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Homes

Winthrop homes are going fast

By JANET ZINK
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 20, 2002

TAKING NAMES: Developers of Winthrop, a neotraditional community on Bloomingdale Road in Brandon, have filled nearly all of the 40 available reservations for townhomes in the community and are beginning to take reservations for home sites.

The community's 184 townhomes are being built by Winthrop and Riverview-based Hebert Construction. The homes will have three or four bedrooms -- 1,200 to 3,500 square feet of living space -- and classic American architecture.

Selection of home builders hasn't been completed, says developer John Sullivan, but among those under consideration are David Weekley Homes, Morrison Homes and Sable Homes.

When completed, Winthrop will offer 228 single-family homes, 184 townhomes, 370 apartments and 51 live/work units that incorporate ground-floor commercial space with upper-level residential space.

THE RESIDENCES will surround the community's 16-acre town center. Land development for construction of the town center is near completion, and Sullivan says he expects to start pouring concrete in January.

The 30,000-square-foot first phase will aim at convenience retailers: a dry cleaner, a gym and coffee shop. Publix has signed on as the anchor tenant. Also on board are the restaurants Barley Hoppers and La Cubanita and Blockbuster Video. Office space and retailers not found in the nearby mall will comprise the 60,000-square-foot second phase, Sullivan says.

WINTHROP'S overall design is the handiwork of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., the Miami-based firm responsible for the Florida Panhandle community of Seaside, considered the originator of the New Urbanism movement.

New Urbanism refers to neighborhoods, towns and cities where housing, work places, shops, entertainment, schools, parks and civic facilities are all within easy walking distance. It's an alternative to the automobile-dependent suburban sprawl that has defined residential development since after World War II.

The first phase of Winthrop's town center is scheduled to open in September, and some residential areas are scheduled for completion in early 2004.

BUSINESS KEEPS BOOMING: The numbers are in and they still look good. More than 6,500 homes with an average price of $191,738 were sold in Hillsborough County from Jan. 1 through October, according to Marvin Rose, owner of Rose Residential Reports, which analyzes home building data in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

That's an 8.2 percent increase over the same period in 2001. Pinellas County didn't fare as well. The 1,116 closings so far this year indicate an 8 percent drop. At the other end of the (very long) spectrum is Pasco County, where 3,897 year-to-date closings amount to an increase of almost 40 percent.

-- Write to Janet Zink in care of the St. Petersburg Times at 1000 N Ashley Drive, Suite 700, Tampa, FL 33602; or by e-mail, janet.zink@gte.net .

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