High-End Homes to Replace Closed Fort Lauderdale Golf Course

An investment group that includes developer Terry Stiles and auto dealership franchisee Phil Smith is moving forward with plans for a gated community of high-end homes in Fort Lauderdale.

The Enclave at Coral Ridge Country Club will feature 36 homes on 22 acres off Federal Highway and Northeast 38th Street. The development will replace the former American Golfers Club golf course that has been closed since it was damaged during Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

J.J. Sehlke, managing partner for the Enclave, said the vacant lots are priced from $785,000 to $1.35 million. Three have sold so far, and eight more are under contract, he said.

Buyers can choose to work with either of the project's two featured builders, Bomar Builders and Grey Door Luxury Homes, or choose their own builder, Sehlke said. Homes must meet design standards and can't be smaller than 3,700 square feet.

He said construction should start by the end of the summer, and he expects the first residents to move in eight to 14 months later.

"People want new homes with all the bells and whistles," Sehlke said. "Demand has been tremendous."

The group headed by Smith and Stiles owns the American Golfers Club site and the adjacent Coral Ridge Country Club.

Smith and Stiles recently completed The Enclave Shops at Coral Ridge, a 27,300-square-foot center at the entrance to the new development. The Fresh Market, a gourmet supermarket chain, is the center's anchor tenant.

Aside from the new homes and the shopping center, the ownership group built a nine-hole golf course and a park on the 75-acre American Golfers Club site. The group donated the park to the city, Sehlke said.

Stephen B. McWilliam, president of Florida State Realty Group in Fort Lauderdale, said Enclave at Coral Ridge is in a prime location and reasonably priced compared with other homes near the waterfront.

"You're not going to pay a premium for Las Olas [Boulevard] or Harbor Beach," McWilliam said. "This is attainable luxury living."

In recent years, homebuilders in Broward have been redeveloping golf courses, older shopping centers and other properties because of a shortage of available land.

Homes are being built on former golf courses in Tamarac and Pembroke Pines, and Hollywood city commissioners have approved plans for two separate gated communities, totaling 645 homes, on two courses in Hillcrest.

Last month, residents of Fountains Country Club, west of Lake Worth, approved a deal to sell parts of two courses to Sunrise-based GL Homes, which plans 200 homes and 270 apartments.

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