Q: What is your vision for Bay Creek?
A: Bay Creek is a very special place with tremendous opportunity. As we develop any of our communities, we strive to create and preserve the following: a sense of community, a high quality of life, long term value for both investors and owners, and green spaces.
Q: How have property sales gone this year and how do you plan to reintroduce Bay Creek to the market?
A: Preserve Communities has spent $2 million on marketing, trade shows, and digital ads. Our focus was to get people to take notice and make Bay Creek top-of-mind. This year, sales have been the best since 2003. We had $28 million in sales and are on track to hit $30 million by the end of the year, compared to last year’s $9.5 million. There have been 95 individual sales compared to last year’s 21.
Q: How have this year’s sales affected property values?
A: The best indicator of the property values are the resale prices. In the Fairways, condos used to list at $250,000 and now you’re seeing them listed at $325,000 – $350,000. For the Bayfront lots, we’ve seen them go from $420,000 to $570,000.
Q: What are the plans for future lot releases?
A: Palmer Lake Villas: We released 12 and they sold in six weeks. Six more were released recently and there will be 30 total. Plantation Pointe: We acquired lots from the former developer and now have waterfront lots. Two have been sold and two are under contract. Bayside Village: We’ve almost sold through existing inventory and will be releasing 49 new lots. This village is zoned for mixed use, but the market will determine if condos will be built in this village. The Bluffs: This is also known as Village L and is adjacent to seven holes on the Nicklaus front 9, and we will have approximately 127 lots. This will be released in phases with the first release in 2021.
Q: Is there a plan to build a hotel in Bay Creek?
A: No, a hotel is not part of Preserve Communities’ vision for Bay Creek.
Q: What is your plan for Marina Villages?
A: We do not have ownership of that land, but residents will still benefit from improvements (both from enhancements to amenities and property values).
Q: What improvements have been made to the golf course?
A: We’ve invested significant funds in 27 holes of golf including substantial improvements to drainage, greens, tee boxes, bunkers and cart paths. About $500,000 was spent on new equipment, including 3 new mowers and an aerator. We’ve also spent $500,000 on the revetment for the shoreline of the front Nicklaus 9 to repair damage from Hurricane Dorian and prevent further erosion. The digging going on at the end of the driving range is going to be a pond, with the dirt being used as fill for the Palmer Lake Villas. We did not reduce the golf maintenance staff after putting 350 acres into conservation.
Q: The club has transitioned to a private club. What does this mean in terms of access?
A: The transition to private has allowed us to elevate the golf experience to a true private experience. Besides members, guests of Bay Creek Vacation Rentals can purchase a pass to utilize the club. Additionally, we do have an agreement with some local hotels to allow their guests to purchase an access pass. This was put in place to help the town bounce back from the pandemic. Not many people have taken advantage of this benefit, and our intention is to not do it next year.
Q: What is the ultimate goal for the club and its membership?
A: In previous years, the club lost $2-3 million a year. Even with this trend, Preserve Communities committed to keeping everyone on staff during the pandemic – there were no furloughs or layoffs. The value of Bay Creek’s real estate is ultimately tied to the viability of the club, which is why we had to take the club private. In 2020, membership has increased by over 30%, and we are now up to nearly 400 members.
Q: What has been done at the Coach House and what future improvements can we expect to see?
A: We have spent $350,000 on new furniture, fixtures and kitchen equipment. Bar stools are coming and will have backs on them. We’ve been working on landscaping in front of the Coach House and will be adding a bike rack. There is still an expansion being planned, so please stay tuned. Additionally, we have been transitioning to locally sourced ingredients where possible, specifically fish and produce, and look forward to continuing to do so.
Q: Is there a centralized mailing list and calendar of events?
A: We are in the process of enhancing the resort website and streamlining communications via a club newsletter. There is currently a real estate newsletter called the Soundings. Additionally, we are working on our clubs and activities, are planning some beach pick up days, and have launched a series of lunch and learns that have been well attended. We’ve also hired a local naturalist as well.
Q: This year, beach chair and umbrella service was launched. Who can use these?
A: Chairs and umbrellas are available on a first come, first served basis only to members and rental guests. As demand increases, we will consider adding a reservation system, if needed. We have been challenged with keeping the service staffed but hope that if we can find sufficient staffing to possibly increase the number of days the service is available.
Q: Will there be multiple access points for the beach?
A: As the Beach Club comes to fruition, there is potential to expand access and parking to the beach. These access points will all be by the Beach Club. There will be a bike rack. In terms of kayak racks, we are working through that to figure out where this can be safely added with appropriate permitting. There will eventually be a kayak launch in Base Camp.
Q: What is the update for the Beach Club?
A: Due to the pandemic, there have been delays as we have experienced issues with supplies, vendors, and staffing. We still plan to build the Beach Club and hope to have a better timeline next spring. While we wish we could break ground tomorrow, there is a lot of planning, permitting, staffing and other behind-the-scenes items to tackle first.
Q: How are the planned updates for the pool and Life Center going?
A: We have invested $100,000 in new exercise equipment and the Wellbeats virtual training program. We have also replaced the slide and are planning a covering for the pool in the future. Additionally, we have FloWater available here now which provides clean, great-tasting and 100% plastic free drinking water.
Q: What is the update on the pickleball courts?
A: We had to buy the land for the pickleball courts because we realized that Preserve Communities technically didn’t own the land we had identified for the courts. There have been issues with setbacks, bathrooms, permitting, etc., which have caused delays. However, the courts will be indoors and we are now in the permitting phase.
Q: Are there updates on Base Camp?
A: We have been delighted to see so many people enjoying the 350-acre conservation area. Phase 1 of Base Camp is underway, a road has been put in and Avid Trails will start working November 8 on six miles of new trails.