Magazine Biz

Sustainable Luxury with Pearl Homes

Residents at Hunters Point Resort and Marina will receive all the luxurious sustainable amenities you can think of – including a new Tesla

By Abby Pittman

The lodges at Hunters Point will be designed for short-term rental by vacationers eager to explore Cortez’s wealth of outdoor recreational activities.

Florida’s oldest fishing village is getting a shiny new upgrade with Pearl Homes’ newest sustainable community, Hunters Point Resort and Marina. The community will be comprised of 86 total residential units available for purchase, all of which will be “Net Zero,” which means the homes will produce as much, if not more, energy than they consume. The development will also include 62 total lodge units that are geared towards short-term rental by those who enjoy sport fishing, boating, sailing, waterskiing, and all the other activities that Cortez, Florida has to offer.

Pearl Homes teamed up with architect Beth McDougal of McDougal Architecture to create their distinctive cottage-style residences, designed to complement the “cracker cottages” in the historic fishing village of Cortez. These new buildings will be constructed so that the homes meet all current regulations, including flood zone elevation. They will include all modern conveniences in a resort setting.

The residences are net zero buildings, thanks to features like the advanced building envelope and solar array.

The property was purchased in 2016 with big plans in mind, but did not receive final approval from the county until January 2018. Property sales will begin in late 2018, and full residential build out will be completed end of 2019. Pearl Homes has already developed a successful award-winning community, Mirabella, located in neighboring Bradenton. Mirabella is a 55-plus community that is also energy-efficient and LEED Platinum certified. While Hunters Point will not be an agerestricted community, Pearl Homes hopes it can follow, and even eclipse, its predecessor’s footsteps in terms of environmental friendliness.

“To achieve net zero energy we focus on the envelope first, minimizing energy consumption, managing moisture intrusion, controlling the Florida humidity and purifying the indoor air with the newest, most innovative building technology available,” explained Gary Carmack, Pearl Homes’ Energy Development Officer. “Then, the mechanical systems were designed utilizing state of the art inverter HVAC systems with variable speed fans. Lighting and internal loads were then managed by utilizing low wattage specifications.”

The interiors are packed with sophisticated finishes and features like marble countertops and sleek storage cabinets.

Once their energy development department finalized the recipe for maximizing the lowest energy consumption possible while still maintaining comfort and indoor air quality, they designed the solar array. The outdoor roof was specifically configured to affix the latest high wattage solar panels available to maximize solar PV production and achieve zero energy consumption. Additional battery storage continues to drive the power production past zero energy, with aspirations of achieving net positive and off the grid.

These were not the only hurdles the team had to tackle to achieve their energy goals. Savannah Hense, Communications Director for Pearl Homes, said, “We faced quite a few challenges to overcome and address during the initial design phase of Hunters Point. To create a true zero energy ready home, all of its different technology, big and small, had to be evaluated individually, then systematically added to best analyze the performance.” These included considering insulation types, water conservation methods, how to achieve maximum HVAC distribution without conventional ductwork, and sustainable material selection.

But just because Pearl Homes is focused on optimum energyefficiency does not mean that they sacrifice luxury in the meantime. The residences are small, composed of just under 1000 square feet of interior space, which enables them to maintain their miniscule footprint and low price point. Their interiors, however, are packed with sophisticated finishes and features, including stylish ENERGY STAR appliances, marble countertops and bathrooms, and sleek storage cabinets.

Hunters Point siteplan-CMYK.jpg
The residences also include 484 square feet of outdoor living space, designed to embrace the Florida climate.

The residences also include 484 square feet of outdoor living space, designed to embrace the Florida climate. Wrap decks will surround these homes, while the lodges will feature waterfront porches with panoramic bay views. Outdoor recreation is also encouraged; community residents will have access to rentals of and lessons for kayaks, boats, paddle boards, and jet skis. A solar-powered community taxi will transport beachgoers to and from the local shore, and a resortstyle pool and community garden will provide extra opportunities to enjoy the sunshine in a sustainable way.

To top off the list of amenities, each residence purchased will come with a Tesla Model S, and the lodges will also include shared electric cars and charging stations. There is seemingly nothing Pearl Homes hasn’t thought of. “Being individuals with a greater appreciation for the outdoors, we believe these buyers definitely see the value in a net zero home,” Hense added. “We are very excited to show Hunters Point’s future residents that they can have a sporty lifestyle, luxury home, and join the sustainability movement- they do not have to choose just one.”

Pearl Homes’ latest completed development, Mirabella, also focuses on outdoor living potential with a resort-style community pool.

Abby Pittman is an Editor for Green Home Builder Magazine. She may be reached at

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