Lake County Developments

Meritage buys homesites in Howey-in-the-Hills, where more activity awaits

Meritage Homes has bought 38 lots from Flagship Companies Group at Venezia in Howey-in-the-Hills, which has the eye of other developers.

UPDATED: September 27, 2018, 5:34 PM — Meritage Homes has plans for dozens of single-family homes to close out the Venezia subdivision at Howey-in-the-Hills, where it will build the last homes in a 172-lot development set in an active area of Lake County.

The builder this week has been seeking city approval for the models of homes that will be built in the community sometimes referred to as Venezia South, located, south and east of State Road 19, north of Revels Road and west of Lakeshore Boulevard.


Meritage purchased 38 fully developed lots, which are less than 5 miles from Florida's Turnpike, from Flagship Companies Group for $2.052 million in June.

With approvals being sought nearby for other communities, the mix of distance from urban areas with a short drive to the Turnpike seems to be attractive to buyers, Adam Schott, Director of Land Acquisition for Meritage, told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday.


"It's not exactly right on a busy road, so you get a little more quiet, peaceful place to live, but it just takes a few minutes down [S.R.] 19 to get onto the Turnpike," Schott said. "It gives a sense of getting away from a busy, hectic life ... but can get back to services and work pretty quickly."

Multiple floor plans have been approved by the city with more in the revision stage, Schott said, and a model home will likely begin construction this week or next. Venezia is listed as Meritage's only active development in Lake County, with a page that says "coming soon" on the builder's website. At this time it is not planning to build townhomes at Venezia, for which entitlements exist along with commercial property. Pathfinder Development Group and Dream Finders Homes have built homes in the subdivision.

To the north, land-use plan and zoning changes are being sought for Talichet, which includes property previously referred to as Venezia North and another 10 acres, with Flagship discussing changes with the city in recent months, according to city documents. A site plan filed with the city shows 133 single-family home sites, with lot widths recently under discussion.

Venezia North and South were planned before the Great Recession and sat idle until development plans were revived in 2013.

Other developments in the works from Meritage include:

  • 200 townhomes in the planned Greens at Forest Lake community in Ocoee on the West Orange Trail and Forest Lake Golf Club near State Road 429, and about 3 miles from where Meritage has developed high-end, single-family homes.
  • A mix of single-family homes on 50- and 70-foot lots and townhomes in south Seminole County in the Hawk’s Crest development where Taylor Morrison also is building single-family homes on 40-foot lots.
  • A mix of single-family homes and townhomes at Sand Lake Sound off Turkey Lake Road in Dr. Phillips on lots to be acquired on a takedown basis from CDCG Asset Management. That 85-acre site also is home to plans for multifamily housing from Greystar Development and from The Hanover Company.

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