Collier Enterprises sells building rights in Sabal Bay to Canadian homebuilder

Collier Enterprises and developer Minto Communities announced Monday they will be reviving plans to develop an area of undeveloped land between Dollar Bay and US 41 East, at right a 2300-acre development named Sabal Bay. Minto Communities said that more than 50 percent of the development will be reserved for natural habitat including a network of large lakes, acres of preserves and miles of trails.

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Collier Enterprises and developer Minto Communities announced Monday they will be reviving plans to develop an area of undeveloped land between Dollar Bay and US 41 East, at right a 2300-acre development named Sabal Bay. Minto Communities said that more than 50 percent of the development will be reserved for natural habitat including a network of large lakes, acres of preserves and miles of trails.

About Sabal Bay and its new developer

■ 2,300: acres in East Naples project

■ 1,600 homes: what plans call for

■ More than half: dedicated to natural habitat

■ 2013: Development to begin

■ 1986: Project first won approval

■ 70,000: Number of homes Minto Communities has built

■ 20,000: Number of Minto homes in Florida

■ 1955: Minto, based in Canada, was founded

— The Canadians are coming to East Naples.

Minto Communities, a leading builder from Canada, announced plans Monday to purchase Sabal Bay, a 2,300-acre residential project a few miles from downtown Naples.

The undeveloped property is under contract and the sale is expected to close by the end of this year. The purchase price hasn't been revealed.

"We feel Naples has always been a very desirable area," said Mike Belmont, Minto's Florida president.

The land is owned by Collier Enterprises, which revived plans for Sabal Bay on the property in East Naples last year. The deal doesn't include the nearby Hamilton Harbor yacht club and marina or land on U.S. 41 zoned for commercial development.

Minto has built about 20,000 homes in Florida since 1978, but mainly on the southeast coast. Its communities there include Olympia in Wellington in Palm Beach County and Artesia in Sunrise near Fort Lauderdale.

"It just makes logical sense to be in an expansion mode right now — and a lot of other builders are expanding their footprints as well," said Bill Bullock, a vice president for Minto. "Sabal Bay is a major acquisition for Southwest Florida."

It is major because of its sheer size and what is planned for the housing project that sat idle for so many years.

Sabal Bay would be about the same size as Pelican Bay in North Naples, but not as intensely developed.

The new community will be built south of Thomasson Drive. It will stretch from U.S. 41 on the east to Dollar Bay on the west and back up to the revived Treviso Bay project, a sprawling 1,050-acre luxury golf course community that has been taken over by Miami-based Lennar Corp.

Sabal Bay will offer a different lifestyle than Treviso Bay, where there are more than 1,000 homes still to be built. The newer project will be a more ecology focused, resort-style community without a golf course, Bullock said.

At build out, Sabal Bay would have about 1,600 homes. About 1,300 acres of the project will be preserves, lakes and natural habitat. There will be miles of natural trails for hiking, biking, walking and kayaking.

The project recently was reworked and approved unanimously by Collier County commissioners. The only step left before development can begin is site plan approval.

Minto – named after the lacrosse national championship cup – expects to begin land development in early 2013, with the first model homes opening by the end of next year.

The project will include single-family and attached coach homes – and eventually condominiums.

"Certainly, the market doesn't support condo towers right now," Belmont said.

Prices will start in the high-$300,000s and go up to more than $800,000.

"Southwest Florida is a logical expansion out of Southeast Florida," Bullock said.

The Keystone II Grand by Minto is  three-bedroom, three-bath design with 5,177 total square feet.

The Keystone II Grand by Minto is three-bedroom, three-bath design with 5,177 total square feet.

In fact, Minto – a family-owned company founded in 1955 that has built more than 70,000 homes – already is a builder in TwinEagles, a luxury gated golf community off Immokalee Road in North Naples. Its models there should open by Nov. 1.

The builder also is expanding in Bonita Springs, with plans to purchase a stretch of land off Old 41 Road for another 220 single-family and attached villa homes. The project is called Bonita Isles and the land deal is expected to close Aug. 1.

Minto has watched the pick-up in activity from other builders in Southwest Florida, which it sees as a good indicator of recovery and market stabilization, Belmont said. The company expects to build out Sabal Bay over the next decade.

"The timing is good from our perspective," Belmont said.

The builder continues to eye more growth opportunities in Southwest Florida and recently expanded to Orlando.

Pat Utter, a vice president for real estate for Collier Enterprises, said his company changed the look of Sabal Bay to reflect the changing demands of buyers. It once included a golf course, which has been replaced by large lakes and nature preserves.

A larger version of Sabal Bay first won approval in 1986, but a legal battle with environmentalists kept it from getting built since. A much smaller project was approved in 2005 to ease concerns about the harm it might do to the surrounding community and environmentally sensitive lands. Then came the housing crisis, which led to the current plans for a project without a golf course.

There's been a lot of interest from builders in the property, but Minto was seen as the best fit after the company surfaced as a potential buyer about six months ago, Utter said. Collier Enterprises liked the builder's quality construction and its focus on environmentally friendly construction.

"They were a new face to us," Utter said. "Since then we've toured five or six of their communities. We think they'll bring some fresh ideas to Collier County."

Russ Weyer, a senior associate with Hank Fishkind & Associates in Naples, said a new face in the market is a good sign.

"That is showing that the market is getting better," he said. "And that's an early indication because they are positioning themselves for that market to get better."

Big pieces of land for development, such as the one Minto is buying from Collier Enterprises, are vanishing, which will be good in the long run for the market, Weyer said.

"They see the opportunity is upon us and they are jumping in," he said.

Naples Mayor John Sorey said he supports the project, which is close to the city limits, as long as it's a quality project and brings economic development."We're still in desperate need of construction jobs in Collier County," he said.

Collier Enterprises will continue to operate the nearby Hamilton Harbor yacht club and marina; buyers in Sabal Bay won't get special treatment to use the marina or slips.

Collier Enterprises will also keep control of 12.5 acres on U.S. 41 East for future commercial development, which may include a hotel, several restaurants and retail shops.

"There's no set plans at this point," Utter said.

Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 25

cornandbeans writes:

How much?

TheyPavedParadise2 writes:

"Southwest Florida is a logical expansion out of Southeast Florida," Bullock said.

THE MIAMIZATION OF NAPLES

CarpeVeritas writes:

The Collier family scoops up buckets of money. A Canadian corporation gets rich by bringing a little slice of Miami right to our doorsteps.

Our Mayor says, yippee! We need construction jobs! And after build-out, then what? Jobs for more yard boys, window washers and maids! Economic development for Naples, indeed.

Sounds like a great deal for everybody concerned. See, outsourcing isn't all bad.

TheyPavedParadise2 writes:

Where are they going to get the water?

rtsspeaks writes:

As the Canadians have more wealth than the Americans they will buy our Country! The greedy will sell the Country to the highest bidder.
Russians said: "they will never have to invade America, they will take down the flag and sell it to them."
Obama has stopped drilling so we will become in debt to the socialist countries of the world.
Our time as a great nation is ending soon.

CarpeVeritas writes:

in response to TheyPavedParadise2:

Where are they going to get the water?

Wow. Good question-- 1600 homes using 5000 gallons per month would require 72 million gallons a year.

I don't know for sure, but a 5 k/mo. figure for those homes seems a conservative estimate.

RangeRat writes:

in response to rtsspeaks:

As the Canadians have more wealth than the Americans they will buy our Country! The greedy will sell the Country to the highest bidder.
Russians said: "they will never have to invade America, they will take down the flag and sell it to them."
Obama has stopped drilling so we will become in debt to the socialist countries of the world.
Our time as a great nation is ending soon.

I mostly agree with you...this sort of thing has been going on for decades...selling America to foreigners piece by piece. I hardly think it has anything to do with President Obama, though.

CarpeVeritas writes:

in response to RangeRat:

I mostly agree with you...this sort of thing has been going on for decades...selling America to foreigners piece by piece. I hardly think it has anything to do with President Obama, though.

Oh pshaw, RangeRat. Don't you know that anything unlikable is Obama's fault? He's a busy little Kenyan socialist dog-eating dictator, mucking up tens of thousands of things every day.

My Metamucil has stopped working. I don't know how exactly, but Obama did something. Next he'll attack prunes and I'll really be in bad shape.

romneygate writes:

in response to CarpeVeritas:

Oh pshaw, RangeRat. Don't you know that anything unlikable is Obama's fault? He's a busy little Kenyan socialist dog-eating dictator, mucking up tens of thousands of things every day.

My Metamucil has stopped working. I don't know how exactly, but Obama did something. Next he'll attack prunes and I'll really be in bad shape.

Ask the Japs what happened after they bought America. They had the same result as after Pearl Harbor. They lost.

NeezDutz writes:

I'm not sure why Miami is brought up. Minto is building up higher priced homes. Like the ones going up in Twin Eagles. Last time I was in Miami, it didn't look like Twin Eagles.
We need this for our area right now. With thousands of homes on the forecast, think of jobs and spending in our area.

bluffguy writes:

This should help ease the great shortage of $300,000 homes on the market now............

gladesgator writes:

in response to RangeRat:

I mostly agree with you...this sort of thing has been going on for decades...selling America to foreigners piece by piece. I hardly think it has anything to do with President Obama, though.

Greedy sell to Canadians? Would you sell your home cheaper to an American (whatever that is) than a Canadian?

Who created the real estate bubble but greedy people, right?

Maybe greedy would define Americans and just drop the term American and say that greedy people are selling out to Canadians. I guess you have never known a greedy Canadian.

Gifted1 writes:

What a bunch of thoughtless tools. If I am luckily enough to secure work with Minto, I will earn between $ 2,000.00 to $ 4,000.00 per household for my end of the job in commission for the work I sell, then do.
This money gets spent in and around all of Collier and Lee counties. Now multiply that by all the subs working there over the next eight years.
Not to mention they are going to farm out certain communities to local builders for completion. This creates additional local profit streams.
Oh, and ask the one time foreign haters all around the country who now build cars for a foreign manufacturer if they think their foreign owned business should close up shop and leave America.

NeezDutz writes:

in response to Gifted1:

What a bunch of thoughtless tools. If I am luckily enough to secure work with Minto, I will earn between $ 2,000.00 to $ 4,000.00 per household for my end of the job in commission for the work I sell, then do.
This money gets spent in and around all of Collier and Lee counties. Now multiply that by all the subs working there over the next eight years.
Not to mention they are going to farm out certain communities to local builders for completion. This creates additional local profit streams.
Oh, and ask the one time foreign haters all around the country who now build cars for a foreign manufacturer if they think their foreign owned business should close up shop and leave America.

agreed

naplesconservative writes:

in response to Gifted1:

What a bunch of thoughtless tools. If I am luckily enough to secure work with Minto, I will earn between $ 2,000.00 to $ 4,000.00 per household for my end of the job in commission for the work I sell, then do.
This money gets spent in and around all of Collier and Lee counties. Now multiply that by all the subs working there over the next eight years.
Not to mention they are going to farm out certain communities to local builders for completion. This creates additional local profit streams.
Oh, and ask the one time foreign haters all around the country who now build cars for a foreign manufacturer if they think their foreign owned business should close up shop and leave America.

When I worked in Canada in the mid-90's the Canadian dollar was worth .65 USD. Now, as a result of fiscal constraint in Canada and lowering taxes while the US printed money and ran huge deficits it is at parity or better. It is worth 50% more than it was then.

Currently Canadian individuals are driving the high end real estate market in Naples and are really the only group sustaining it. Yet people complain about them not our s----- fiscal policies.

gladesgator writes:

in response to Gifted1:

What a bunch of thoughtless tools. If I am luckily enough to secure work with Minto, I will earn between $ 2,000.00 to $ 4,000.00 per household for my end of the job in commission for the work I sell, then do.
This money gets spent in and around all of Collier and Lee counties. Now multiply that by all the subs working there over the next eight years.
Not to mention they are going to farm out certain communities to local builders for completion. This creates additional local profit streams.
Oh, and ask the one time foreign haters all around the country who now build cars for a foreign manufacturer if they think their foreign owned business should close up shop and leave America.

If you had a decent grasp of English and could compose an intelligible sentence you may have a good point.

What exactly is a "foreign hater?" A foreigner that hates perhaps?

BackwoodsBill writes:

Any chance that kayak launch points or hiking and biking trails open to the general public?

NAP105 writes:

Canada has 34,482,779 million people. USA has 350,000,000 lol. Canada people work hard. Plus even though they have government run healthcare they still come down here for medical treatment because healthcare sucks in Canada. Other than that I welcome Canadians here in the area. They spend money and keep Naples afloat. Plus more jobs why not.

almasonlybar writes:

in response to TheyPavedParadise2:

"Southwest Florida is a logical expansion out of Southeast Florida," Bullock said.

THE MIAMIZATION OF NAPLES

My question for you is why didn't you buy it? You could have made it a preserve. Please don't tell me you wanted to lock the door behind you after you got in, or did you?

flamom73 writes:

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot", for a bunch of kickbacks and crappy jobs.

7S000 writes:

Good question about the water resources...what about sewer and irrigation? And increased traffic on the roads?

How much impact will this development have on the adjacent waterways?

And just who will buy these homes and what occupations will they have? Or is this another "field of dreams" [build it and they will come]?

As this development is in the county and the City of Naples has done its very best to rid itself of working class residents, just why is Mr. Sorey's opinion relevant to the development?

How many yard boys, window washers, pool people and maids live in the city limits?

And does the mayor believe Sable Palm residents will drive their environmentally-correct golf cars into the City - or maybe just paddle their kayaks to Tin City for lunch and a gator hug?

I noticed the good mayor said we need construction jobs - once a structure is built, it needs occupants and the construction crew has to find more land to build more structures etc.etc...check out GG, GGE and Ave Maria for some examples of past construction jobs.

What about jobs for the rest of Collier County's citizens? We can't all live off the droppings of new construction or permit fees.

7S000 writes:

in response to 7S000:

Good question about the water resources...what about sewer and irrigation? And increased traffic on the roads?

How much impact will this development have on the adjacent waterways?

And just who will buy these homes and what occupations will they have? Or is this another "field of dreams" [build it and they will come]?

As this development is in the county and the City of Naples has done its very best to rid itself of working class residents, just why is Mr. Sorey's opinion relevant to the development?

How many yard boys, window washers, pool people and maids live in the city limits?

And does the mayor believe Sable Palm residents will drive their environmentally-correct golf cars into the City - or maybe just paddle their kayaks to Tin City for lunch and a gator hug?

I noticed the good mayor said we need construction jobs - once a structure is built, it needs occupants and the construction crew has to find more land to build more structures etc.etc...check out GG, GGE and Ave Maria for some examples of past construction jobs.

What about jobs for the rest of Collier County's citizens? We can't all live off the droppings of new construction or permit fees.

whoops - Sabal Bay..in South Naples

(just where does South Naples begin?...oh, that's right, on Kelly Road in East Naples.)

http://www.collierenterprises.com/ind...

Gifted1 writes:

in response to gladesgator:

If you had a decent grasp of English and could compose an intelligible sentence you may have a good point.

What exactly is a "foreign hater?" A foreigner that hates perhaps?

Obviously you got my point. It is a very good point.

dmarko326 writes:

when it comes to Canadians being wealthier thn Americans... it is the Cosby factor.

Remember in the 80s when it was almost unbelievable to watch a show like Cobsy where the tables were turned and now it was a stroing black family unit doing well...

Canadians can remember when it was the Americans doing well...now today... they are the Cosbys.

SOCOM writes:

Blanket building is NOT what's needed here in Collier County. We need steady growth rather than driving up the quantity of home inventory effectively keeping housing prices down. Not to mention Minto uses CHEATERS for subcontractors. These are subs that pay cash to their employees to avoid paying tax and insurance. Good subs can't compete with such companies and Minto takes no action to avoid this, rather they are rewarded for bad behavior by receiving greater profits. So what kind of jobs are being created here? Certainly not for reputable subs that play by the rules. I blame the county gov. for this problem. Did they learn nothing from the mistakes of the past?? I say Minto GO HOME and let U.S. companies do the building here in Collier County!!! And County Government, get your act together!!!

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