James Landers of LandCraft Development change landscape

Tampa Bay Business Journal - by Ken Salgat, Staff Writer Date: Monday, June 30, 2003

Online PR News – 04-May-2011 – – TAMPA -- James Landers and Jeff Craft, partners in LandCraft Development Inc., have developed and sold-out three town home developments in two years and now plan to build at least four more.

"We are targeting those niche markets we feel haven't been really served by our competition," said Landers. "We think there might be a dearth of product in the $150,000 to $175,000 range. It's difficult to do because of the high cost of land, but we give up some profit to quickly sell to a specific demographic."

But with the single-family market raging, the question becomes whether the niche LandCraft wants to fill exists.

At least one Realtor thinks they've got it right.

"You're talking about two very different demographics," said Keith Roland, a nine-year real estate veteran with Re/Max Today Inc. in Clearwater.

Families seeking suburbia lifestyles rather than the on-the-go lifestyle dominate the single-family market, Roland said.

"With town homes, you have married or single professionals that want to be close to everything. In South Tampa, Hyde Park and downtown St. Petersburg, you are in a 'be-seen' area."

To address that, LandCraft opened Toscana Ballast Point, a 41-unit South Tampa project, on June 18. Prices in the 2- and 3-story development range from $210,000 to $235,000.

Of the 41 units in 16 buildings, 22 are 2 story and 19 are 3 story.

Construction on the 3.5-acre site began about 30 days ago, and the company anticipates a 10-month buildout.

"We're doing some projects in the $200,000 range because two years ago, the $200,000 products were what now is considered the $240,000," said Landers. "We make a conscious effort to meet the lower product need, but sometimes property (value) takes you higher."

The company's upcoming Escena South Tampa, a 30-unit project near the corner of West Shore Boulevard and Pearl Avenue, will have single-family town homes ranging in price from $150,000 to $175,000.

Another 22-unit development -- yet named and near the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Pearl Avenue -- will offer a price range from $160,000 to $175,000.

The firm's downtown St. Petersburg project, Del Mar Court, calls for 15 units ranging in price from $200,000 to $245,000. Kingston Court, an eight-unit project in northeast St. Petersburg, will have 2- and 3-story town homes ranging in price from $200,000 to $245,000.

James Landers said a recent surge in town home conversions to condominiums does not worry him.

"The condo conversion gives more competition, sure," he said. "But I think there are two types of demand. We meet the needs of those who desire new construction, and they (condo developers) have the advantage of timeliness."

Roland thinks the town home market oftentimes gets a bad rap.

"There's been a lot of talk recently about town homes being converted to condominium," said Roland. "Generally, town homes are condominiums, the only difference is that you sometimes own the land underneath or a back yard with a town home. When they get 'converted,' oftentimes the owner just acquires a larger part of the property value."