UPDATED: MARCH 8, 2016 1:18 PM — An LLC tied to a local developer bought two strategically located undeveloped parcels on Lake Dora behind downtown Mount Dora's Lakeside Inn last week for $2.8 million from an insurance company that has held the land since 1998.
While the two parcels -- one 1.3 acres and the other 3 acres -- are zoned commercial, they stand out in the town because they remain forested and wild on the city's waterfront.
The land was sold by Great American Life Insurance to the recently created 125NDS LLC. Gerard Guenther Jr. is the LLC's title manager.
Guenther told GrowthSpotter on Monday that the opportunity to purchase the land from the insurance company was rather sudden, and he hasn't formalized plans for its potential development.
He was surprised when the land was offered.
"I do business with insurance companies," he said. "Insurance companies buy a lot of land but they don't sell a lot of it."
The opportunity was one he didn't want to turn down.
"It's a strategic location for the city," he said. "Once we get more information we will let you know what we plan."
A Mount Dora city spokesperson said the city's leaders had no idea the land was on the market, much less sold. A year ago, Mount Dora's former city manager told the Orlando Sentinel that the city was keeping an eye on the property because of its key downtown location.
Since then, two city managers have left Mount Dora's administration.
Great American Life Insurance paid a total of $2.075 million for the two parcels in 1998, according to Lake County Property Appraiser records.
Editor's Note: This story was updated on March 8 to correct the spelling of Gerard Guenther Jr.'s name
Teresa Burney can be reached at 352-455-1955, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.