After managing the buildout of Starkey Ranch, Tampa Bay's top-selling master-planned community, for the last six years, St. Cloud-based Gentry Land Co. is turning it sites to a project closer to home.
Gentry Principal Reed Berlinsky told GrowthSpotter he has a purchase contract on 103 acres on U.S. 192, just east of Alligator Lake and across from Sun Terra Community's Harmony West expansion.
"The seller is a friend of the family I've known all my life," Berlinsky said. "They've had it under a contract a couple of times before. We agreed to take a look at it, and we went ahead and had it rezoned to Mixed-Use."
The rezoning is on Osceola County's Development Review Committee's consent agenda for Wednesday, meaning it already has approval from staff. The DRC is also scheduled to approve Berlinsky's Concept Plan, which entitles the property for 309 homes and about 92,000 square feet of commercial or civic uses.
Boca Raton-based Equity Investments LLC, which has partnered with Gentry on several Central Florida developments, is also a joint venture partner on this deal. Some of their projects include Vistas at Waters Edge in Apopka and Preserve at Turtle Creek in St. Cloud.
Berlinsky has named the community Pine Glen, which foreshadows his landscaping plans. "I'll plant it heavily with pines," he said. "I did that at Starkey and will do that again."
The property is directly across E192 from the 55-acre AmeraTrail mixed-use project, which also received county approval in 2018. St. Cloud-based AmeraTrail, which builds custom boat trailers, is planning for a new 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and sales center in Phase 1. Future phases would include 106 residential units.
Berlinsky said the development activity at AmeraTrail and Harmony West convinced him the timing was right to invest in the area. A future north-south toll road eventually will link the area to Osceola Parkway Extension and Tavistock's Sunbridge master-planned community.
"The market's changing a little bit, so we're watching everything around us," he said.