Lennar Homes eyeing another 156 acres next to ChampionsGate Country Club

Lennar Homes could be adding more land to its vast holdings in the ChampionsGate area for another major expansion of the golf resort and vacation home community.

The homebuilder and its development team are scheduled to meet with Osceola County's Development Review Committee next week to discuss the zoning and site plan for four parcels on the north side of Bella Citta Boulevard totaling 156 acres. 

The "Fox South" property abuts land already approved for Lennar's ChampionsGate Country Club expansion, and it provides an east-west connection between that project and the future Westside Boulevard extension.

Lennar would be required to build the four-lane, divided boulevard from Bella Citta through the middle of the Fox South land, but it would be eligible for substantial mobility fee credits. 

Bonnett Design Group and KPM Franklin collaborated on the site plan, which splits the project into two main sections. The half east of Westside Boulevard would be joined to the ChampionsGate Country Club expansion project now underway.

Lennar filed a Site Development Plan this month for the first phase (141 lots) of a seven-phase expansion around the country club golf course. The total expansion is approved for 821 homes, townhomes and condominium units.

Lennar Orlando South Division President Brock Nicholas told GrowthSpotter last year that a substantial number of the new homesites would include country club membership and golf privileges, and that section would not allow vacation rentals.

"We're developing an enormous country club that's not anything to do with the vacation homes," he said at the time. "It doesn't allow short-term rentals. The country club will be about 800 homes at full buildout." 

Residents now have access to Lennar's Oasis amenity center, but the country club eventually would have its own private 9,500-square-foot clubhouse called The Plaza. Nicholas said it would have a two-tiered pool deck, fitness club, grille room, putting green and pickle ball court.

Last year, county planners indicated they wouldn't approve the expansion without road connectivity to Westside Boulevard, which the Fox South property provides.

The land also gives the builder another 120 homesites for its country club expansion on lots ranging in size from 40 to 80 feet wide. All of the land east of Westside Boulevard is designated for the country club. 

The land west of Westside Boulevard would be a short-term rental community dubbed "The Retreat." It would have a total of 310 homes, townhomes and condos build in two phases, plus an amenity center and private park. Here, also, the lot sizes would vary from 40 feet to 80 feet in width.

Lennar previously had 30 acres just north of the Fox South property under contract but never closed on the purchase. The "Baxter parcels" would have provided the needed east-west connection, but it wouldn't have guaranteed that Westside Boulevard would be built all the way to Bella Citta.

Westside Boulevard, which eventually will link U.S. 192 to Ronald Reagan Parkway, is considered a multimodal corridor on Osceola County's long-range transportation plan. Developers are filling in the missing sections for mobility fee credits.

Mattamy Homes has completed a half-mile section along its Solara at Westside vacation home resort, near the intersection of Westside and Florence Villa Grove/Goodman Road. 

Two other developers, Eli Steinhardt and Jean Marsan, closed earlier this month on 184 acres on the Westside corridor. As their projects develop, they could be responsible for filling even more gaps on the boulevard.

The Fox South property is just a quarter of a mile east of Waterstone, which is just over the Polk County line, at the intersection of Bella Citta and U.S. 27. Tampa-based Bering Homes is seeking permits to build 464 new vacation homes and 300 apartments on that property.  

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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