Longboat Key, Florida | August 8th, 2017 – Having been named No. 1 again recently in agent rankings renews our confidence at the Judy Kepecz-Hays Team that we can do more to serve our valued clients. Furthermore, there are many dynamic market developments happening which further make us more confident. More importantly, these also resonate strongly among sellers and buyers as well.
Residential communities within the gated confines of The Resort at Longboat Key Club are among the local markets where we expect to continue seeing vibrant opportunities both for buying and selling residential properties. One major market driver for the condos and single- family residences built around this five-star resort is the recent major renovation project of its two golf courses: Harbourside and The Links (formerly Islandside).
Ocean Properties, the resort’s developer, was reported to have spent some $20 million for this project which involved work on all 45 holes of the two layouts. The finishing touches of the project were on the nine holes of the White Egret links of the Harbourside course. Notably, this 27-hole layout meanders close to Grand Bay condominium and Sabal Cove where our Judy Hays-Kepecz Team has listed three residential properties so far this year.
$100-Million Expansion Coming
Another major development in Longboat Key which could soon impact upon the town’s real estate market is the $100 million expansion of the Resort at Longboat Key Club. This project, which town residents approved in a May 2015 referendum, calls for the construction of a 259-room hotel, about 90 residential condos and expanded meeting space.
The planned new hotel rooms would fill up the hotel capacity lost starting in 2000 as a result of the shutdown of the 250-room local Holiday Inn and its replacement by a residential condominium. More Longboat hotel rooms were lost with the 2010 closure of The Colony Beach & Tennis Club because of management issues in the 17-acre property.
An Orlando-based company, Unicorp National Developments, is now pursuing revival of The Colony. Its initial overture though was rejected in a residents’ referendum early this year because of density issues.
New Revival Plan for the Colony
Unicorp has submitted a new, scaled-down plan for the property, which include 102 residential condominiums and a five-star, 166-room hotel. The hotel will be operated by St. Regis, a popular luxury brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which is part of the Marriott hotel chain.
The planned total density of 268 residential condos and hotel rooms will no longer require a referendum, but it will still need approval from the Town Commission. To win some community support, Unicorp is extending resort membership privileges to residents of its neighboring Aquarius and Tencon condominiums.
Aquarius and Tencon respectively flank north and south the Colony’s site at Gulf of Mexico Drive. The condo owners would get privileges in some of the planned resort’s facilities in exchange for their support to Unicorp’s new development plan.
Unicorp’s new plan includes a pair of restaurants, a lounge with a bar, a 15,700-square-foot spa and a salt water lagoon. These are the facilities which all will be open to Aquarius and Tencon residents if the developer’s latest proposal pans out.
Building Height Trimmed
Besides these amenities, Unicorp’s new plan also calls for a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, which was reduced from the 20,000 square feet the developer proposed earlier. Unicorp has also reduced maximum building height to five stories in its new plan from the 12 stories under the original, referendum-rejected proposal.
Unicorp is likewise seeking 6,700 square feet of meeting rooms and 2,750 square feet of board rooms under its latest plan for the Colony, an initiative which should have some positive ripple effects on Longboat Key real estate.
Touch base with the Judy Kepecz-Hays Team if you’d like to get a heads-up on the other dynamics of selling or buying a residence on Longboat Key and its neighboring markets. Our recent top ranking inspires us even more to serve our clients’ interests better.