PLAYA DEL SUR
Stretching over three-quarters of a mile on the
Atlantic Ocean, the 43 oceanfront lots of the Playa del Sur sub-neighborhood were
platted in April 2001, but marketing did not commence until 2003. All lots were
initially sold by 2004, and construction of the first houses began. All Playa del
Sur lots are 100 feet wide, allowing a house width of 60 feet, and all have
walkovers to the Atlantic Ocean with its beautiful coquina sand beach. Underlying
the sand is a five-foot thick coquina rock stratum helping to protect against beach
erosion. Sometimes the rock appears at low tide to the north end of the
The Hammock Dunes Community owns the common property from just in back of the lots to the mean-high-water line and maintains the walkovers and dune to ensure a uniform look. In few other gated communities in Florida are there 80 oceanfront lots available for single-family construction, and Playa del Sur contains 43 of these unique sites. The community has installed sand fencing in certain areas of the dune to test sand accumulation rates, and the dune is fertilized and planted to aid in maintaining its strength.
By 2014, twelve oceanfront residences have been built, all to the most modern codes in Florida, which were heavily tightened starting in 2003 and continue to be refined each year. Any oceanfront homes built before 2003 outside Hammock Dunes were not required to meet the stringent codes in place today. Construction adhering to up-to-date codes is critical for homeowners to insure the property at reasonable rates. The minimum air-conditioned space requirement is 3500 sq. ft., but houses built to date range from 4,000 to over 9,000 sq. ft. of interior space, and total space including terraces of over 13,000. As Playa del Sur has the advantage that construction did not start until after current construction codes were in place, there is no inventory of older oceanfront homes that withstand storms poorly, as is often the case in South Florida.
With all Playa del Sur lots located east of the Coastal Control Construction Line (CCCL), they require permitting by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL-DEP), which includes analysis of core drilling by a geotechnical engineer and a structural engineer to design an auger-cast piling foundation. The Hammock Dunes “Design Review Committee” is available to provide information on all the building requirements. Excluding lot cost, property owners should anticipate spending between $2.7 million and $4.0 million in the carrying costs, design, permitting, and construction of their homes and more than three years before occupancy. This pales to the cost necessary to construct in South Florida, where the climate and life-style issues, such as traffic and crowds, are not as attractive year-round as in Hammock Dunes. Playa del Sur is an ideal location for experiencing the joys of oceanfront living, with beautiful sunrises, the beach a few steps away for leisurely strolls or long walks, and wildlife such as pelicans, ospreys, dolphins, sea turtles, and whales to watch.
Moreover, as Playa del Sur is already 27% built, this sub-neighborhood is an opportunity for lot owners to build a unique residence, compatible with the existing Mediterranean-style houses, that can serve their families for generations to come. A few existing houses, built to recent codes, come up for sale each year.