C2 Design Group
DHI Communities is under contract to buy 36.7 acres on the southeast corner of U.S. 27 and Sand Mine Road in Polk County’s Four Corners submarket to add apartments, restaurants, and retail. Tampa-based Barkett Realty Group, LLC President Bob Barkett, who represented the buyer, said the sale should close next summer.
DHI is the multifamily division of D.R. Horton, the country’s largest homebuilder. The developer will buy the land from Bobby Howard of Howard Fertilizer to build 375 apartments under its “Ascend” brand, Barkett said. The property includes 7 acres fronting on U.S. 27 that will be used for commercial outparcels. Barkett is marketing those on behalf of DHI for ground lease or built-to-suit. Several restaurants and retailers have expressed interest, he said.
They will be pedestrian-friendly, neighborhood places, Barkett said. “They will be someplace people who live there can walk to for dinner, have a beer and walk home. … The whole intersection is going to be very different in two years.”
DHI has been active in the Four Corners area. The developer recently completed the 354-unit Ascend Waterleigh multifamily community in Horizon West and sold it in February for $91.6 million. Features at the community include a large fitness center with a yoga room and spin room, a heated saltwater pool with lounge chairs and cabanas, BBQ grilling stations, fire pits, and dog park with a grooming station.
The developer is also planning a second multifamily community in Horizon West called Ascend on Avalon.
Across 27 on the northeast corner developer, OneEleven Residential is building a 264-unit apartment community called Harper Grove, which will welcome its first residents in February 2023. Barkett also brokered this deal last year whereby OneEleven paid $4.8 million for the 18-acre site next to Citrus Ridge Academy.
Pulte is building the final phase of its Windsor Island Resort community, which has close to 800 short-term rental vacation homes and townhomes.
Richland Communities is also activating its Sedona Ridge property, a 181-acre assemblage that crosses into Osceola County. The first development phase would be on 17.5 acres next to the K-8 Citrus Ridge Academy on Sand Mine Road.
Winter Park-based Orobak owns 29 acres on Sand Mine Road, tucked between the Highlands Reserve golf community and the Green Swamp, where it’s planning to build 151 townhomes.
Polk county is actually a good place to do business,” Barkett said. “They are business positive. There’s growth there. The government entitites seem to want to see development.”
Land prices have gone up in Polk, just like in surrounding counties, said Barkett, who runs his Tampa-based company with daughter Danielle Barkett. “Not quite what you would see in Orlando but they have moved up quite a bit.” And there’s less and less land available, especially in Four Corners, he said.
“There’s vacant land but it’s spoken for. It’s under contract to people who are qualified to develop it so you have to believe it’s going to happen. I’m surprised how quickly it has disappeared.”
Those spoken for lands include more of Barkett’s clients. “I like Polk County and we’re going to have some other things we’re working on that should break in the next year.”
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