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Neighborhood Watch: The Founders Club

Construction is set to begin this month on a $5 million custom home in The Founders Club, signaling renewed confidence in the exclusive, gated golf community east of I-75 off Fruitville Road, says London Bay Homes director of sales Roland Nairnsey. “We’re excited that homes in that price range are beginning to be built again,” he says. “It’s helping the whole community.”

Naples-based luxury builder London Bay Homes bought 90 home sites three years ago in The Founders Club, which had sputtered in the Great Recession, and has introduced several new models. Local builders Todd Johnston Homes, John Cannon Homes and Lee Wetherington Homes also have a handful of lots among them.

“It’s a move-up community based on the prices,” says Nairnsey: $900,000 to that $5 million, 10,000-square-foot residence being built for a couple. “There’s not one typical buyer. Some young couples have invested in here, professional types, a few vacationers, some semi-retired, some fully retired. They appreciate that it’s small, exclusive, very private and very pretty.”

The active social life, which revolves around the Founders Club Golf Club, its Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course and its Low Country-style clubhouse, is appealing to residents, although you don’t have to be a member of the club to live there. The club, which currently has 230 members, has a new executive chef who had experience at Le Bernardin in New York City; and it has expanded the driving range and renovated the short game area to provide a better experience for golfers.

“We’re eight minutes away from the new mall and only three miles to I-75,” says Nairnsey. “Within two years Lorraine Road will be extended south. The location will become more central, and homeowners are very excited about that.”

Stats

Number of Founders Club home sites: 262

Percentage of all homes built to date: Just over 50 percent of total

Number of sales in 2014: 12

Range of sale prices: $872,500 to $4 million

Range of square footage: 2,511 to 9,400 square feet

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