Winter Park-based The Keewin Real Property Company has secured funding and builders for Phase 1 of Cypress Park Estates in Haines City. The first phase will add 354 of the planned 704 single-family homes along Baker Dairy Road and E. Johnson Ave. (also known as Cypress Parkway).
Trez Capital, based in Dallas, is the financing partner for Keewin, which closed on the 157 acres of Cypress Parkway Estates in late 2020 from citrus grower Wheeler Farms. Trez Capital is financing Phase 1 development and in talks with Keewin for the company to finance the next two phases, Keewin managing partner McKinzie Terrill told GrowthSpotter.
D.R. Horton Homes, Lennar Homes, Dream Finders Homes and Park Square Homes are the builders, having purchased all the lots from Keewin, Terrill said. Homes will start in the low $200,000s and range in size from 1,400 square feet to 3,000 square feet. Terrill declined to say how many lots each builder purchased. He expects the finished lots to be delivered to the builders in August. Keewin is planning a fountain entry and boulevard; resort-style pool and cabana area; two dog parks (one for big dogs and one for small dogs); large open-area play field; walking trails; and two parks with playgrounds.
“We want people to have a sense of arrival when they come into the entrance and pride in their community,” Terrill said. “It is important to make sure this community isn’t your classic community in Polk County. We recognize that these buyers have more options. It’s not only a value play for this corridor anymore.”
There is value in driving farther from Orlando and Tampa, Terrill said, but that’s not the only reason people are moving to Polk County, and in particular, the eastern and north side of the county. Johnson Avenue is “really the only access to Osceola, which services Kissimmee, St. Cloud” and other communities. In addition, services and job makers such as AdventHealth Heart of Florida medical center and nearby Disney, which is the largest employer and increased retail and commercial opportunities are drawing buyers, he said.
Keewin previously developed Summlin Groves, a 155-lot subdivision, nearby at Johnson Road and Powerline Road. That community was sold to KB Homes, which is actively selling in the neighborhood.
“Haines City is just a great city; they have at least one of everything. And they have that great feel of hometown.” Terrill said. “I believe strongly that there is an attraction to that level and being so close to Orlando and great access to get to Tampa in 40, 45 minutes. And larger employment centers are important as well. Value sure – but there is more to it in my mind. With the growing commercial base, there are just real jobs. And that always equates to more housing opportunities.”
Keewin would like to acquire more land around Cypress Park Estates to expand into additional phases, Terrill said. “We might be a little landlocked, we’re not sure yet. If an opportunity arose, we would absolutely look at it. We’re always looking at larger opportunities – 300 plus units really - in the Central Florida corridor.”
Keewin chairman and founder Allan E. Keen sees Cypress Park Estates establishing “an entirely new residential corridor between Osceola and Polk Counties, including easy access to I-4 and Walt Disney World.”
Just west of Cypress Park Estates, land developer Cassidy Organization has assembled and entitled a 585-lot subdivision on 130 acres at the Baker Dairy Road - Powerline Road intersection.
Haines City has helped Keewin facilitate the extension of off-site utilities such as water, sewer and reuse by two miles, Terrill said. The city also helped facilitate Keewin’s work on a new traffic light and road improvements.
“Haines City has been really great to work with,” Terrill said. “They have been good to us and very responsive.”
As Haines City Deputy Director of Development Mark Bennett said when the city approved zoning changes in October 2019: “We don’t get 700-unit projects for Haines City very often.” The community is expected to boost the city’s population by about 2,000 people.
Builders jumped at the growth opportunity, seeing the demand for homes of different sizes and price points.
“We’re seeing all kinds of buyers step into that market now because of that access, because of the hospital,” Terrill said. “We’ve got a great mix of those builders and really feel good about their take-down schedule and ability to be successful.”