You can't dock a power boat at Bayport on Lakes Bay, a 131-unit condo community taking shape in West Atlantic City. The white sand beach that borders the property is owned by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, which prohibits motorized watercraft.
But for a $35 annual fee you can launch a kayak or small sailboat from the beach. And for the truly adventurous, Lakes Bay is an ideal location for windsurfing and kiteboarding thanks to almost constant prevailing winds.
Homeowners can access the beach from a path at the end of Bayport Drive, which is maintained by a non-profit organization formed by windsurfers.
"It's an undiscovered jewel," says Vicki Vasquez, who markets the condos for builder K. Hovnanian. "People like to take their pets for a walk on the beach or just sit in a chair and enjoy the view of the bay."
It's a view enjoyed long ago by Barbara Hutton, a wealthy socialite whose grandfather founded Woolworth's department stores. In 1928, Hutton's family built an elegant Spanish colonial mansion just down the beach from the new development. Known as Bahia Vista, which means "bay view" in Spanish, it was converted into an upscale restaurant called the Sand Castle in the 1970s. Following years of neglect the building was demolished in 2002.
Passive recreation, an historic connection and panoramic bay views aren't the only selling points at Bayport on Lakes Bay. The two-and-three-bedroom townhouses just off the Black Horse Pike are spacious and well appointed. Owners have use of an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the bay and a luxurious clubhouse with a fitness center, multipurpose room, catering kitchen and library. And the community is only a two-minute commute to Atlantic City.
Bayport on Lakes Bay opened in June 2007 and to date a total of 70 condos have been sold, according to Vasquez. Prices range from $169,900 for a two-bedroom unit to about $255,000 for a three-bedroom unit with upgrades.
Among the available two-story designs are the Wagner, with about 1,500 square feet of living space, and the 2,020-square-foot Vassar. Both models have two bedrooms and 2½-baths but the Vassar includes a den. The Wagner is priced from $179,900 while the Vassar starts at $189,900.
A new three-story design, the Quincy II, features three bedrooms, 2½ baths and an unfinished lower level. The kitchen and family room are on the second level, where sliding doors open to a 10-by-12-foot composite deck. The laundry room is on the lower level. The Quincy II will be available in two new buildings one of which features a premium view of the bay and is directly across the street from the clubhouse and pool. Prices for the Quincy II in the bayfront building will range from $199,900 to $229,000. A Quincy II farther from the water will cost between $169,900 and $184,900. In addition to location, the prices reflect upgrade packages preselected by the builder.
Vasquez says when the building next to the clubhouse is completed in late November or early December the sales office will be relocated to a Quincy II model. The sales office is currently housed in a fully furnished Bucknell model, which has three bedrooms, 2½ baths and 1,976 square feet of living space.
The Bucknell, a two-story, three-bedroom end unit is priced from $224,900 to $234,900. It features decorative columns and half walls separating the entrance area from the living room. There's a formal dining room with a bay window, a powder room and access to a one-car garage. A two-story family room is open to the kitchen, is prewired for a ceiling fan and has two levels of windows that maximize natural light.
The kitchen has Corian counters, ceramic tile floors, GE appliances and upgraded 42-inch maple cabinets. Vasquez says the counters in the Quincy II will be granite. Sliding glass doors in the kitchen open to a small patio. Three second-floor bedroom include a master suite with two walk-in closets and a private bath with an oversized walk-in shower. A hall bathroom and a laundry room are also located on the second floor.
All the homes have natural gas heat and central air conditioning, but Vasquez says residents can save energy (and money) by opening their windows and taking advantage of Mother Nature.
"We get a really nice breeze off the bay," she says.
Vasquez says buyers don't fit into a particular demographic.
"It's a mix of empty nesters and families but not a lot of families with children," she says. "About 65 percent of our buyers are year-round residents and about 25 percent bought them as vacation homes. A handful bought them as investment properties."
For more information on Bayport on Lakes Bay call Vicki Vasquez or Cathy Foreman at 609-484-0096 or visit khov.com/Bayport.
What: 2 and 3 bedroom condos
Where: West Atlantic City
Location: Overlooks Lakes Bay
Price: From $169,900