Written by Andrea Stetson
Special to the News-Press
This is a place of luxury with multi-million dollar homes, a prestigious Greg Norman/Pete Dye golf course, and fountains, plazas, and bridges to give it an upscale feel. Yet Talis Park is a place where residents can stop in the café with sand between their toes, can run their dogs on the golf course after hours or do yoga on the green.
Its relaxed atmosphere makes it so different from most high end communities with their towering clubhouses, formal dining rooms and strict dress codes.
That’s what lured Fred and Jill Fanelli to take the big risk with being the first buyers in the newly resurrected community.
“Six or seven years ago we heard about WCI’s Tuscany Reserve and we were just blown away by what was happening in here,” Fred Fanelli began. “It was such a high end; not doable for most folks.”
Back then prices were so high that only 33 people bought under the old regime which lasted from 2003-2007. By 2008 WCI was in bankruptcy and the community stagnated. A foreign bank took over and kept the community running, but never added the promised amenities. Then in 2012 Kitson & Partners, the same company that owns Babcock Ranch, bought the property and renamed the 450 acre community off Livingston Road, Talis Park.
“We were driving down I-75 and see and sign along the highway that says Talis Park and we thought they turned it into a park,” Fanelli continues. “We find out it’s not a park; it’s a new community. It’s as magnificent as I remember.”
With better prices and promises of amenities, Fanelli began doing research into the new owners to see if it was worth the risk.
The Fanellis looked at other high end communities in North Naples and Bonita Springs, but kept coming back to Talis Park.
“Do we want to take it on faith?” Fanelli questioned. “Do we take the risk? Do you have any idea how scary it is building a home from 1,200 miles away?”
After doing extensive research on Kitson & Partners, and reviewing all their plans for Talis Park, the Fanellis become the first to buy a lot under the new owners when they signed the papers in Dec. 2012.