tarpon Bay.
Haines City Commissioners had approved rezoning in May for the 60-acre, nautical-themed community on Roe Road, GrowthSpotter reported May 24. The project is a block south of Haines City High School.
Feltrim CEO Garrett Kenny said he has purchase contracts for two more tracts totaling 30 acres, which allows him to expand the number of homes from 279 to 363 while also shifting the main entrance to Marian Road.
"We wanted to move our entrance to the main road," Kenny told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday. "We'll still have an entrance on Roe Road, but it will be a secondary entrance."
Feltrim is also switching up the phasing plan to begin at the Marian Road entrance, which means the developer must wait to get the proper zoning and permits for the additional 30 acres before breaking ground. Kenny said he expects to start construction in early 2018.
Kenny said he's investing a substantial amount in the entrance, which features a decorative lighthouse and a large water feature with cascading fountains.
"We want people to arrive there and have an instant wow factor," he said. "I want people to drive into a subdivision and say, 'Now that's interesting.'"
Kenny said it's important to make a strong first impression, especially because the amenity center won't be constructed until the second phase and isn't visible from the front of the subdivision. The amenity center will have a small clubhouse, pool, spa, shaded playground and volleyball court.
It will be surrounded by a large pond, and Kenny said he plans to provide remote-controlled boats on the pond as an added amenity for families with children.
Home buyers in Phase 1 will likely be able to buy pool memberships to Feltrim's nearby vacation resort, Balmoral at Waters Edge, while Tarpon Bay's amenities are under construction.
The site plan includes 48 rear-entry townhomes, which will be constructed in the final two phases. The subdivision will comprise 172 52-foot wide lots and 143 62-foot lots -- slightly wider than typical lot sizes. Kenny said the extra two feet of width is needed to accommodate the city's side yard setback requirements and to allow for an optional third car garage.
The home designs will be based on popular models at Balmoral, but Kenny said they will have larger closets and more storage. And certain vacation-home standards, such as quartz counters and pools, will be available as options.
"One of the things we learned at Balmoral is that there was a lot of interest from snowbirds who were looking for second homes," Kenny said. "So we think this community will appeal to that buyer."
Feltrim is also in the early permitting stages with Polk County for a new fee-simple townhouse community just off U.S. 27 on Sand Hill Road.
Feltrim Reserve would have 117 townhome units with a pool, clubhouse and basketball/volleyball court. The 19-acre community, which would target first-time homebuyers, is designed with a large pond and more than 7.5 acres of open space.
Home prices would likely start at $179,000 for three-bedroom units and $199,000 for four-bedroom units. The site plan also designates two sites for some type of statue or public art.
"It's about quality of life," Kenny said. "It doesn't cost us a lot of money to do something the community will be proud of. And I've found that if you put in a little something extra, it helps us sell faster."