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6,000-acre Osceola ranch slated for development back on market for $145M

Green Island Ranch on the south shore of Lake Toho is on the market for $145 million. The 6,000-acre ranch would include a future interchange with the Florida Turnpike and has entitlements for 13,000 homes.
Green Island Ranch on the south shore of Lake Toho is on the market for $145 million. The 6,000-acre ranch would include a future interchange with the Florida Turnpike and has entitlements for 13,000 homes. (Osceola County)

One of Osceola County's most renowned ranching families has once again put its 6,000 acres on the market - this time for $145 million.

"This land has been in our family for almost 200 years," listing agent Dusty Calderon, grandson of Henry O. Partin, told GrowthSpotter. "I'm the broker, but I'm also a sixth-generation rancher."

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The Green Island Ranch is a major component of the county's South Lake Toho Element, a master plan approved in 2009. The ranch already has an approved DRI (development of regional impact) with entitlements for 13,000 homes, five schools and millions of square feet for office, industrial and commercial space. The development order even calls for a regional mall and a research park.

A previous developer, Green Island Ventures LLC, bought the entire 6,000-acre ranch in 2008 for $200 million. That company, funded by investors from the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands, defaulted on the project and filed for bankruptcy. A subsequent court order returned the ranch to the Partin family corporation in 2011.

Osceola County approved the master plan for the South Lake Toho area in 2008. The Green Island Ranch makes up half of the area, extending from Canoe Creek Road almost to the southport canal.
Osceola County approved the master plan for the South Lake Toho area in 2008. The Green Island Ranch makes up half of the area, extending from Canoe Creek Road almost to the southport canal. (Osceola County)

Situated on the south shore of Lake Tohopekaliga and spanning both sides of the Florida Turnpike, the approved conceptual plan and development order for Green Island Ranch includes a full interchange with the future Southport Connector, a toll road that will be built by the Osceola County Expressway Authority.

Osceola Community Development Director Kerry Godwin said the South Lake Toho Element is all within the county's urban growth boundary, and is slated to have even more density than the sprawling district on the lake's east shore.

"This element has a lot more of the centers," Godwin said. "There's an urban center, employment centers, community centers and special districts. We planned to have a lot more density in this area because of the turnpike."

The master plan implements the county's "smart growth" philosophy over a 50-year buildout. The Green Island DRI, approved just before the housing crash, was designed to be completed by 2030. The first phase, including 3,000 homes, was to have been completed by 2016.

Godwin said any future developer would have to file for an extension for the DRI buildout or apply to rescind the DRI. The development order, which still lists Green Island Ventures as the master developer, would also have to be amended.

Calderon said the family is not interested in dividing the property. "We're looking to sell the whole thing."

He said he's received multiple inquiries about the ranch since putting it back on market in December. One prospective buyers' group even met with the county's planning staff earlier this month to discuss the property.

Joe Woodard, a broker with Capitol Realty Investment in Pompano Beach, told GrowthSpotter the meeting was extremely preliminary and declined to identify his clients.

About a dozen people accompanied Woodard, but Godwin said there was no written record of who attended, and no business cards were exchanged.

"It was not the owner who came in, and they were not authorized to represent the owner," he said. "They asked about the status of the DRI, and they wanted to understand the comprehensive plan and future land use for the area."

The community, which has entitlements for nearly 3,000 residential units, will feature a new marina on Lake Tohopekaliga.

Mike Moore, president of Mike Moore Construction Company in Palm Beach Gardens, requested the meeting. In his request form, he said they also wanted to discuss transportation issues, expressway access, height restrictions and density.

The county has five DRIs or master-planned communities along the east shore of Lake Toho, including D.R. Horton's Kindred community that's already under construction and the Edgewater DRI, a portion of which was listed last fall for $42 million.

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Land has approvals in place for 3,500 homes and 2,100 multifamily units.

Late last year, the owner of Fontana Lakes, 677-acre ranch immediately north of Green Island, received approval for a conceptual plan for the mixed-use development.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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