The Latest in Luxury Resort & Real Estate News

| By Scott Kauffman | December 4, 2008 11:51 AM ET

Greg Norman Designing Dominican Republic Golf Course

(JUAN DOLIO, Dominican Republic) - Famed golfer Greg Norman and Dominican Republic real estate leader Group Metro are teaming up on a new residential golf and beach community here in Hispaniola. The 270-acre project, called Costa Blanca by Metro, is a lush property that features almost three miles of Caribbean Sea coastline and a half mile of beach front in the blue lagoon bay of the project.  

Adorning the property will be an 18-hole Greg Norman Signature Golf Course, 52 Founder's Club villas, luxurious condominium towers, a full-scale mixed-use marina village for 150 boats up to 120 feet in size and a private golf clubhouse featuring the Hole 19 Bar, fine dining restaurant, cigar lounge, conference center and more.

Another noted partner on the project is Norman's new wife, former tennis superstar Chris Evert, who is creating the Caribbean's first Chris Evert Tennis Center.

Since the $1 billion development was announced this April, Costa Blanca has had tremendous success with the introduction of their Founder's Club. This exclusive and select group of  52 individuals were the first to purchase packages that included: a luxurious private villa with golf, bay or marina views, two condominiums, a private boat slip in the marina, and membership to the Norman-designed golf club. Members of The Founder's Club will enjoy top VIP treatment in addition to their various properties and onsite amenities.

According to the developers, more than $100 million in sales were generated on the first day of groundbreaking.

"We are very pleased and excited to start construction on the first PGA quality golf course in Juan Dolio," says Group Metro chief executive Dr. Luis Jose Asilis, whose group has more than three decades of development experience. "Costa Blanca will offer a complete luxury lifestyle only 30 minutes from Santo Domingo and the International Airport. ...

"We're so excited about the future of the DR. The area is drawing baby-boomers, Europeans, and is seeing tremendous growth."

Ritz-Carlton's Abaco Club Opens First Fractional Residences

(ABACO, Bahamas) - The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, the newest club in the Ritz-Carlton Club portfolio, opened its first fractional ownership residences Nov. 18. This 534-acre secluded residential development and sporting retreat known for golf, beach and boating pursuits, now offers five newly-renovated cabanas to members of the Ritz-Carlton Club.

"The opening of The Ritz-Carlton Club, Abaco is a great achievement for us," said Scott Bragg, managing director of The Abaco Club on Winding Bay. "As we continue to fulfill the vision of The Abaco Club, this is a significant milestone for the property."

Situated on the opening holes of the 7,183-yard Scottish-style links golf course designed by

Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, each 570-square-foot cabana provides a master bedroom with a king bed and a walk-in cedar closet. Additionally, a sitting area with sleeper sofa and lounge chairs, state-of-the-art entertainment systems and appliances complete the experience. The cabanas provide approximately 570 square feet of living space.

Bamboo flooring throughout the cabanas lead members through French doors to a screened-in and furnished porch boasting great golf-course views.

Pricing for the Ritz-Carlton's points-based Abaco Club fractional ownership properties start at $110,000. The Ritz-Carlton Club plans to open a second phase of residences in February, ultimately offering 16 homes in the program.

Each of the Abaco Club members are granted a deeded interest as part of a Bahamian real estate trust. This approach allows members to will the interest to their heirs, if desired, according to the Ritz-Carlton Club.

The Territory Ranked one of America's Best Golf Communities

(Duncan, Okla.) - Oklahoma doesn't necessarily scream top-notch golf course living, but The Territory here in Southwest Oklahoma continues to put the Sooner State on the golf map. For example, The Territory once again is considered one of America's top residential golf course communities, according to the annual "Top 100 Residential Golf Course" list published by Golf Week magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

The Territory, which features a 7,100-yard course designed by Randy Heckenkemper, moved up one notch to No. 37 on this year's rankings. In addition to the golf course, the Territory also features a three-hole short course, fine dining at the Prairie House, swimming pool and activity courts.

Prices in Prospector's Ridge, which is phase I of the residential development, offers lots ranging in price from $61,000 to $138,000 - a fraction of what it would cost in the nearby Dallas-Fort Worth, Tex., area.

Owners Rick and Barbara Braught, big University of Oklahoma boosters, developed The Territory to introduce a casual, yet elegant family-friendly golf community set in the unspoiled beauty of the region.
"Being recognized as one of the top residential courses in America is testament to the hard work and dedication that has gone into The Territory since day one of the planning process and continues on a daily basis," says Rick Braught, who's part of the McCasland Oil family. "Our ongoing mission is to provide a top-notch golf, residential and lifestyle experience at The Territory."

This year's top-ranked golf course community was Wade Hampton Club in Cashiers, N.C.


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