The City of Clermont has sold a hilltop parcel it once planned as home for its new police station to Brazilian investors for $1.308 million, according to Lake County sale records and Jim Hitt, the city's economic development director.
Hitt said the purchaser, Fonstock Real Estate Investments LLC, said it has no immediate development plans for the 3.9-acre parcel.
Located at 1775 Hooks St. on the corner with Citrus Tower Boulevard, has 840 feet of frontage as well as broad views of the city and nearby Lake Minneola, said Hitt, adding it would make a dramatic location for a restaurant.
The principals of Fonstock, Carlos Alberto Da Fonseca and Silvana Regina Da Fonseca, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the couple are registered with multiple affiliate LLCs in Florida, one of which owns an office condo in Orlando on Kingspointe Parkway.
The extreme topography on the parcel was one reason the city decided to build its new police station instead on land next to the former Clermont Arts and Recreation Center, formerly the Celebration of Praise Church. Configuring the hill-top land to work for the police station would have increased the budget substantially, city officials said at the time.
Hitt said he received a couple of calls a week from people interested in the high-profile property, including one caller who wanted to put a used car lot on the land until he heard the $1.9 million asking price, he recalled.
The land is zoned commercial, which makes it flexible for many types of development, Hitt said.
The city never expected to get the full $1.9 million asking price for the land, Hitt added, and had no other offers other than Fonstock in the six-plus months it was on the market.