WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T COME HOME
See original article in Business Currents
When you relax along the miles of white sand beaches in Naples and watch the calming ocean tide roll in, it’s almost as if the city is inviting the water to come back to its shoreline; pulling the waves back again and again to revisit the historic town. That’s the kind of town Naples is; one that stays with you after you visit, eternally enticing you back with those gorgeous sunsets, first-class shopping, international cuisine and cultural amenities to rival any big city. That pull is certainly true for Mike Langella, founding partner and President of FrontDoor Communities, an Atlanta-based real estate development/homebuilding firm with a new community in Naples, Andalucia. Mike spent part of his career in Naples and now, twenty years later, he’s back armed with decades of knowledge and experience that he and his team hope to use to elevate Andalucia to the standards instilled in him by the city he once called home.
Mike began his career in real estate after earning his MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1990 and accepting a job in Palm Desert, California with WCI Communities (formerly Westinghouse Communities once headquartered here in Naples). In 1992, he transferred to Naples to work on several exciting projects that would contribute to its transformation from beach town to the vibrant city it is today. Two of those projects were Pelican Isle Yacht Club and Pelican Marsh Golf Club.
In 1992, Naples had but a few physical connections to The Gulf of Mexico for boaters to enjoy the water. As a Vice President for WCI, Mike was part of the team that changed that by developing the Pelican Isle Yacht Club community and private club nestled in North Naples at Wiggins Pass where the Cocohatchee River flows gently into The Gulf. The club and community was the first of its kind, offering direct access to The Gulf from the mainland with a 190 slip marina that accommodates boats up to 55 feet in length and residences with waterfront views. Twenty years later, Pelican Isle endures as one of Naples gems and exemplifies the qualities that Mike strives to bring to FrontDoor Communities’ buyers today.
Pelican Marsh Golf Club, another premier community in Naples, has often been sighted as a development that set the standard for master-planned communities in Southwest Florida. At the heart of the team responsible for the project, Mike was instrumental in the development of Pelican Marsh’s golf programs. He likes to recall that the initial golf course was an amalgamation of two separate private clubs: Pelican Marsh Golf Club and Bay Colony Golf Club, each with nine holes. As the community grew, an additional nine holes and clubhouses were added to each with the result being two of the finest clubs area residents enjoy today.
In late 1996, Mike and his young family left the sunny beaches of Naples for the southern charm of Atlanta to take a job with John Wieland Homes & Neighborhoods, one of the country’s preeminent home builders. There he met his future business partner, Terry Russell. Over the next decade, Mike and Terry worked together developing numerous communities and building quality homes throughout the Southeast. Mike rose the ranks at Wieland and eventually became a Division President where he oversaw the development/homebuilding process for hundreds of homes at a time.
In 2011, Mike and Terry decided to combine their 30+ years’ experience and accumulated knowledge to start their own company. The result is FrontDoor Communities (www.FrontDoorCommunities.com), a homebuilding and real estate development/asset management firm. By combining an understanding of what an owner values most in a home with a proven track record of delivering quality projects that exceed expectations, the company is driven to quality execution of projects throughout the Southeast. With a tailored focus on quality craftsmanship and regionally appropriate architectural styles, FrontDoor Communities homes are as graceful as they are practical.
The last two years have been exciting ones for FrontDoor Communities. In that short time, the company has been positioned to maximize opportunities as the homebuilding industry rebounds. The firm is currently developing and building homes in several communities. They also have a slate of projects on the drawing board in Naples, Orlando, Atlanta, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.
FrontDoor Communities’ Charleston community, Tributary at Rivertowne Country Club, is a three-phase, sixty-two lot development in one of South Carolina’s most desirable locales, Mount Pleasant. It is a thoughtfully designed residential paradise situated within Rivertowne Country Club, a scenic village along the picturesque waterfront of Charleston’s Wando River. (For more information visit www.TributarySC.com)
Here in Florida, FrontDoor Communities is building homes along the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee and at Andalucia just off Pine Ridge Road in Naples.
Mike is especially happy to be back in Naples, building homes at Andalucia. Located in the heart of Naples and minutes from everything the city has to offer, Andalucia is a Mediterranean-inspired gated community with 96 available homesites where FrontDoor Communities has begun construction. The community celebrated a grand re-opening last month with five homes sold already. Homes are priced from the low $300’s. (For more information visit www.AndaluciaNaples.com)
Mike is nostalgic returning to where he began his career and started his family. He and his wife, Jill’s first daughter, Caroline was one of the first babies born in North Collier Hospitals’ then new obstetrics wing in 1994. Married for 19 years, they have since added two more daughters, Grace and Molly to their family.
“It’s amazing to see the transformation Naples has gone through in the last two decades,” says Langella. “It’s changed a lot, but the charm is still there. My family and I frequently vacation here. We still have great friends in the area and it’s still a great place to golf and go backwater fishing.” (Mike recently won the area’s RL Fishing Classic).
It just goes to show that not only is Naples a white sand beach paradise and cultural hub of Southwest Florida, but also a thriving metropolis full of business opportunities and chances for entrepreneurs to begin and flourish in their careers. So, just like the waves being beckoned back to visit the beautiful sandy beaches of Naples, so has the city called back Mike to experience everything it has to offer, not only as a vacation and tourist destination, but also as a hotspot for commerce and business.