While it may not be quite "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Lennar Tampa's new Seminole Heights community, The Oaks, is the next best thing, company officials say.
The Hope VI Restoration project, at North Florida Avenue and Broad Street, offers 58 new single-family homes and 36 new town homes.
"Where obsolete structures once stood, The Oaks is bringing a new, economically-diverse community to the Seminole Heights area," says Jassy Friddle of Lennar Tampa.
The town homes are priced from the $140,000s and the single-family homes are priced from the $160,000s, including lot.
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and more than 50 business and community leaders were in attendance when Lennar Tampa hosted the formal opening of The Oaks in June. According to Friddle, after cutting the ribbon to open the community, Iorio said, "This is a happy day. Thank you Lennar for building a quality community and thank you to the Tampa Housing Authority for having the vision for how this area can be redeveloped."
The 94 new residences are just part of what makes The Oaks a noteworthy new community and redevelopment effort.
For those who qualify, down payment assistance is available to families who might otherwise not have a chance to own a new home. The affordability of the homes and the down payment assistance is the result of cooperation between the Tampa Housing Authority, the city of Tampa and Lennar Tampa.
Friddle says Iorio toured a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in The Oaks and was impressed with the quality and price, which is more than $100,000 less than the median price of a new home in the Tampa area.
"With city down payment assistance, we are really making opportunities available for families in a quality community," Iorio said. "I am so thrilled that 94 families are going to have the opportunity to live in an affordable, quality environment."
Friddle says Lennar Tampa is very proud of the community.
"The opportunity to participate in The Oaks was presented to us and we accepted because it was the first time that Lennar Tampa had the chance to be involved in such a worthy community," Friddle says. "The Oaks has been a huge success, and we have had a lot of positive feedback from the homeowners in the area."
Mark Metheny, division president of Lennar Tampa, says he is pleased with the community as well.
"Home ownership is something that is very important to us. The Oaks offers a unique opportunity for many families who might not be able to buy a new home without the collaborative efforts of the city of Tampa, the Tampa Housing Authority and Lennar. We are proud to be a participant, and we are very excited about this community."
Among the features are maple wood cabinets, 16-by-16-inch ceramic tile floors, upgraded double-handle faucets in the bathrooms, a light-fixture package and an appliance package, which includes a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave oven and washer and dryer. The homes have 1,300 to 1,600 square feet of living space.
"The community is in a growing area, and along with a great price, the best reason to buy a home in The Oaks is the included access to the community center, which features a library, a swimming pool, fitness center, computer lab, basketball courts, a playground, a picnic pavilion, open play fields and a day care center," Friddle says.
"The Oaks represents a chance for Lennar to help provide homeownership to those individuals or families that think it is impossible to afford a new home," Friddle says. "We plan to do more communities like The Oaks in the future."
For information on all Lennar communities, visit www.lennar.com or call (813) 769-5277.