One of the country's largest home builders, known for selling homes in large, master-planned communities, is turning to infill development to help meet the demand for new housing in Florida.
At its new Southport development opening Feb. 20, Lennar will introduce 152 new construction homes on hand-picked lots throughout the existing neighborhood in South Tampa. Seven floor plans are available and prices start in the $300s.
The project represents a shift in strategy for a builder that typically plans entirely new communities rather than integrating itself into an existing neighborhood. “There are few opportunities to buy a new home in South Tampa, which is largely built out,” says Mark Metheny, division president of Lennar Central Florida. “Southport gives homeowners the chance to live in a fully modern home in one of the most popular areas of Tampa Bay.”
Here, BUILDER talks with Metheny about the project.
What led you to look at infill?
The South Tampa housing market is booming with very little space to develop new construction on a larger scale, like we normally do in community developments. We saw a major opportunity to provide quality housing to a very desirable area and found over 100 contiguous homesites that are prime for redevelopment.
How is designing and building homes on infill sites different?
Our design process has been very similar to what we do in other communities. We start with the consumer in mind and determine what product would best fit the aesthetic of the community and the lifestyle. We are introducing seven new floorplans that will be specific to this Southport community. Square footage will range from 2,400 to 3,636 square feet with five to five bedroom options and two car garages.
What was on the site previously?
The homesites were never build on previously. This was one of the city of Tampa’s oldest platted subdivisions but was never fully improved and developed.
Who will your target audience be?
Our target audience will be broad. First time and move-up buyers that are looking for housing in South Tampa in this price range. Its close proximity to MacDill Airforce Base will most likely attract military personnel as well. Inventory is very limited, especially in this price range for new construction, so the Southport homes will appeal to a wide range of individuals.