With the nearly 3,200 residential lots in Hills of Minneola sold or under contract, master developer Sun Terra Communities is passing the baton to Skorman Development.
Sun Terra bought roughly 1,200 acres of the master-planned community in 2017 for $70.8 million and has secured buyers for all of the residential land. Earlier this month, Sun Terra sold back about 300 acres of undeveloped non-residential parcels for $29 million to the previous owner, Family Dynamics Land Co.
Sun Terra Principal Richard Jerman told GrowthSpotter the sale was a pass-through for Skorman, and it includes entitlements for a hospital campus, commercial uses and a research/industrial park.
“Now I’m the developer, and I’m finishing up the project — and this is really what I do,” Vice President Kevin Skorman said. “Richard Jerman is probably the best residential developer in Central Florida. I have the highest regard for him, but he’s not a commercial guy, and I’m a commercial guy. So this is exactly what I do.”
The company has a long history with the project. Skorman bought the 30-acre multifamily site just north of Minneola High School in 2017 and last year completed the 297-unit Minneola Hills apartment community.
“We just fully leased it all up,” Skorman said. “Right now we’re designing the buildings for the second phase and will be starting construction very soon.”
When completed, the two stand-alone communities will have 625 rental units, which he believes will complement the medical and commercial uses in the community.
Skorman told GrowthSpotter he’s very close to finalizing a deal for an acute care hospital with an out-of-market healthcare company, and the deal may include an expanded medical campus on Hancock Road northeast of Florida’s Turnpike interchange.
“Right now already entitled on the plan, there’s 50 acres for medical, and then there’s about 100 acres next door to it for commercial,” Skorman said. “So part of that commercial is probably going to go with the medical, and then part of the commercial I will pick up next door to it. So it will be a big hospital medical campus with some really nice commercial.”
Skorman said the retail would be developed in partnership with his brother-in-law, Michael Berkowitz, who is president of Miami-based Berkowitz Development Group.
The 169-acre industrial pod is northwest of the Hancock Road interchange. Jerman said that despite record demand for industrial land, this particular site could be tricky to develop for warehouses because it has so many elevation changes. Skorman said he hasn’t determined a clear direction or plan for the industrial site.
“I haven’t gotten far enough along on the industrial to talk too much about it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sun Terra is closing in on sales for the residential lots. The developer sold all the 40-foot and 50-foot lots in Phase 1 of its Villages of Minneola Hills to Meritage Homes a year ago. Jerman said Meritage didn’t want the 60-foot lots, so Sun Terra just sold the remaining 46 lots to Ashton Woods/Starlight Homes for $4.25 million.
Pulte Homes closed the purchase of its 369 acres at Hancock Road and County Road 561-A, which will be home to a new 846-home Del Webb active adult community. The project is divided into six development phases, but sections 1 and 2, comprising 200 lots, will be developed simultaneously. The builder paid $21.15 million for the acreage, according to a deed recorded Aug. 13.
Meanwhile, Jerman said the remaining 967 lots are under contract to another homebuilder.
The final component of Hills of Minneola will be a gated, cottage-style Build-for-Rent (BFR) community in the town center, between the Publix and the turnpike. Phoenix-based Curve Development will build one of its signature Cyrene-branded communities with a mix of one-story detached and two-story attached rental homes with up to four bedrooms.
The developer, which is affiliated with JEN Partners, has already had a pre-application meeting with Minneola city planners and will be submitting a site plan soon. Curve entered the Florida market this year with its first project in the Tampa region and is poised to scale quickly throughout the state and nationally.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to included information related to the sale of the Del Webb land.
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