Polk County Developments

Vacation home pioneer Contempo Group & builder Feltrim Group break ground on newest 'Virgin Village'

UPDATED: March 30, 2016 10:15 am — Feltrim Group has just started construction on Balmoral at Waterfront, a new 245-unit vacation home resort in Haines City that could be home to the area's second "Virgin Village."

Located on U.S. 27 just south of Highway 17, the 115-acre gated community will feature a mix of townhomes, single family and estate vacation homes.


Feltrim CEO Garrett Kenny told GrowthSpotter on Friday he has already pre-sold 54 of the 102 units planned for phase one, and has started building four model homes.

He has teamed up with vacation-home management firm Contempo Group, which is also selling to international investors and will manage the resort as a "horizontal hotel."


Contempo CEO Don Wherrett formed exclusive partnerships with British travel giant Virgin Holidays and Brazilian tour operator CVC. Last year he introduced the first Virgin Village at Rosemont Woods -- a 57-lot neighborhood in the Providence Golf & Country Club in Davenport. Rosemont is almost sold out.

"I'm not the one who builds the homes -- I'm the one who fills them after they get built," Wherrett said.

Contempo projects each vacation home buyer could earn a minimum of $1,250 monthly net revenue  as part of its five-year leaseback program. "Every village will have a guaranteed leaseback," Wherrett said.

Virgin Village at Balmoral will start out with between 50 and 70 homes, but it could grow as phase two develops. Kenny said phase one would be fully operational within a year, and his buildout projection for Balmoral is about two and half years.

"We are in discussions with Virgin for them to take 100 homes, but nothing is signed yet," Kenny said. "They really like that fact that we're a self-contained resort with 245 luxury villas."

Wherrett anticipates opening a CVC village catering to Brazilian tourists at Balmoral in 2018. And he doesn't plan to stop there.

"I also believe we'll have a Scandinavian village and potentially a Chinese village," he said. "We could do 10 -- there will be other countries that want their own villages."

One reason the program has been so successful is that Wherrett developed a bulk purchase package for larger investors of 20 vacation homes for $5.7 million. Bulk purchase buyers enjoy an even steeper discount -- about 14-percent on the sale price of each house -- and they're required to put 50 percent down at signing and pay the balance over five months.


"Typically the bulk deals we've done have been wealthy individuals," Wherrett said. "That was at Rosemont. But we have been talking to investment groups about bulk packages for Balmoral."

Balmoral will be highly amenitized. Kenny said he's investing $4.7 million on the clubhouse and water park that will include a restaurant, bar, game room, splash park and water slides. He also scattered pocket parks and botanical gardens throughout the community, all linked by a trail.

"We're putting in a wedding pavilion, too," Kenny said. "That was something the city asked us to consider, and we thought it was a good idea. So we added a gazebo at one of the lakefront parks, and it will be a good spot for photos."

Kenny said he's utilizing the EB-5 Visa program to raise capital for the development at the $500,000 level. "We estimate we can take 35 investors for this project," he said. "Of course we have to create 10 jobs for every EB-5 visa."

Editor's note: This article was updated to clarify that Contempo Group does not guarantee a minimum monthly income to vaction home buyers.

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