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CalAtlantic Group paid $11.2 million this week for the 216 lots in Phase 2 of Whaley's Creek, outlined in red.
CalAtlantic Group paid $11.2 million this week for the 216 lots in Phase 2 of Whaley's Creek, outlined in red. (Sun Terra Communities)

As CalAtlantic Group nears the final buildout of its popular Esprit community in St. Cloud, the homebuilder paid $11.2 million on Tuesday to remain in the neighborhood.

The company bought out Phase 2 of Whaley's Creek, 216 lots of a 499-home subdivision on Canoe Creek Road directly across from Esprit.

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Master developer Sun Terra Communities sold Phase 1 (169 lots) last year to Pulte Group, which relaunched its entry-level Centex brand at Whaley's Creek.

"They're doing very well," Sun Terra principal Richard Jerman said. "I think they've sold 80 or 90 in the first year."

The 235 acres were held for two years by land banker Sun Terra Communities, which rezoned the property for building in four phases.

Jerman said construction would start soon on the amenity center, which should open around September.  The deal with CalAtlantic comprises 216 finished lots, a mix of 50-foot and 60-foot lots. The builder paid $52,000 per lot regardless of the size.

"They've been very successful at Esprit," Jerman said. "They've owned that project for a long time, and they're experienced in the first-time homebuyer market."

The two partnered on another Sun Terra project -- Eagle Bay in Kissimmee. Jerman said he expects CalAtlantic will build new models at Whaley's Creek.

With horizontal construction well underway at Osceola County's new active adult community The Lakes at Harmony, master developer Starwood Land Ventures has sold the first 43 lots to CalAtlantic Group for $2 million.

CalAtlantic, formed by the merger of Standard Pacific and Ryland Homes, currently offers eight floorplans at Esprit starting in the low $200s. The builder has 52 active communities in Central Florida, including six in Osceola County.

The builder has been introducing new home designs over the last several months at communities in Florida, Indiana and Arizona.

Officials with the company declined to comment for this article because the corporation is in an SEC quiet period leading up to its Fourth Quarter earnings report next month.

Jerman said the final two phases of Whaley's Creek are entitled but have not been platted yet. Sun Terra likely wouldn't begin construction on Phase 3 until 2018 at the earliest.

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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