Nutter Challenges His Former Boss Cannon | Two New Models Have Contemporary Flavor, Plus Memory Points

By Bubil, Harold | Sarasota Herald Tribune, June 28, 2015 | Go to article overview

Nutter Challenges His Former Boss Cannon | Two New Models Have Contemporary Flavor, Plus Memory Points


Bubil, Harold, Sarasota Herald Tribune


THE LAKE CLUB

Luxury home builders John Cannon and T.J. Nutter will tell you they respect each other and aren't really competing with each other.

But it sure seems that way.

Only so many people with $1.5 million or so to spend on a house will walk through their models in the new Vineyards section of Lakewood Ranch's prestigious, gated Lake Club.

So both Cannon and Nutter have to grab their attention and not let go for, in the case of John Cannon Homes' Akarra III model, 3,600 square feet, and, two doors down at Nutter Custom Construction's Leeward model, 4,011 square feet. There is a lot to see.

Getting ready to step into this scrum for buyers is Todd Johnston, who has been building even longer than Cannon's 25 years and has a model under construction that should be ready in time for Lakewood Ranch's Parade of Homes in November. Johnston's house is going up between the Cannon and Nutter models.

On the other side of Nutter's model, Derek Nelson of Arthur Rutenberg Homes/Nelson Homes also is building a model for a fall opening. It will give The Lake Club a model row to rival the one nearby at The Concession.

In the meantime, Cannon and Nutter have the summer months all to themselves.

Nutter used to work for John Cannon Homes. After eight years, he left his job as director of operations and started Nutter Custom Construction. That was four years ago, and already, he has achieved a degree of respect that is reflected in his spot on The Lake Club's roster of builders.

"I have been very blessed and afforded really great opportunities," Nutter said. "Some opportunities you create yourself by hard work, and other opportunities, people extend to you based on who you are and how you treated people. I am a firm believer that hard work creates opportunities, and if you treat people right, it will eventually get repaid to you in the form of future opportunities."

Although his operation is smaller than Cannon's, and he won't come close to Cannon's count of about 50 new homes this year, Nutter's latest model will be a formidable weapon in the fight for market share.

The Leeward, priced at $500 short of $2 million, with furnishings, options, pool and premium lot with one-year builder leaseback, blends modern and West Indies design elements into what Nutter calls a "coastal modern" style.

Eye-grabbing features include polished white terrazzo flooring two steps up from an aged driftwood floor in the sunken living area. The linear fireplace adds a modern touch to the sunken living room - - a favorite device of the late architect Paul Rudolph.

In the dining area, one wall is dominated by a cypress wine closet with floor-to-ceiling, aquarium-glass barn doors. It will hold about 275 bottles and can be conditioned to keep the wine at the proper temperature, although this one is not.

The lanai floor has a shell surface, state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen and cascading spa. The pool has a recessed seating area with fire pit. Parents with kids at home might not want to plan any weekends away during the teen years.

The three-bedroom, four-bathroom model features a three-car garage, walk-in closets and a well-appointed kitchen with decorative metal range hood. The freezer and refrigerator -- separate units -- stand camouflaged by cabinet front panels on either side of an alcove with a small wine rack.

The spa-like master bathroom is outfitted with accordion-glass doors that open to a custom mural -- giant water droplets painted on an aluminum sheet -- that visually connects the patio with the oversized shower. The artist is Alex Turco, of Miami. "We thought it was a great feature that we hadn't seen before, and we wanted to do something a little different," Nutter said. It serves as that "memory point" that sticks in the mind of buyers.

Nutter credited his team with designing "a carefully thought- out" floor plan that is both functional and rich with features. …

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