Canadian real estate developer Geosam is wrapping up horizontal construction on the 569-lot Lake Denham Estates subdivision in Leesburg and has a trio of local and national homebuilders under contract for the entire community.
Martin Pham, vice president of Geosam’s Florida office, told GrowthSpotter the subdivision on U.S. 27, across from Lake Harris, was designed to be developed in two phases. But Geosam opted to do the entire 178-acre community in a single phase.
“It’s an aggressive move to deliver 500-plus lots all at once,” he said. “We’re largely there. We have a little bit more utility work and some fine grading. That last 10 percent is hard to close.”
The property was originally assembled and permitted by Centex Homes prior to the recession. Initially intended to be an age-restricted community, the project languished for years until Geosam acquired it and decided to reposition it as a residential community targeting first-time homebuyers and empty nesters, Pham said.
“We work with a lot of the national homebuilders, and we know there’s a high demand for single family at a lower price point,” Pham said. “You’ve got Arlington Ridge and the Villages, but there’s no traditional single family that was being developed at this scale.”
While each builder will set its own pricing, Pham said the goal was for each to offer floorplans with starting prices in the low $200s.
“We’re trying to keep some homes in the range of affordability,” Pham said. “We know the builders offer packages and options that take it well above that.”
D.R. Horton is under contract for 297 lots, including all 54 of the lots that will feature the builder’s single-family attached villa product. Horton was the ideal buyer for those 35-foot lots because the builder currently offers the two-bedroom, two-bath villas in its Palms at Serenoa community in South Lake County.
One- and two-story detached homes will be offered on 40-foot and 50-foot lots. Horton will offer seven floorplans in addition to the villa product.
Meritage Homes will buy 188 lots and will offer five floorplans ranging in size from 1,269-2,168 square feet.
Orlando-based Avex Homes is taking 82 lots. All three builders expect to start construction on models shortly.
“We’ll be offering a mix of product we have in other communities and some new floorplans we designed specifically for this community,” Avex President Eric Marks said. “We’re introducing our new Amazon-based smart home package. It includes Ring doorbell and keyless entry, with Alexa integration.”
Geosam and landscape architect Bonnett Design Group are putting the finishing touches on plans for the amenities and open space. Pham said the community will have a pool and cabana, as well as a tot lot, open play field, yoga lawn and fitness trails. The property includes a strip with access to Lake Denham, but Geosam has no immediate plans to build a fishing dock or boat launch.
“We’re just keeping it as conservation,” he said.
The community is a short drive from the public boat ramps on Lake Harris, just across the street.