STANWOOD, Mich., September 29, 2009 – As the real estate market continues to suffer around the country and across Michigan, new home construction is booming at the $55 -million Resorts of Tullymore & St. Ives where a family of four determined developers is successfully challenging popular practice of cutting back in a bad economy.
Of the resort’s 197 platted home sites, 10 new homes have been completed in the past year with another eight under construction. Of the 44 luxury condominiums planned for the first phase of the development, 10 units are ready for occupancy by owners from Florida, Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Another four units are under construction.
In the past four months 440 prospective customers have toured the property, prompted by wide spread advertising for Tullymore real estate and its two golf courses.
Also under construction is the Tullymore Residence Club housing four separate $1 million units that will become part of a world-wide network of premier vacation properties with The Registry Collection. The exchange program allows owners to swap their units within the Registry Collection for upscale vacations. The Residence Club homes are sold as four-week deeded ownerships. The first two units are currently open for inspection by the public.
If that wasn’t enough, the Marino brothers, Richard, Ronald, Robert, their uncle Peter J. Ministrelli, and their architects are already planning the spa and wellness center where they intend to break ground next year. The center will have outdoor tennis and basketball courts, an outdoor pool, aerobic exercise and weight rooms, a kid’s activities room, sauna, locker rooms, and theatre. Retail and other commercial development are also in the long-range plans.
Ministrelli, one of Michigan’s most generous philanthropists, has committed more than $55 million to developing the resort and residential community over 10 years. His construction company which has had notable success construction luxury homes on major upscale golf course communities in the Palm Springs area is building the Tullymore homes as well.
On July 23-24 the development staged the Tullymore Dream Home Expo, inviting the public to tour six incredible model homes decorated by three different nationally acclaimed interior designers.
The developers say their philosophy for development is not based on the state’s woeful economy but on a simple time-tested concept – offer potential customers an exceptional product they enjoy and they will buy it.
“We are not going to just sit and wait. Even in this economy we have upgraded the product,” said Richard Marino. “We believe you don’t dilute the product or devalue what you have because of market conditions.”
At the heart of the resort are its two golf courses, the nationally acclaimed Tullymore Golf Club, an 18-hole design by golf architect Jim Engh of Colorado and the 14-year-old St. Ives Golf Club, another award winner designed by Michigan’s Jerry Matthews.
Engh is a past winner of Golf Digest’s architect of the year award. The five-year-old Tullymore course was recently award a prestigious 5-star rating by Golf Digest magazine as one of the top courses in the country. For the third straight year the magazine included it in their list to the Top 100 courses in the country and the 15th best public or resort course.
The developers bought both courses two years ago and have been remaking them into a major golf resort and residential community adjacent to the Canadian Lakes development near Big Rapids. They believe the high national ranking of the golf courses emphasizes the value they are offering to prospective home buyers…
“When you look at courses in the Top 20 courses ahead of us and see what they charge for green fees some as much as two or three times what we charge you realize the value here. We are giving value back to people,” Ronald Marino said.
With its national golf credentials firmly established Tullymore’s next goal is promoting the family-friendly qualities the developers want for the resort. The fitness center will have space set aside for programs for children. Basketball and bocce ball courts and a two-mile walking course will be added this fall.
The Marinos have an agreement with the Caberfae Peaks ski resort in Cadillac for discounts on ski passes. They will also partner with the Midland Tennis Club for access for guests as well as having professionals from the club conduct lessons on Tullymore’s courts.
“We want not only golfers but families as well and we are creating an atmosphere for families to feel comfortable,” Ronald Marino said. As part of the evolving 10-year plan for the project the brothers envision building separate guest cottages where older visitors of residents can stay as part of a senior living concept that will include a center for assisted living. Marino said they are working out participation details with area hospitals that are enthusiastic about the idea.
The Marinos also stress the participation in their project by local community banks.
“They are offering interest rates for customers like they used to years ago,” Richard Mario said. “Firstbank is working hand-in-hand walking customers through the loan process and we have a great relationship with the local title company.”
The beautiful 18,000 square-foot clubhouse which opened last year has proved to be a boon for the property. Its two restaurants, the fine dining Devine and the more casual Tap Room, is attracting diners from near and far. Even the two large, cozy stone fire pits on the long verandah overlooking Tullymore’s 18th hole have developed their own following. Visitors are now calling the resort to reserve seats around the fire pits on particular evenings.
While the real estate focus has been on the Tullymore side of the resort, its St. Ives sibling has not been forgotten. The restaurant in the striking French-Norman clubhouse has recently been remodeled in a spacious sports bar, complete with seven large flat screen televisions and authentic autographed memorabilia reflecting the developer’s keen connections to Detroit’s four major league sports teams.
In another significant emphasizing the speed in which the developers move, the brothers recently acquired the 44-room Inn at St. Ives next door to the sports pub and grille. One year ago the resort offered 12 beds for visitors. The acquisition of the inn raises the total number of beds under Tullymore management to 197.
For more information, visit www.tullymoregolf.com.
Resort & Golf Marketing
Dave Richards, (248) 642-6420, firstname.lastname@example.org