A Year Later, Buyer Interest In Westlake Remains Strong

Last October, the master-planned community of Westlake in the newly created city of the same name opened to much fanfare. A year later, the first residents are settled in as Minto Communities continues putting its stamp on this 3,800-acre parcel of land.

“We have been extremely pleased with buyer interest up to this point,” said Mike Belmont, president of Minto Communities USA, which has built homes for the past four decades throughout Florida. “Many people love the idea of being pioneers in a brand-new community that offers tremendous value and promise of a desirable lifestyle. We are well ahead of where we expected to be one year out.”

To date, Minto has sold more than 225 single-family homes in its first neighborhood, the Hammocks of Westlake, to home buyers who are mostly from the Palm Beach County region. Home prices range from the high $200s to the $500s. Early next year, Minto will announce plans for its second neighborhood.

“Offering new single-family homes for under $300,000 has really resonated with homebuyers, since you’d be hard-pressed to find anything equivalent in Palm Beach County for the same price,” Belmont said. “When you consider the quality of our construction, attention to detail in all of our homes and the incredible lifestyle that we are creating, we believe we are offering the best value altogether at any price point.”

Earlier this year, construction started on Westlake’s $15 million amenities project, the social hub of the community. The expansive complex will include a concert pavilion, recreational lawn areas with shade pavilions and grills for picnics, lawn games and community events, a bicycle pump park and two playgrounds. There will also be a resort-style lagoon pool with a waterslide, splash pad and concession stand. The first amenities are expected to open in the spring.

Several Westlake homebuyers have taken advantage of the innovative workforce housing program created by Minto and the City of Westlake. Under the program, the City of Westlake provides income-eligible buyers down payment assistance. The buyers, who must be pre-qualified by the City of Westlake, accept a 10-year deed restrictive covenant lien at closing that provides for repayment of the down payment assistance back to the city. The repayment amount declines 10 percent per year. If a homeowner needs to sell their house within the 10-year period, the outstanding balance can be paid from the proceeds of the sale. After 10 years, the restrictive covenant will expire.

Other Westlake homebuyers have qualified for the Welcome Heroes program that gives public servants a three percent discount off the base price of a new home. Minto also introduced two other buyer-assistance programs this year. By using the On The Move program, Westlake buyers receive assistance in selling their existing home and save thousands on real estate commission fees. The Home Buyers Club helps credit-challenged homebuyers by locking in the sales price and terms with Minto’s preferred lender and providing credit counseling to improve their credit.

Westlake was approved for 4,500 homes and 2.2 million square feet of non-residential use. The commercial component took a big step forward over the past 12 months. Wellington Regional Medical Center’s parent company has begun construction on a 10,379-square-foot freestanding emergency medical facility, which is expected to open early next year.

Minto expects to announce new businesses coming to the area over the next several months, and plans are also in the works to develop the Westlake Town Center featuring various retailers, restaurants and entertainment options.

Minto Vice President John Carter said that the City of Westlake deserves a lot of credit for the progress that Westlake has made over the last year.

“I want to thank city leaders for their vision and responsiveness, which has helped us achieve what we have to date,” Carter said. “They deserve a lot of credit for getting us off on the right foot.”

For more information about Westlake, call (888) 299-3628 or visit www.westlakefl.com.