Major new development announced for Eastern Collier

Collier Enterprises has announced it is moving forward with a major new residential and commercial development in Eastern Collier County. 

"(We are)  working with Minto Communities on planning and permitting activities for Rural Lands West," announced Patrick L. Utter, Collier Enterprises' Vice-President of Real Estate & Club Operations. 

Formerly known as the Town of Big Cypress, the Rural Lands West community has been farmed for decades and is adjacent to the Golden Gate Estates at Oil Well Road. It will receive its development permits under Collier County's nationally recognized Rural Lands Stewardship (RLS) program

The name “Rural Lands West” is simply a permitting name reflecting the location of the property along the western boundary of the 200,000 acre RLS area in eastern Collier County, Uttter explained. The actual name of the community will be selected during the planning and permitting process.

The RLS program takes a global approach to master planning and incentivizes landowners to concentrate development away from valuable environmentally sensitive areas, preserving significant amounts of land for open space, wetlands and wildlife habitat. Under the RLS guidelines, for every acre developed, Rural Lands West will provide approximately three acres of preservation land, including sensitive wetlands, major flow ways, wildlife habitat and other natural ecosystems. 

Rural Lands West preservation will include thousands of acres within the Camp Keais Strand, helping to complete the preservation of a key corridor for the endangered Florida panther and permanently connecting the CREW lands to the north with the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge to the south.

It is anticipated that the initial phase of the Rural Lands West community undertaken by Minto will include approximately 4,000 residential homes and a 150,000 square foot town center. Additional commercial development will include office, manufacturing, retail, dining, recreation and entertainment options, healthcare, schools, civic and cultural facilities. Future phases, planned to occur over the next 15-20 years, will bring the community to a total of up to 10,000 residential homes and 1.9 million square feet of commercial space on approximately 4,000 acres of land.

“We are pleased to be working with Minto because they share our commitment to environmentally sensitive planning, and they have a long history of providing quality homes and sustainable communities,” Utter said. “Minto acquired our Sabal Bay property in 2012 and we have been impressed with their development of the Isles of Collier Preserve."

“Together, Minto and Collier Enterprises have the experience needed to plan a community of this scale,” said Minto’s Senior Vice President, William Bullock. “Collier’s experience with the Rural Lands Stewardship program and the local entitlement process is invaluable. Minto’s current Naples community, the Isles of  Collier Preserve, demonstrates Minto’s ability to create an active lifestyle community that both integrates and protects the environment.” 

The permitting process will involve local, state and federal agencies, and is estimated to take two to three years to complete. Collier Enterprises will be working closely with county staff and neighbors during the permitting process and has launched a website (www.rurallandswest.com) where the public can learn more about the Rural Lands West community and its progress. First residences in Phase I are expected to be available in 2018.

“The Rural Lands Stewardship program provides an excellent framework inplanning for the future growth of eastern Collier County by protecting the environment and promoting the development of self-sustaining communities,” said Utter. “The Rural Lands West community will attract a wide variety of new residents – from baby boomers to growing families. The town center concept at this location is attractive because it not only provides services and amenities for new residents, it offers existing residents in eastern Collier County new opportunities for employment, shopping and services without having to travel west." 

Collier Enterprises is nationally recognized for creating communities and clubs of quality, style and environmental sensitivity. Its commitment to the environment has won awards from organizations including Audubon International and the Council for Sustainable Florida. 

Headquartered in Naples, Fla., Collier Enterprises is primarily engaged in real estate investment and entitlement, and agribusiness. The company was established in 1976 under the leadership of Miles C. Collier and traces its roots to Barron Gift Collier, who founded Collier County in 1923. 

Founded in 1955, Minto is a family-owned business that has grown over the last 60 years into one of North America’s leading builders, with more than 70,000 homes built, including 20,000 in Florida. Minto creates a wide array of award-winning new homes and resort-style master-planned communities to meet every lifestyle. The company has earned national awards and recognition that include consistently high rankings from Eliant Customer Service Surveys, Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) and multiple national awards in community and home design. 

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