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Seminole Estates’ open house today

Seminole Estates, a new development complex located just north of Andalusia, is having its “grand opening celebration” today from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Seminole Estates, LLC, president and CEO James Bates said the company hopes to provide a residential area that features “affordable country living.”

“This is a beautiful part of the country, but it seems like the only way to have a house out in the rural area is to buy 300 acres or another huge plot of land,” he said. “What we’ve done is develop 24 lots, from three acres to as many as 20 acres, which are designed to be affordable.”

Bates explained that his company will prepare a lot for habitation, by clearing forest land and installing septic, well and plumbing, electricity and other utilities. The lot buyer can then either build his own residence, or purchase a manufactured home through Clayton Homes of Andalusia.

Saturday, the company will hold an open house at the development, which is located three miles west of Gantt on the Red Level Highway. There is a sign showing where motorists should turn onto Riley Road to reach the development.

Saturday’s open house will feature free barbecue and drinks, and a drawing for a 26-inch plasma television. Bates said representatives from Clayton Homes will also be present to answer any questions from prospective buyers.

Bates said he believes the area is a good location for those who are purchasing their first home.

“Our target market is probably the first-time home buyer and retirees,” he said. “We believe these are nice, quality homes in a beautiful location. It’s close to the city, but it’s also far enough out in the country to get some peace and quiet.”

Bates is originally from the south Alabama area but moved to Denver, Colo., to attend law school. He also attended undergraduate school at Florida State University, which is where the name Seminole Estates comes from — Florida State’s athletic teams are known as the Seminoles.

He said he has always wanted to develop real estate in the Covington County area.

“We’ve done several developments throughout the South, but I’m especially excited to do this one here in Andalusia,” he said. “We’re a company that is proud to call Andalusia home, and that’s part of what this open house is about Saturday — to let people know who we are and that we’re here to be a part of this community. And of course, the other purpose for the open house is to let people come see the development and answer their questions.”

Bates said prices vary on the lots, based on size and the buyer’s desires, but range from $49,000 to $125,000. He said the average estimated combined cost of a lot and a Clayton manufactured home is roughly $100,000. All prices are subject to change without notice.

Bates is co-owner of the company with his brother, H. Jeff Bates. T.J. Brooks is vice president of operations.

For more information about Seminole Estates, visit the company’s Web site at www.seminoledevelopment.com or call 334-427-1378. The company also maintains a physical address in Andalusia at 6 1/2 East Court Square, inside the Murphy Building.