Upscale Community Attracting Niche Market

Upscale, picture postcard homes are popping up amid the woodlands off O'Neal Road. Builders of Florence Gardens prefer the term "community" over "development."

"Our initial phase is 89 lots. The total build out will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 lots. We have 355 acres," said spokesman Brandon Pike.

Custom built homes in this community are spacious and upscale. The least expensive home is around $400,000. Builders must strictly adhere to certain specifications and attention to detail.

"Our attention to historical and architecturally correct details on the houses. We're very strict on how these things get constructed. Not just the materials, but the architecture," said Pike.

Developers here don't shy away from the term "upscale," they embrace it. Although many home buyers can't afford such an address, there is a definite niche market. Sales have exceeded projections.

An appreciation of Mother Nature is an important part of the planned development. Florence Gardens has set aside more than 100 acres for a lake, park space and woodland preserves.

Features like the 27 acre lake and spacious clubhouse are a part of the lifestyle appeal. Again, it's more than just a house, there's that emphasis on community.

"You get neighbors interacting again. You'll notice porches on most of the homes at Florence Gardens. It encourages people to interact. Our clubhouse will feature large porches and places where people can gather. And be in community with one another. Which is different from what we've seen in development over the past few decades," Pike explained.