The Arthur Hills course at the age-retricted Colonial Heritage community in Williamsburg, VA, is one of the toughest layouts I've played in recent years, with many forced carries, as this one on the 13th hole. Perhaps that is why the community is targeting a "younger" demographic, 45 year olds.
As I reported here yesterday, I attended this past weekend's Live South Show in Greenwich, CT. Live South brings a few dozen communities to a hotel exhibition space where local people can take a one-stop shopping spin through the hall, ask questions of each community's agents, sign-up to receive marketing materials and, if inspired, arrange for a visit and tour. The next show stop is in Parsippany, NJ (click here for the Live South web site and show schedule).
Although the agents I spoke with were still smarting from the worst sales year in their experience, they were ever hopeful that things will pick up this year. Already, as a few told me, they had sold more properties in January alone than they had in the previous three months. In one case, that was just six properties. I have also noticed at real estate discussion boards on the internet that agents in some areas of the northern U.S. saw a similar uptick in activity in January. The Cliffs is backing up its own optimism with a spend of more than $14 million for promotion in 2009. In this economy, that is quite a statement, at least for The Cliffs.
Here are some notes on my discussions at Live South.
Forty-five is the new 55
Colonial Heritage, an age-restricted community in Williamsburg, VA, has
River Landing, a community adjacent to I-40 in North Carolina, will open its new 59,000 square foot clubhouse in April. The community, which was developed by a local family, features 36 holes by Clyde Johnston, a respected southern golf course architect. Golf membership is $28,000, with dues of around $400 per month, reasonable for 36 holes of quality golf (and a big clubhouse). Although River Landing is a little remote, at 30 minutes to Wilmington and 75 minutes to Raleigh, services are developing nearby, including a Super Walmart opening next summer. More than 1,100 of the community's 1,500 lots have been sold, and 300 homes are in. Lots in River Landing start around $80,000 and reach $500,000 for those on the river. Most homes are in the $300,000 to $1 million range. Next month, construction begins on a new neighborhood called The Vineyards; the developers have planted 18 acres of grapes within the neighborhood.
High-end competition on Lake Keowee
I visited The Reserve at Lake Keowee four years ago and I was eager to
Speaking of The Cliffs Communities, representatives at their booth said sales were off about 20% last year, but that plans keep chugging along to add to their impressive golf course portfolio. A new course designed by Gary Player, who has moved his company's offices to The Cliffs, should be ready for play next spring, and earth is being moved for the new Tiger Woods course, his first in the U.S., at High Mountain, near Asheville. Full-family golf membership The Cliffs has reached the $150,000 mark, but that entitles the member access to any of the six courses in place now and the Player and Woods courses later. Driving distance between the farthest Cliffs courses is a little over an hour, but some are within just 20 minutes or so of each other. And they are all beautifully conditioned, as one should expect for those kinds of prices. Any new property owner has the choice to purchase the refundable membership at the time they purchase their property. If they decline, they will not be able to buy the full golf membership later (unless, of course, they buy an additional developer property). If they sell their home and the purchaser opts for membership, The Cliffs will refund the initiation fee almost right away. If the buyer does not opt for membership, the seller might have to wait six months for the refund, according to the agent at the Cliffs booth.
Impressive track record for developer at Wild Wing
For those looking for a significantly more modestly priced golf
The Reserve at Lake Keowee course is vintage Jack Nicklaus.