Minto Communities - Isles of Collier Preserve

For decades, developers have built and marketed communities in Naples, Fla., that offer amenities such as golf course views and country club memberships. Minto Communities’ latest venture in the region will offer a different kind of experience to southwest Florida homeowners while not sparing the beauty and luxury Naples communities are known for.

The developer in January 2013 commenced site work on the more than $68 million Isles of Collier Preserve, a 2,400-acre community located on property it purchased in late 2012 from prominent Florida developer and landowner Collier Enterprises. The community is the newest venture on the state’s west coast from Minto Communities, a company that started operations in Florida’s southeast region in 1978.

More than half of the Isles of Collier Preserve project – 1,300 acres – will be dedicated to preserving the native wetlands, lakes and nature preserves surrounding the property. These natural areas will be linked by trails and bike paths, and a river – which will be available for kayaking and canoeing– also runs through the community, Minto Communities Vice President Bill Bullock says. 

Ultimately, 1,600 homes including coach homes and single-family homes are slated for the development, with construction taking place in phases for the next 10 years. The development will also include a clubhouse, which will offer gathering areas, a resort-style swimming pool, café, tennis courts and wellness facilities.

A 6,000-square-foot “discovery sales center” will open in fall 2013, and the first model homes will be ready in January 2013. “This will not be a typical golf course/country club-style community like you usually see in Naples,” he adds. 

“All of the homes in Naples are typically built in a Mediterranean-inspired style, but our architecture will be in more of a coastal style, which was common decades ago and has seen a recent resurgence. This community is all about preserving an older way of life and offering a casual elegance, which will be very unique for southwest Florida.”

Homes in the development will feature concrete block foundations with Hardi board siding meant to resemble early 20th-century coastal wood homes. All individual homes are being designed to meet green and sustainable standards and will include non-toxic, renewable, recycled and locally sourced building materials, Bullock says.

Minto will serve as the construction managers for the project. Key project team members include Phil Graham Landscape Architecture of St. Petersburg, Fla. Minto selected the company to create a landscape plan that reflects its goal of creating an “old Florida” atmosphere while complementing the development’s natural surroundings.

“Our research has shown that homeowners don’t require a golf experience to be happy, they are looking for something different in the Naples area,” Bullock says. 

Community Contributions

Visitors to the Isles of Collier Preserve’s discovery sales center will be able to peruse a variety of site layouts, house floor plans and other options in digital form. In addition to sales offices, the center will also include a “neighbors” room, which will spotlight many of the Isles of Collier Preserves’ local partners on a series of Plexiglas panels circling the room. Spotlighted organizations include the Rookery Ray National Estuarine Research Reserve and Naples Botanical Garden, both of which neighbor the property.

Other partners include Florida Gulf Coast University, which is teaming with Minto to establish an on-site wetlands research lab.

“The center will explain to visitors why this is a great place to live and how Minto and our partners are contributing to the community as a whole,” Bullock says. 

Minto is contributing to the preservation of much of the on-site natural environment. This includes preserving freshwater and saltwater wetland habitats and scrub uplands used as shelter for wildlife, including gopher tortoises and bald eagles. Invasive and non-native vegetation is being removed through means including prescribed fires, which push back plants that are competing with native species for nutrients.

Minto is also monitoring water quality on the site by ensuring a low level of chlorides or saltwater intrusion. Water is tested on-site.

“We are fully committed to being good stewards to this stunning and important land as well as its waters and wildlife,” Bullock says. “We are honored to be a part of the enduring legacy of this historic and spectacularly beautiful property.”

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