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Construction of Homes at East End of Wabasso Bridge Now Underway

Vero Beach 32963 ; By: Steven M. Thomas


Construction is finally underway at the subdivision formerly known as Michael Creek, on the right as you come onto the island off the eastern end of the Wabasso bridge, which was plated and approved more than a decade ago.

Now called Orchid Cove, the 57-home development on the south side of route 510 has been revived by Gainesville developer Michael Trematerra and GHO Homes.

Concrete block walls are going up for the first of two model homes planned by GHO, and company president Bill Handler says both models and a handful of inventory homes will be complete by late fall, when snowbirds return for Vero’s busy winter season.

“I expect we will have some ‘solds’ by that time, as well,” Handler says.

Handler has a contract with Trematerra to purchase 37 lots in the subdivision, and has closed on the first batch. The developer’s company, Parkwood Distinctive Homes, will build the other 20 houses, which includes all of the waterfront homes.

“We already have two homes under contract,” says Janyne Kenworthy, broker-associate with Treasure Coast Sotheby’s International Realty, who is handling sales of the Parkwood homes.

Trematerra paid $6 million for 31-acre property in 2017. It was listed by Treasure Coast Sotheby’s co-owner/broker Michael Thorpe. Kenworthy represented the buyer. 

After purchase, Trematerra cleaned up the site, built docks on the river and dredged the channel between the docks and the Intracoastal Waterway. He also re-plated the development, eliminating 3 lots to make the remaining interior lots slightly larger.

Lots in the gated subdivision are laid out in two concentric circles around a central retaining lake. GHO has the lots around the lake and along route 510. Parkwood will build on 13 lots along an inlet of the Indian River called Orchid Cove Lagoon and seven prime lots directly on the river that will have the highest price homes.

GHO will offer four models, each with two elevations to choose from. The two- and three-bedroom homes will range in size from 2,052 square feet to 2,521 square feet, with starting prices between $565,000 and $715,000, but Handler expects to sell homes priced at more than $800,000 as the project progresses.

Parkwood is offering four models, too, but choices are not limited to the models. Parkwood’s sign at the entrance to the subdivision advertises “custom waterfront homes,” and Kenworthy said the developer can build pretty much “whatever a buyer wants.” She expects prices to start in the low $700s and go up to $2 million for a 3995-square-foot house.

Both builders plan upscale “coastal homes” with high-end features and finishes. The architectural style and color palate will be consistent throughout the subdivision according to Handler.

Handler said his homes will be somewhat similar to those he is building in Lily’s Cay, a gated luxury community on Indian River Drive on the mainland where prices start in the $500s, but “a little bit nicer, because of the island location.”

“Parkwood will be building beautiful homes, very nicely finished, with 12-foot ceilings in the living areas and 10-foot ceilings in the bedrooms,” Kenworthy said. “Homes on the river will have docks and there will be a beautiful clubhouse. Maintenance fees will be only $230 a month, and that includes lawncare.”

Handler has made a career of reviving subdivisions that were planned and sometimes begun in the mid-2000s but failed to get off the ground due to the housing downturn.

“The location here is very good and we are always looking for opportunities to build in different price ranges,” Handler said of his decision to buy up the available lots in Orchid Cove.

Trematerra comes from a construction and development family background and has built dozens of subdivisions and commercial projects in central and south Florida, according to the bio on his website.

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