The Kolter Group is launching itself firmly into the active-adult community building market with the planned purchase of Levitt and Sons’ active-adult community on Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta, at the end of January.

Kolter’s business model has been to buy land to be resold as finished lots to builders. But Kolter plans to develop and build the former Seasons of Lake Lanier property itself, said Jim Harvey, Kolter Land’s president.

“We’re focused on building a new active-adult home building plan, and this will be one of our first active-adult products,” said Harvey. “We are still kind of formulating the exact strategy, but we think there’s a really good position for us in the market for an active-adult position.”

Kolter has been dabbling in the market with a project in Port St. Lucie, Fla., called Verano. It also recently bought Victoria Park in Deland, Fla., which has an active-adult neighborhood, from St. Joe.
“We’re working on other opportunities as well,” said Harvey. The company is also working on branding for its new active-adult venture.

Kolter was the only bidder for the Lake Lanier property in bankruptcy, bidding $12.4 million for the partially developed land, which includes 16 fully furnished model homes, 43 homes complete or partially built, 169 developed lots, 147 partially developed lots, and 290 approved-but-raw lots. There are also 22 boat slips on Lake Lanier, but there is no clubhouse or other amenity built at this point.

In Atlanta, Kolter will be competing with Pulte, which started building the first large, master-planned, active-adult communities in Atlanta several years ago. That scattered-lot market has proven to be a difficult one for builders looking to assemble parcels large enough to build fully amenitized active-adult communities.

Kolter was an unsuccessful stalking-horse bidder on another Levitt active-adult property auctioned in bankruptcy, a Levitt Cascades community in Sarasota, Fla., which was bought by local builder Medallion Homes.

Teresa Burney is a senior editor for BUILDER and BIG BUILDER magazines. 

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.