Real Estate Monday: Westard Ho, Villagio Continues Trend

Elevations at Villagio Reserve are Spanish-Italian influenced.

Elevations at Villagio Reserve are Spanish-Italian influenced.

Grand openings are a sign of good times at Villaggio Reserve as the local real estate market continues to impress.

While coastal neighborhoods remain hot, western communities are also racking up sales as the Boca-Delray real estate market continues its strong run.

The western  trend continues to be 55+ communities with prices ranging from the mid $200s to over $1 million. Developers are touting proximity to downtown Delray Beach and local cultural amenities such as the Morikami Museum and shopping at the Delray Marketplace.

Villagio Reserve, built by Ansca Homes, celebrated the grand opening last weekend of its third neighborhood since construction on the 55+ community began in January. Ansca has positioned the neighborhood as an elegant community in “America’s Most Fun Small Town”, a testament to the continuing value created by Delray’s downtown entertainment and cultural district.

Villagio Reserve is located on Hagen Ranch Road and Atlantic Avenue, west of Delray Beach.

Each “grand opening” event has marked a milestone. A soft grand opening gave an insider’s first glance at plans for the new community of 598 homes. A formal grand opening was held in December and last weekend’s event marked the opening of a new enclave of 83 homes.  Residences are priced from $270,000 to $400,000.

“We’ve had tremendous sales and unbelievable construction starts,” said Ron Yuter, senior vice president with Ansca Homes. “Six months ago, we had nothing but streets and an entrance. By our grand opening weekend (April 19-20), visitors will see 60 homes under construction. That is a true testament to how excited the Delray Beach community has been about Villaggio Reserve.”

Already Villaggio Reserve has hit the “Century Mark,” selling more than 100 residences since sales began in January.

Every residence will deliver  architectural designs and amenities that elevate “standard” to new heights, says Yuter. Homes feature spacious rooms designed with elegance and style in mind. Design touches and amenities include coffered ceilings, granite counter tops and Kitchen Craft Cabinetry® in kitchens and baths.

Outside, Spanish-Italian designed exteriors, decorative stone driveways and walkways and lush landscaping highlight each home’s place in a development that exudes European styling. Impact-resistant windows and doors provide a measure of safety and peace of mind,

The new neighborhood also will be the closest yet to the Cabana Club – putting residents a short walk to Villaggio Reserve’s lifestyle destination and fitness facility. This 38,000-square-foot town square will serve up a multitude of activities designed to enrich daily life. Residents will enjoy dining indoors or on the covered patio. There will be activities like cards and games, to community or private events in the Grand Ballroom, to surfing free wi-fi on personal tablets or laptop computers.

For the fitness minded, a fully equipped and staffed Fitness Center will come complete with men’s and women’s locker rooms, massage tables, showers and sauna. Yoga, Zumba and other classes will be offered by on-site trainers skilled at customizing work-out routines. Outside, lighted tennis and “pickle ball” courts will be available for day or night play. Nearby, enjoy a game of Bocce ball, or take a dip in one of four pools – all surrounded by an expansive, resort-style pool deck.

For more information please visit  The Sales Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday.



Thanks Florida Travel +Life But You Missed Boca

Delray's public beach has been named tops in the southeast.

Delray’s public beach has been named tops in the southeast.

Florida Travel + Life Magazine is out with their list of best places to live in Florida.

Delray Beach made the cut,  but Boca didn’t.

Here’s the magazine’s  tally:

  • Clearwater
  • Panama City Beach
  • West Palm Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Naples
  • Sarasota
  • Sanibel
  • Vero Beach
  • Upper Keys
  • Jacksonville Beach
  • Gainesville
  • Coral Gables

We love the list but find it hard to fathom that Boca wouldn’t be among the top dozen.

A rated schools, top-notch restaurants, incredible parks, beautiful neighborhoods, several universities and a booming economy would seem to favor Boca.

Here’s what Florida Travel had to say about Delray.

“As the silver Mercedes crawls to a stop at Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, the bearded chin of a wheaten terrier pokes through the open window. The sight of other canines lazing under sidewalk cafe tables piques his curiosity. Atlantic Avenue is Delray’s energy epicenter. The pedestrian traffic and overflowing alfresco cafes, where Fido and Rover are right at home, are what residents — full-time and seasonal — love about this city nestled between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on the Atlantic Ocean.

Sure, other Florida towns have both urban centers and beaches, but Delray, a city of 60,500, possesses a magnetic quality all its own. It is in part the result of progressive thinking decades ago, when the construction of view-blocking high-rises along the oceanfront was prevented. Commerce was channeled to Atlantic Avenue, a beach-to-business sweep that crosses the Intracoastal Waterway and pushes a dozen blocks westward. During the past 10 years or so, a living, breathing downtown has emerged, and people have followed, trying to live as close as possible to the city’s heart.

“The first thing people ask when they walk into my office is where can they live and walk to Atlantic [Avenue],” says Ted Brown, the managing broker for Prudential Florida Realty’s Delray office. “Delray is a walking town. People from other cities come here to walk, shop, eat or go to the beach.”

Delray’s dynamic downtown has helped soften the impact of the real-estate fallout. Although home prices in some neighborhoods have dropped 35 percent, the rate of foreclosure is lower here than in other parts of Florida. Buyers have returned, and they represent a microcosm of an affluent and upwardly mobile society of young professionals, investors cashing in on a hot rental market (single-family homes fetch up to $4,000 a month), and those like Chicagoans Kim and Kevin Radisewitz, who moved down here to escape the Midwest cold and plan ahead for retirement.

The Radisewitzes purchased a three-bedroom townhome last fall in Latitude, a relatively new condominium and townhome development. It cost them a fraction of the original $500,000 asking price. Since they both work from home, being five blocks from Atlantic Avenue wasn’t as important to them as the two extra bedrooms, which they’ve converted to offices. “We’re big runners and bikers and compete in triathlons,” Kim says. “Delray is a good area for us to spend the winter, and we’re only a mile and a half from the ocean.”

Besides the Atlantic, there’s the Intracoastal Waterway that separates Delray into beachfront and mainland. The beach side falls into a late-night lull, but come morning, power walkers, pedestrians and dogs return to the sidewalks, and bicycle racks fill quickly. However, on the mainland, the hum of Atlantic Avenue’s nightlife, west of the Intracoastal, continues into the early morning hours. The open-air restaurants and bars that cater to night owls attract a wide range of ages. Vic & Angelo’s is a favorite for crisp, charred-crust pizzas, and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Cafe scores for its lobster rolls.

The variety of properties is staggering. Delray Beach has multi- million-dollar waterfront estates, well-preserved 1950s bungalows and Intracoastal condos tucked into neighborhoods on each side of Atlantic Avenue. Inventory south of the avenue is limited, due to residents’ desire to be near both the ocean and the pedestrian hub. Currently, listings show condos in older mid-rise buildings, including the Venetian Village, where the occasional two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot property runs around $250,000.

Hip Pineapple Grove is an area whose artsy cachet is pro- claimed by a wall mural at Northeast Second and Atlantic avenues. The neighborhood features two- and three-bedroom condos and townhomes adjacent to and above restaurants and boutiques. The 1,200- to 2,400-square-foot homes are just a walk from the new DU20 holistic spa, the home-furnishings store Beached Boat Co. and Max’s Harvest, chef Dennis Max’s farm-to-fork venture.

“Pineapple Grove is an ideal location for everyone who wants to be downtown,” Brown says. “New or relatively new homes with stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops, once priced at $400,000 to $500,000, are selling at $300,000.”

Nearby neighborhoods, such as Banker’s Row, have a mix of architectural styles, from pastel-colored early-1900s-era cottages to Mediterranean Revival mansions. Lake Ida, 10 blocks north of Atlantic Avenue, is a sought-after neighborhood with cul-de-sacs, canals and lakefront single-family homes. Prices range from around $300,000 to $1 million, depending on the age of the home and its proximity to the lake. “Lake Ida is one of the most active markets in the community,” Brown points out. “It has the charm of Old Florida. Buyers are making major improvements to older homes.”

Delray clearly buzzes with an urban energy, but for the Radisewitzes, the beach is still the hands-down winner. “One of our favorite things is spending time at the ocean, just sitting and relaxing in the sun,” Kim says. No doubt, other residents agree.