For many people, a new waterfront home represents the ultimate in Florida living. However, decades of development along the state's coasts have made such homes hard to come by. Today, Minto Communties' Harbour Isle on Anna Maria Sound in Bradenton offers homebuyers an opportunity to buy into Florida's last private resort island community, according to William Bullock, senior vice president of Minto.
Located on Perico Island, Harbour Isle is a master-planned community that was designed to combine resort style living with classic Florida coastal home architecture.
"We did a considerable amount of research and work to match the design of our homes and the resort feel of our community with what buyers want," said Michael Belmont, president of Minto. "We feel that we have created a unique carefree island lifestyle. The style of architecture we selected is unlike anything we've seen in this market."
According to Bullock, Minto took great care to preserve as much of the island's natural setting as possible, leaving abundant mangroves, wetlands and floral vistas, with two miles of nature trails for residents to enjoy. The amenities at Harbour Isle were designed to allow residents to make the most of the lush island setting, while enjoying its subtropical beauty.
The private island features a 38-acre man made lake, a mangrove walk, swimming pool and kayak launch. A large clubhouse with a screening room, fitness center, lap pool and tennis courts, as well as a beach club and a 119-slip marina will add to the resort feel of the community.
"We have built a fabulous entrance to the community with a guardhouse and an attached observation tower," Belmont said. "Residents will be able to enjoy incredible views of Anna Maria Sound and the Gulf of Mexico from the tower."
The first neighborhood being built in Harbour Isle is Mangrove Walk, which features Minto's Island Homes series. The two- and three-story buildings have a single home on the first floor and two homes on the second floor. Each home includes a two-car garage with ample overhead storage space. The homes range in size from 1,621 to 2,960 square feet, with a screened lanai or enclosed sunroom. Also, each home includes an elevator shaft from the garage to the second and third story of the homes with a dumbwaiter for luggage and groceries as a standard feature. Buyers have the option to purchase an elevator in place of the standard dumbwaiter.
"There are options to include an observatory and/or retreat, which adds additional living space and a third story to the home, resulting in as much as 2,960 square feet of living space," Belmont added. "Those third story retreats and observation rooms have ample windows to provide spectacular views of the water and natural habitat throughout the community."
The exteriors of the homes on Harbour Island feature cement shake and standing metal seam roofs with Hardie lap board siding and board and batten and stucco details. Inside the buildings, Minto offers six floor plans with 10-foot flat ceilings, (some select plans have standard vaulted ceilings), 18-inch ceramic tile floors in all living areas, GE ENERGY STAR stainless steel appliances, granite countertops in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room, and upgraded wood kitchen cabinets.
The GE ENERGY STAR appliance package is just one example of the green aspect of the homes.
"The homes are all LEED certified, which is the highest standard of building construction and sustainability," Belmont said. "The ENERGY STAR appliances and standard 14 SEER Carrier Air Conditioning system will reduce monthly electric bills."
Adds Bullock: "Today's buyer wants more than just a great location at a reasonable price. They want a home that efficiently saves them money, is healthy to live in and reduces the impact to the environment."
The homes in Harbour Isle are priced from the mid $320,000s, which Belmont said is a bargain value considering the location, quality, energy efficiency and exceptional standard features of the homes and the quality lifestyle Minto has created in the community.
"We are in grand opening mode with six decorated models," Bullock said. "The guard house and observation tower are completed and staffed. Our cabana pool and kayak launch is complete and offers a full outdoor kitchen, pool, private cabanas, a conversation fire pit and boathouse, complete with kayaks for residents' use on our mile long lagoon.
"Harbour Isle is Florida's last private resort island, and we have created a unique, carefree coastal lifestyle community that people will be eager to call home."
For information, visit mintofla.com, or call Bradley Anderson at (941) 896-4826. The sales and information center is located at 1200 Manatee Ave. W. in Bradenton, just before the bridge to Anna Maria Island.