Mattamy Homes USA is making a huge investment in the Greater Orlando market with an ambitious plan to launch seven new communities in the next 12 months -- including the developer's first vacation home resort and a community paying homage to iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Orlando Division President Alex Martin told GrowthSpotter the company made a strategic decision to expand its footprint in the booming Central Florida market. In recent weeks, the company has closed on three deals valued at nearly $35 million. In total, Mattamy will develop or entitle 2,000 homes spanning the region from Four Corners to DeLand.
The largest project, Solara at Westside, is a 907-unit resort scheduled to start construction before the end of the year.
"We're super excited about that," said Martin in a phone interview last week. "it's a great opportunity to increase our presence here in the market, so it's a big year for us. It will be our first foray into the short-term rental market, which is unique to our Central Florida market. A lot of builders have gone that route, but it's a unique opportunity for us because we've never done it before."
Mattamy paid $13.2 million earlier this month for the 241 acres. Located in the Four Corners area and spanning both sides of Westside Boulevard south of Goodman Road, Solara will be a gated resort with a mix of townhomes and detached homes on 40-foot and 50-foot lots.
Martin said the company is still conducting data analysis to determine price points and home sizes. The Four Corners market offers everything from townhomes priced in the mid-$200,000 range to larger homes with up to a dozen bedroom suites.
"It's all data driven," he said. "We don't just shoot from the hip. We've seen several competitors go both routes."
One decision has already been made -- each house and townhome will have its own private plunge pool. "We want people to feel like they're in a resort," Martin said.
Last week, Mattamy filed a preliminary site plan with Osceola County for its 11,805-square-foot resort clubhouse that will have its own restaurant, bar, fitness center and activity rooms. The sales center will also operate out of the clubhouse.
The center will have a lounge pool and separate kids' pool with a waterslide and splash pad. Other amenities include tennis courts, basketball and sand volleyball courts, a soccer/lacrosse field and an event lawn.
"It's going to have everything you could possibly want in a resort," Martin said.
He said the company will establish a homeowners association, but each individual buyer will have the freedom to select his own furnishings and property management firm, or maintain the home as a primary or secondary residence.
Hawksmoor will be Mattamy's second community in the white-hot Horizon West submarket. "Our first time selling into that community was Windermere Trails," he said. "We're almost sold out, so it's a great opportunity for us to enter into what is Central Florida's busiest community."
As a builder, Martin said he appreciates the level of planning and forethought that went into the Horizon West community. "And I think we fit in well there," he said. "At Mattamy we tend to have rich variety and a mix of density plans that make us the ideal builder for Horizon West."
On June 15, Mattamy Orlando paid $11.5 million for the 253.62-acre property owned by Zanzibar Properties LLC. The community on Old YMCA Road in Winter Garden will feature a blend of residential products ranging from townhomes up to estates homes on 90-foot lots. It will have 461 units and is slated to open in May 2017.
"Every community has its own vision. The vision behind this was a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie-style community," he said. "The community amenity, the entryway, the elevations and architecture will echo those themes."
Widely considered America's greatest architect, Wright had a strong connection to Central Florida. Lakeland's Florida Southern College is home to the largest collection of Wright-designed architecture in the world. The campus was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012.
Homes at Hawksmoor will feature brick exteriors, earthy color palettes and flat-line roofs indicative of the prairie-style movement. "We really like the style," he said. "It's artful but subdued. It captures the eye without a lot of bells and whistles."
Mattamy's in-house architects just completed a charrette for Hawksmoor and have begun to incorporate those ideas into the the home designs.
We really like the style. It's artful but subdued. It captures the eye without a lot of bells and whistles.— Alex Martin, Mattamy Homes Orlando
"With every community we create new elevations and sometimes new floorplans," Martin said. "We're not one of those builders that pulls a plan off the shelf and just reapplies them. We try to do something different to separate ourselves from other builders and create a memory point that will set Hawksmoor apart from other communities in Horizon West."
Mattamy is scheduled to close July 1 on another raw land purchase from the city of Ocoee. The Preserve at Crown Point will be a gated community of 303 detached homes on 45, 55 and 65-foot wide lots. It's located on Ocoee Crown Point Parkway directly across from Ocoee High School.
Mattamy Homes is the largest privately owned homebuilder in North America, with operations across the United States and Canada. Martin joined Mattamy as Orlando Division president March 21 after a long career at Ryan Homes and Toll Brothers.