Dec. 13, 2017 – On Thursday, December 14, the Manatee County Planning Commission will vote on the development of Hunters Point Resort & Marina, whose master plan aims to preserve Cortez‘ historic fishing village and transform it into one of the greenest communities in the country.
“Hunters Point will be the first entirely ‘zero-energy ready’ community in Manatee County, where each home and amenity building will produce as much, if not more energy than it consumes,” said Marshall Gobuty, founder and principal of Pearl Homes, the developer of Hunters Point.
The residences will offer 484 square feet under roof with 1,450 square feet of total usable space, including exterior decks and livable roof space. Extended stay lodge properties will feature 800 interior square feet in a residential setting that offers the benefit of waterfront porches and panoramic bay views.
The proposed community will also feature a private marina with 48 boat slips, a bistro, and an energy- and water-efficient amenity center. All homes will reflect a modern interpretation of Florida’s traditional “cracker cottage” style of the early 20thcentury, highlighting the village’s historic elements while integrating advanced environmental technology that reduce net energy use and drive down utility costs toward zero.
To achieve this, the Hunters Point Resort and Marina will feature:
- Tesla’s PV rooftop solar panels
- Tesla’s Powerwall technology, providing backup electrical power after sunset
- An electric car charging station for EPV, including Tesla and other electric vehicles
- A Tesla-designed central battery storage system that collects excess solar energy and returns it to the grid, creating additional energy savings
- Alternative energy-based water taxis that ferry residents and their guests to Anna Maria Island, reducing vehicular traffic in the Cortez area
- Panasonic “Smart Community” technology, including high-speed fiber optic network, smart street lighting, enhanced security monitoring, and improved public services
- Community-wide resource conservation, including protection of Florida mangroves, advanced water conservation initiatives, and Florida Friendly landscaping techniques
The Hunters Point team also plans to pursue certification from the nation’s most recognized leaders in green design and sustainability, including the USGBC’s LEED; the EPA’s ENERGY STAR, Indoor airPlus, and WaterSense; and The Living Future Institute’s Net Zero Energy programs.
“Hunters Point will be the archetype community for improving the quality of life for residents and future generations through public education, local partnerships, and state of the art technology,” said Fort Myers native Beth McDougal of McDougal Architects of Boston, Mass., lead architect for the project. “We are designing an eco-friendly, sustainable, and renewable community with a holistic approach to energy and energy efficiency.”
To oversee implementation of the community’s cutting-edge technologies, the Pearl Homes energy team has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home program and the Florida Solar Energy Center, the University of Central Florida’s prestigious energy research institute. The FSEC has pioneered advancements in environmental technology design, planning, and deployment since 1975.
“Our energy development team has identified how to best utilize state-of-the-art solar power technology to effectively deliver zero-energy homes,” said Janet McIlvaine, the FSEC’s Senior Research Analyst. “If all goes as forecasted, Hunters Point cottages will join an elite category of the nation’s most efficient and highest performance homes.”
Gobuty is already well known in Bradenton and across the green building and design industries. In 2015, he broke ground on Mirabella, a 55+ community of 158 LEED Platinum certified homes, repurposing an abandoned golf course in the local Village Green community. The U.S. Green Building Council named Gobuty 2016’s “Power Builder of the Year,” in recognition of Mirabella’s award winning, eco-friendly design and construction.
Hunters Point will build on Mirabella’s sustainable designs, but Gobuty said preserving the heritage of Cortez is central to the project’s mission.
“Everything we’re doing with Hunters Point is designed to fulfill the vision of Peter and Eva Thurell to relocate historic cottage-style homes to the site,” said Gobuty, referring to the marina’s longtime stewards. “To deliver that vision, our cottage-style residences have been designed to complement the Village of Cortez while providing owners with energy efficient features and sustainable designs that will preserve the community for generations to come.”
Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston has embraced Gobuty’s vision of sustainable development that is both energy-efficient and mindful of the local community’s people and priorities.
“We have seen what Marshall and his team have done with Mirabella in Bradenton. The development is an example of a commitment to the environment and respect for the community,” said Poston. “Their approach has brought new full-time residents to the area who now enjoy the benefits of homes built to last, while providing the owners with long-term value and immediate cost savings.”
Following approval by the Manatee County Planning Commission, Gobuty will set up a research and development center to help county residents understand the technologies, features, and sustainable vision for Hunters Point.
“We want to show what can be done when you work with the right energy and technology leaders from around the world, while also respecting the sensitivities of a community and the rich history it has,” said Gobuty. “Hunters Point will be a model for sustainable design across the country.”