Two new residential subdivisions could boost the population of Lake County’s Town of Astatula within a few years.
The Mary K. Eddy Trust, working with Jim Stout of TKC Platinum Properties, have site plan approvals in place for a new 60-lot subdivision on Little Lake Harris called Colina del Lago. The developer has filed construction plans with St. Johns River Water Management District and expects to be moving dirt as early as mid-November.
“Astatula is a smaller town,” Stout said. “There hasn’t been any new development of any size in the last 50 years.”
Stout told GrowthSpotter the formed a homebuilding company, called Green Tech Homes, so they could develop the project themselves. But they are also marketing it for sale for $1.875 million as entitled or $3.95 million with finished lots. The approved plan calls for all half-acre lots, including three directly on the lake with dock access. Stout said they would only consider a sale to a buyer who purchased the entire project.
The community is two blocks from the town’s public boat ramp, so Stout expects it will attract a lot of boaters. He said home prices would start at $350,000 for the interior lots. All of the homes will have side-entry garages, and boat/truck parking would be permitting behind the house, he said.
The lack of public utilities hindered new growth. But Stout said the Eddy Trust is paying for a second well to upgrade the city’s water system, which will raise the water pressure to 1,000 gallons per minute, the minimum allowed under state building codes.
“A lot of people have hangups because they want sewer service,” Stout said. “But with half-acre lots, you’ve got plenty of room for a septic system.”
The 87-acres were assembled back in 2004 and 2005, but the previous owner never completed the permitting. The Eddy Trust was able to acquire the 11-parcels last November for just $599,000. In addition to the utilities investment, Stout said the developer is also extending fiber optic service to the community, which will be included as part of the HOA, and pre-paying more than $300,000 in impact fees to guarantee the project meets school concurrency.
The Eddy Trust also has a 52-acre assemblage at Georgia Avenue and Monroe Street. Stout said the property was zoned for a mobile home community with up to 416 units, but instead the developers are seeking a land use change and rezoning to Planned Unit Development.
The developers will be installing a private sewer treatment facility for the PUD, which will be called Tula Parc. The plans call for 20,000 square feet of commercial development and 184 detached single family homes. The Eddy Trust paid $1.8 million in separate transactions to buy the land.
The Astatula Town Council is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to transmit the Comprehensive Plan Amendment to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The CPA would change the future land use to Planned Residential, which would allow a maximum density of 6 dwelling units per acre, or 312 homes. The PUD application goes to the Planning and Zoning Board on Oct. 22.
Situated across the Little Lake Harris from Howey-in-the-Hills, Astatula has a population of 1,637, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Its proximity to the new Minneola interchange on the Florida’s Turnpike means residents can reach downtown Orlando in less than 40 minutes, Stout said.
“I think there will be other builders come now because no one knew they had city water before,” Stout said.