By Mark Puente, Times Staff Writer In Print: Thursday, October 13, 2011
Nails and hammers will start flying again in Tampa's Westshore Yacht Club as new, lower-priced homes pop up in the luxury community.
WCI Communities Inc. plans to build homes in one of the bay area's premier waterfront communities near Gandy and West Shore boulevards. Prices range from $322,000 to $471,000 for houses with 1,975 to 3,076 square feet.
To attract customers, builders slashed prices and sizes of homes after the housing market tanked. The average price of WCI's homes topped $750,000 before the company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2008.
After reorganizing under court protections, WCI is selling new homes in nine upscale communities in southwest Florida.
WCI, one of Florida's most prominent builders, entered bankruptcy after defaulting on $125 million in debt. The company built thousands of homes in Carrollwood Village, Sun City Center and Mandalay Shores at Clearwater Beach.
The company's origins stretch back to Tampa-based Florida Design Communities, which builder Al Hoffman Jr. founded in 1985. Florida Design and Westinghouse's real estate division, WCI, merged in 1998. Hoffman stepped down as CEO in 2005 to become ambassador to Portugal.