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Groundwork: Isles of Collier Preserve taking shape on east side of Naples Bay

By KELLY FARRELL | Monday, September 9, 2013

map of location of Isles of Collier's Preserve, Naples, FLEAST NAPLES — A huge new East Naples development with an Old Florida twist soon will offer boat tours through the community to prospective home buyers.

Canadian-based Minto Communities has groundwork underway in the 2,400-acre residential community, Isles of Collier Preserve, off U.S. 41 East near Rattlesnake Hammock Road.

Minto Communities purchased the land from Collier Enterprises, closing in December, and then broke ground in January and began developing the environmentally sensitive land east of Naples Bay.

The Isles of Collier Preserve is to be considerably different than the manicured, gated communities throughout Collier County, developers said.

“Most Naples communities are very manicured. We’ll have some manicured boulevards. We’ll also have a lot of areas that preserve the native habitat with a community carefully carved into the existing environment,” said William Bullock, vice president of Minto Communities Florida.

Some of the initial work, including the guardhouse, entry boulevard and 175 lots, are complete. Construction is underway on the 7,330-square-foot Discovery Sales Center, where an electric boat for tours will soon be docked, and four single-family model homes and three coach homes.

The Isles of Collier Preserve is near Rookery Bay and the Botanical Gardens and has sought to complement those neighbors, sponsoring them and collaborating with them in the community’s design.

“We’ve also done our historical research. The bridges will be reminiscent of the Old 41 markers. There will be a story to be told about this community. It’s a very big last piece of land in Naples and we’re painting a different picture here. We think people will be proud to live here, have a story and a legacy they can tell,” Bullock said.

The community will be active and nature-loving.

“Forget about just the house lifestyle. It’s about understanding what’s around you in the first place,” he said.

The Isles of Collier Preserve is home to several protected species, but also has some exotic vegetation being replaced with native plant species, making improvements to the land, Bullock said.

Company officials said Minto Communities intends to stay ahead of the curve with environmentally conscious construction for this East Naples community, where homes will be beside habitats for American Bald Eagles, gopher tortoises and other endangered and protected animals. Government oversight is thorough due to the sensitivity of the area, including wetlands, estuaries and other ecological features.

More than half of the land is to remain dedicated to natural habitat and preserve. The waterway that runs through the community will provide for tours on the electric boat set to be running by November, as well as kayaking and canoeing when homes become move-in ready sometime in 2014. Recreational trails, walkways and bike paths will allow residents to connect with their environment.

The Discovery Sales Center’s construction is of an Old Florida design that will be an architectural feature of the single-family and coach homes, also coming soon. Seven model homes are anticipated to be open for viewing in January.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is to the south, Naples Botanical Garden to the North and Naples Bay is on the west of The Isles of Collier Preserve. Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club is also contiguous with The Isles of Collier Preserve and has memberships that can be available to residents.

About 1,600 residences are planned. The homes will be energy-efficient, featuring green Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) construction with the consumer having the opportunity for an individual efficiency and sustainability rating for their home.

Many of the homes will start at a list price slightly more than $400,000 with the bulk of the initial homes in the range of $650,000 to $750,000.

“We’re going to let the market dictate a lot,” he said.

There will be many larger estate homes farther back in the community on larger lots that will be well over $1 million. These estate homes will feature the communities’ most breathtaking views, Bullock said.

© 2013 Scripps Newspaper Group — Online

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