Earlier this month, the managing partners of Calusa Ridge recently celebrated their first anniversary of taking over the gated community.
Since John Majocka and Roger Schutt own the property, it is debt free.
"We are debt free," Majocka said of Calusa Ridge. "People can be comfortable because there is no debt on the property."
The Calusa Ridge gated community includes a lake with a waterfall and a gazebo for its residents to enjoy.
Schutt said when they took over the property on April 6, 2011, 15 of the 45 lots were initially sold for $262,000 per lot. After acquiring the property, the pricing for each lot lowered and ranged from $39,000 to $59,000, depending on where it was located in the community.
"It was very affordable for a one-acre property on a nature preserve on the island," Schutt said.
Majocka said most of those lots sold quickly because of the low prices.
If You Go:
What: Calusa Ridge: Pine Island's Best Kept Secret
Managing Partners: John Majocka and Roger Schutt
Where: 12401 Stringfellow Road in Bokeelia
Information: 239-887-1200, 239-282-2001 or www.CalusaRidge.com
Another affordable feature of Calusa Ridge is the monthly Homeowners Association fee of $100. Schutt said that fee includes the overall upkeep and maintenance of all the common areas within the community. He said individuals are responsible for their own property.
"We don't see that changing for five to 10 years down the road," Majocka said of the Homeowners Association fee.
The lots, which range from .99 to 2.78 acres, allow flexibility for homeowners when building their house, according to the partners. Majocka said they are not cookie cutter lots that overlook someone else's property.
"The size of our lots allow oversize garages," Schutt said, which can include both RVs and/or a boat. "You don't have to give up boating to live here."
In addition, the lots also allow for flexibility in the square footage of the home, which currently range from 2,000-4,000 square feet. Stock plans are available for individuals to look at when building their home, which Schutt and Majocka said most people deviate from to provide more space for various rooms.
Although there are a few restrictions when building, they both agreed that they did not want to be too restrictive. The major restriction entails that all roofs have to be either metal or tile.
The property also includes some green plans for the homeowners as well. Majocka said the pond water is used for the irrigation around the property, which continuously recycles the water.
The one-acre lots that are available now range from $45,900 to $69,000 in the 60-acre gated community.
On April 1, Calusa Ridge began offering buyers two preferred builders, which includes Latitude26 and Aubuchon Homes.
The partners said roughly 50 percent of the lots have been sold within the gated community. Schutt said there are four homes that are either in the planning, permitting or approved stages to begin breaking ground right now and of those four, two of the couples already live on Pine Island.
Majocka said the majority of those interested in purchasing lots within Calusa Ridge are baby boomers that will be retiring over the next couple of years.
"It is beyond our expectations," he said of how the gated community has taken off.
Schutt agreed in saying that the whole project has been that way.
Over the past year, Majocka and Schutt have cleaned up the landscaping, along with planting royal palm trees, implementing a gazebo and a water fountain in the lake.
Schutt said they also dispersed the fill dirt from the pond to the various lots within the community. He said the piles of dirt that were located everywhere produced an unkempt look that they wanted to change.
The vegetation on the lots was left alone to provide a preservation kind of feel.
"We are trying to keep things as natural as possible," Majocka said about the property.
Schutt said they tried not to make huge clearings with the vegetation to save some of the pine trees, along with giving the homeowner the opportunity to leave them or take a few of the trees down.
In addition, the vegetation that surrounds the property provides an isolated feel for the homeowners.
Although the front of the property has a gated entrance, Schutt said Mother Nature provides the gate for the remainder of the property.
"I have never been in a gated community where you feel like you are in a park," he said.
The partners also made a commitment to get involved in the community when they first purchased the property. Schutt said they also try and use services from businesses on Pine Island whenever the chance becomes available.
Schutt and Majocka would like to extend their property to the community for fund-raising and educational purposes. Schutt said he could envision tents surrounding the lake for some type of fund-raising event or holding a cardboard regatta boat race in the pond for the youngsters.