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American Homes 4 Rent has paid $7.25 million for Pine Grove, a 94-acre residential subdivision in Osceola County’s St. Cloud submarket with entitlements for up to 315 homes.

The California-based homebuilder plans to begin site development of its second large-scale Built-for-Rent community this summer. In the meantime, AH4R is redesigning the project to reduce the total number of lots to 279 and expand the community amenities. The first homes should be available for lease in 2023.

This marks the fourth significant land transaction by AH4R in the Orlando market in recent months, where it now has more than 600 lots in its new development pipeline. In St. Cloud, AH4R is currently in site development for Sky Lakes, a 222-lot subdivision on Michigan Avenue.

“This is another excellent example of AMH Development in action. Our unique ability to grow our portfolio through development of new communities really sets our company apart,” Zack Johnson, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions & Development, said in a release. “Our AMH Development capability provides clear visibility to predictable, high-quality portfolio growth for years into the future.”

Pine Grove will feature three-, four- and five-bedroom homes ranging in size from approximately 1,600 to 2,500 square feet. The community’s onsite amenities will include a clubhouse, fitness center, casual workspace and resort-style pool. Each house will have a two-car garage and fenced backyard, and the company provides on-site management and lawn care.

“Our customers want everything that a new home purchaser wants — they just enjoy the flexibility and low maintenance of leasing,” AH4R Senior Vice President Brent Landry previously told GrowthSpotter.

The 94 acres of undeveloped land was previously owned by Larson Brothers Inc. The property was previously under contract to D.R. Horton, but the deal fell through in late 2019 when Osceola County commissioners rejected the preliminary subdivision plan. The Larsons appealed the decision and ultimately agreed to a mediated settlement with the county in 2020.

“We’re excited to complete this transaction with American Homes 4 Rent and watch them develop another new single-family rental home community in fast-growing Osceola County,” said Gary and Randy Larson of Larson Brothers Inc. “We owned the property for many years and had to overcome significant obstacles to get to this point. American Homes 4 Rent is an ideal partner with a dedicated team that worked countless hours to help close this deal.”

Since that time, two more residential subdivisions have been announced adjacent to Pine Grove. Hanover Capital Partners purchased 72 acres immediately south of Pine Grove and is designing a residential subdivision, while Pulte is under contract for the 92-acres immediately east of the project and submitted a subdivision plan for 308 homes.

AH4R currently has a portfolio more than 1,700 units in the Orlando market, where its four new home communities include Celery Cove, Crestridge at Leesburg, Sedona and Zarabrooke. Sedona, located just off Ham Brown Road in Kissimmee, was originally developed by Maronda Homes and Lennar. AH4R acquired the final homesites in that community as part of its national builder program.

Purpose-built rental communities are a fast-growing segment of the real estate market in Central Florida. Recently D.R. Horton announced it would develop a BFR community in Apopka’s Avian Pointe community, and RealOp Investments just bought a shovel-ready subdivision in Lady Lake with plans for another BFR community to serve the Villages submarket.

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