The Sovereign Land Company has lined up two homebuilders for its 163-acre Cypress Bluff community on the site of the former Groveland Mansion on Lake Lucy.
“We were always planning to buy it and then we partnered with KB Home,” said Kyle Sanders of Sovereign Land Co. “We have had the land under contract since 2019 and it took us this long to get all the permits and approvals, then we lined up building with KB Home. We closed on the deal last week.” KB paid $3.5 million for the project. KB then sold roughly half of the residential lots to Hanover Land Company for $3.48 million.
The companies purchased the land from a German bank, which had an entity set up for it called Indigo Land Groveland, LLC.
Sanders said development should begin almost immediately on the new urbanist project, located in Groveland. Once the development team files a final plat in about six to nine months, the commercial portion of the project will be deeded back to Sovereign and its development partner, Loma Land Co. Those parcels are entitled for about 45,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.
The developer received approval from the Groveland City Council in September 2021 for 386 homes and a village center.
“It will be new urbanist density,” following recently updated comprehensive plan requirements, he said. “There will be a town center and then mixed residential, including townhomes, some smaller single-family homes and some larger single-family homes, including several lots with views of Lake Lucy.”
Sanders said he and partner Greg Clark will allow the market to determine the timing for the commercial development. He said once the project sells enough homes to support the village center, then it will be constructed. “We hope it will have restaurants, maybe a brewery, a yoga studio and a coffee shop. A bank would also be great,” he said, but the town center is not large enough to support a supermarket. Instead, the plan is to attract a small market the neighborhood can support.
The City of Groveland initially turned down plans for Cypress Bluff because it did not meet the standards developed in an update of the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. “We hired Alex Stringfellow with Stringfellow Planning and Design” and made numerous changes to the plan. “It became more of a new urbanist village design,” which is what the city council wanted, Sanders said.
The 163-acre development originally called for 437 homes. Now, with the changes to the design, it includes more green space and increased yard setbacks from five feet to 10 feet.
Sanders said he and his partners worked closely with the city’s Planning and Zoning staff to produce a plan the city would approve. It now includes 56 townhomes, 84 small lots and 246 front-loaded lots in two sizes – 60 feet and 70 feet. The original large public park was ditched in favor of several smaller community parks. That includes an observation park on a hilltop where a former mansion stood, allowing for better views.
KB Home finds this project a great fit, said company spokeswoman Kara Cane. “Our past success in Groveland includes Wilson Estates and Stewart Lake Preserve along with this stellar location. The Sovereign team worked diligently to bring the community to fruition. Hanover Capital Partners was our partner in the deal and through their partnership we were able to collaborate on a successful outcome.”
She said the location on Villa City Road with easy access to S.R. 50 and the Florida Turnpike makes Cypress Bluff easily accessible. “The lakefront location with an amenity and walking trails will create an environment that will facilitate an active community,” Cane said.
KB Homes has also been involved in other new urbanist developments, including Summerlake in Horizon West and Orchard Park. It has also constructed homes in Kissimmee’s Tapestry, along with multiple projects across the county.
KB Homes is working with Tom Knight Engineering on the Cypress Bluff project.