Plans advance for Phase 2 of Riverbend housing development near Sanford

GrowthSpotter contributor

Engineering plans were submitted to Seminole County this week for the second phase of the 653-lot Riverbend residential development east of downtown Sanford.

Dwight Saathoff, president of Project Finance & Development (PFD), owns the 45.32 acres at the corner of Hughey Street and North Beardall Avenue that make up the project's second phase. Saathoff told GrowthSpotter he is selling the property to homebuilder D.R. Horton with a closing scheduled for October. 

Texas-based D.R. Horton, the nation’s largest homebuilder, paid Saathoff $3.9 million last July for land with 186 developed lots in the development’s first phase. It is just now finalizing building permits for five model homes to begin Phase 1, and will likely be the builder for the remaining three phases of the project, Saathoff said.

“In this case we got all the entitlement approvals for the project, so we sell it to them fully entitled, then they build the subdivision,” he continued. “I would say it’s highly likely they will be the buyers of the other three phases.”

Saathoff bought the land for Phase 2 in December 2012 for $1.31 million.

“We were just kind of waiting until conditions were right,” he said, explaining why it took nearly six years to start developing the property.

“Back in 2012 we were still in the depths of the recession. We were always bullish on Seminole County, especially knowing we were the last sizable or significant residentially zoned property in the urban service area of Seminole County.”

Phase 2 will have 174 lots, sized at 40, 50 and 60 feet in width. Saathoff said there will be townhomes along with single-family houses. 

To enhance the value of the Riverbend property, Saathoff said he sold land to the Galileo School for Gifted Learning at a “steep discount.” The K-8 charter school at 3900 East S.R. 46 is now thriving, Saathoff said, with 550 students.

“They were in another site years ago and were growing beyond their capacity,” he said. “We worked out a deal where they came to our development.”

D.R. Horton executives could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. According to the company website, seven model types in the first phase of Riverbend will range in size from 1,672 square feet for a three-bedroom, two-bath bungalow to 2,807 square feet for a detached two-story house with five bedrooms and four baths.

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