July 9, 2014 Comments are off MasterKey

Neal Nature Preserve Unveiled in Manatee County

Pat and Charlene Neal, together with Manatee County officials, unveiled the Neal Nature Preserve on April 9, 2014, a 120-acre parcel of land originally conveyed to Manatee County in 2005.

The Neal’s donated the land to the county at a significantly reduced price in order to preserve its pristine wetlands and create a protected preserve for the enjoyment and education of the community.

The park features a mix of recreational opportunities, including a bike trail, picnic pavilion, boardwalk, wildlife observation point, a launch for canoes and kayaks, on-site parking, kiosk and restrooms. The park also offers opportunities for environmental and archeological study.

“Charlene and I are thrilled that years of planning are finally coming to fruition,” said Pat Neal, president and CEO of Lakewood Ranch based Neal Communities. “We pride ourselves on being stewards of the land and hold high standards in our environmental commitment. We believe in protecting the land by leaving a ‘small footprint’, and we take that very seriously. We are proud and humbled that the Neal Preserve can maintain that legacy in some small way for years to come,” he said.

In 2005, the Neal’s decided to preserve the natural beauty of this unique property for the benefit of the community in lieu of pursuing development options. The land had been appraised at $15.9 million. The county purchased the land for $6.7 million and applied an additional $2.3 million in grant monies from the Florida Communities Trust Program. The Neal family then completed the transaction by gifting $6.9 million of the land’s value to the county. The piece of property is located just before the Anna Maria Island Bridge, on the southern tip of Perico Island.

The Neal Preserve is home to 106 acres of unspoiled Mangrove wetlands that support a rich and varied ecosystem. The remaining acreage is comprised of beautiful uplands dotted with native plants, trees and wildlife. The land is also the repository of significant archeological records and is part of an ongoing study of native tribes who occupied the area as early as 1000 BC. That history is honored with interpretive signage throughout the Preserve.

Neal Communities was named one of 2012’s “America’s Best Builders” by BUILDER Magazine and voted the “2013 Best Residential Builder in Southwest Florida” in a readers’ poll sponsored by Gulfshore Business Magazine. Neal Communities was also named 2014 “Best Builder” in the Best of Venice, awarded by the Venice Gondolier, and was a finalist in the Sarasota Herald Tribune’s 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards for “Best Builder”. The company is ranked #1 locally by Metrostudy and by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence based on number of home sales and ranked #64 nationally among homebuilders by BUILDER Magazine. To date, Neal has built over 9,000 homes in Southwest Florida. As the area’s largest and most established, locally owned and operated private builder, Neal Communities is continually striving for excellence in every aspect of the home building and development business. John Neal Homes, Neal Signature Homes, Charlene Neal PureStyle, Waterscapes Pools & Spas, and Allegiant Title Professionals all contribute to the firm’s continued, record-setting local success. The company’s honors and accolades include 49 Parade of Homes 2014 awards, 49 Aurora Awards, 5 Best in American Living Awards, and hundreds of local and regional industry awards. For more information, please visit www.nealcommunities.com.

July 9, 2014 Comments are off MasterKey

My Favorite Home Art Contest

Neal Communities held its 16th annual “My Favorite Home” art contest at Annie Lucy Williams Elementary School in Parrish, Fla. on Wednesday November 12, 2014. Students in all grade levels participated in the program creating an image of a home on paper. The staff at Williams Elementary School selected the top ten finalists for each grade level. Then, a group of community leaders and Neal staff chose the winner for each grade. The Neal team will then select an overall winner, whose art will appear on the cover of the Neal Communities holiday card.

“Each year, I am more impressed at the creativity the children display through their favorite home designs. This is always one of my favorite community endeavors and we are proud to support art programs in our region’s schools,” said Neal Communities’ President, Pat Neal.

Art instructor Nancy Seagle created a detailed lesson plan to incorporate a variety of mediums and materials into the project. Kindergarten students used construction paper collage, first graders used oil pastel technique, second graders used folded houses, third graders used print making collage, fourth graders used pen and ink, and fifth graders used two point linear perspective. “The students thoroughly enjoyed the entire process of learning a new art medium, illustrating their favorite home, and having their artwork displayed around the school. Establishing a foundation for the arts in elementary school is crucial for a child’s growing appreciation and respect for the creative process, and we are thankful to the Neal team for including us in this year’s event,” said Seagle.

Neal Communities donated $1,000 to the school to purchase art supplies. The winning students from each grade level were as follows:

Kindergarten – Briana Pickwood; first grade – Kiley Hoyer; second grade – Samantha Tucker; third grade – Aliya Barnett-Ferarraccio; fourth grade – Emily Greef; fifth grade – Jadon Pacaraw.

Manatee Elementary Community School

Neal Communities, the area’s largest and most established, locally owned and operated private builder, recently donated $5,000 to B.D. Gullett Elementary School’s Neal Communities Golf Challenge.

Held each Fall, over 65 golfers, including a team from Neal Communities, participated in this year’s golf challenge. The elementary school, which has grown by 100-plus students, raised over $16,000. The funds, including Neal Communities’ donation, have been allocated toward technology for its students.

“Neal Communities is committed to building communities, not just constructing homes,” said Pat Neal, CEO of the Lakewood Ranch based firm. “The company and the people who work here are dedicated personally and professionally to the ongoing success of our communities, including the neighborhoods, their schools and the services that help make life here wonderful.”

The school has already used a portion of the proceeds to purchase tablets for students. “We had a very successful Golf Challenge this year, and are so thankful for Neal Communities and all of our business partner sponsors. The fundraiser has made a significant impact in furthering the technology and educational environment of our wonderful school,” said the Golf Committee Chair.