A deal to buy Sharp's Mobile Park in downtown Eustis is off, according to the seller, creating an uncertain future for Eustis Lake Club, a Key West-style residential development planned at the lakeside property.
Wilma Sharp says her family was ready to sell more than 7 acres along Lakeshore Drive, adjacent to the city's signature Ferran Park on the south side of downtown, but the buyer terminated the deal just ahead of a planned Aug. 15 closing.
The sale to Eustis Lake Club Development Co. had been in the works for more than a year, but the buyer "couldn't get the financing," Sharp said, because of conditions at the site.
Neither Sharp nor city officials could provide details of the conditions. Sharp speculated it was occasional flooding.
Eustis Lake Club declined to comment.
Early conceptual plans for the community called for 86 single-family bungalow homes in four floorplans.
The Sharp property, with more than 800 feet of shoreline on 7,200-acre Lake Eustis, is temporarily off the market, according to its realtor, Don Oliver of Tyre & Taylor Commercial Realty.
Other pending deals indicate that Eustis Lake Club is not walking away from its project entirely.
Eustis city officials said the development group continues to pursue three parcels in the original plan – the Almand's Citgo Service Station, property owned by All County Collison Repair shop and a property owned by Richard De Marco.
The mobile home park has been on the city's radar for redevelopment for more than a decade. It was identified as a catalyst site for redevelopment in the city's 2008 Downtown Master Plan. Eustis Lake Club was set to receive $3.3 million in CRA incentives. If the deal isn't happening, neither are the incentives, said Eustis spokeswoman Kristina Rosenburg.
"However, if the project evolves or there is a new project, then the amount/incentive would then be based on the project's tax revenue it generates," Rosenburg said.
Meanwhile, the Eustis City Commission continues to consider a land use change for the area of proposed redevelopment from Mobile Home/Recreational Vehicle, General Industrial and Suburban Residential to Urban Residential.
City commissioners are expected to hear a second reading and vote on the proposed changes, recommended for approval by city staff, at the commission meeting Sept. 6. However, the Sharps have withdrawn their authorization for the application of the future land use change.