By R.E. Blake Evans. The community clubhouse is evolving. A required amenity for lifestyle communities, the community social center is taking on a new face for demanding buyers. One example is ABD Development's new lakefront community, Vizcaya, which features a ship-shaped clubhouse that never leaves the dock.
The Orlando, Fla., builder and developer created the 2,000-square-foot building to resemble a cruise ship. It may not have deck chairs or crew members, but it does sit atop 17 decorative piers rising out of Big Sand Lake in the Orange County community. Designed by The Evans Group architects of Orlando, the two-level Mediterranean clubhouse features a pair of 33-foot-long bridges that resemble ramparts leading up to a ship.
The upper level features a 21-foot-high clerestory foyer, reception room, full-service kitchen, and a 1,000-square-foot multi-use entertainment zone. The ground level holds a fitness center, exercise zone, massage room, trainer's room, and restroom facilities. A tennis court is located dockside adjacent to the clubhouse.
"The views of the lake are spectacular, and to the west, residents get nightly, year-round views of Disney World's fireworks ," says Charles Orden, Vizcaya's director of sales and marketing. "It's a great marketing tool for all of our product lines--it reinforces location."
Vizcaya offers single-family homes, estate homes, townhomes, and condominiums. Currently, prices start from the $280,000s and top out in the mid-$400,000s. The 334-unit community sold 50 percent of its homes within the first six months.