Florida's Villages is Top-Selling Master-Planned Community, Again

Florida's Villages is Top-Selling Master-Planned Community, Again

» Featured Columnists | By Scott Kauffman | February 3, 2012 8:48 AM ET

Villages-golf-cart-on-square.jpg (THE VILLAGES, FL) -- The Villages, a massive golf course retirement community about 45 minutes northwest of Orlando,  was the top-selling master-planned community in the nation last year, according to a report recently released last week by a California-based real estate research firm.

Spanning parts of Lake, Marion and Sumter counties, the Villages recorded 2,307 new-home sales last year. The second-most successful development was the Woodlands in Houston with 945 sales - fewer than half as many as the Villages, according to the report by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

The Villages, which is the largest master-planned golf course development in the world, features 37 golf courses, 1,000-plus clubs and activities, and numerous other amenities. This dream retirement community, sometimes dubbed "Disney World for Adults," was the top seller in the 2010 survey as well, with 2,208 sales.

The third-most successful master-planned community last year in sales was Cinco Ranch in the Houston-area town of Katy, where developer Newland Communities sold 862 homes. Rounding out the top ten communities: Irvine Company's Irvine Ranch in Orange County, Calif. (764 home sales); Galo Properties Alamo Ranch in San Antonio, Tex. (500); Soave Enterprises' Brambleton in Washington, D.C. (454); Focus Property Group's Mountain's Edge in Las Vegas (434) and Focus Property's Providence in Las Vegas (421); Schroeder-Manatee Ranch's Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, Fla. (391); and Newland Communities' Telfair in the Houston-area town of Sugar Land (381).

Looking at just the top 10 projects, eight of the communities made return trips to the list with Alamo Ranch in San Antonio, and Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota being the newcomers. Lakewood Ranch, which also has several golf courses, was fueled by a new sports campus, new rental projects and upwards of $150 million in new commercial development within the master-planned subdivision, according to Schroeder-Manatee president Rex Jensen.

John Burns describes master-planned communities as "large-scale developments that can include a wide array of real estate product, multiple builders, diverse amenities and non-residential uses." The master-planned community concept is designed to appeal to a wide array of buyers by creating a superior "place" with segmented product types that share a common design and marketing theme.

Some communities in the survey provide lifestyle options for multiple buyer types, while others, like The Villages, target specific buyer groups such as second-home buyers and/or active adults. .

More than 130 communities across the United States were included in the study, representing nearly 23,000 new home sales during 2011, or nearly 7.6 percent of the estimated 300,000 new U.S. home sales in 2011. Factored into the equation are not only single-family housing, but also townhomes and other multifamily units.

Hyatt Regency Indy Completes $20 Million Upgrade

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) -- Hyatt Regency Indianapolis announced the completion of a $20 million transformation that features 499 newly appointed guestrooms, suites and a completely redesigned rooftop restaurant, The Eagle's Nest. The renovation is the most extensive in the 35-year history of the downtown conference hotel.

The new residential-style guestrooms feature ergonomic and spacious workstations, custom woodwork and bright, contemporary bathrooms including 170 glass-showers. Rooms also have the latest in wired and wireless technology.

Indiana's only revolving rooftop restaurant, The Eagle's Nest, has also been completely transformed with a new contemporary design and custom furnishings that create a vibrant lounge and dining room. In addition, a new executive chef has been hired to helm the eatery.

The renovation also includes a new Regency Club. The Hyatt Regency Indianapolis features over 35,000 square feet of function space.

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