Lennar expects to close in the next few months on the first of two major additions to ChampionsGate, a top executive told GrowthSpotter.
The developer filed construction plans last week for a 30-acre site adjacent to the next phase of its ChampionsGate Country Club expansion on the north side of Bella Citta Boulevard. The plans call for 125 homesites plus a road connection to the future Westside Boulevard extension.
It was first reported here last year that Lennar had a purchase contract on the Baxter property. Now Mark McDonald, director of land development for Lennar Orlando, has confirmed the builder is also under contract for the 156 acres known as the "Fox South" property.
"I don't' think there's much risk of us not acquiring this property," McDonald said. "We've got a willing seller. I think he's always thought Lennar would be the buyer because of our success at ChampionsGate."
McDonald met last week with Osceola County's Development Review Committee to review the company's overall vision and strategy for expanding ChampionsGate. With both properties under one plan, Lennar would have two east-west connections to Westside and the potential for 585 more homes, condos and townhomes.
"Before Fox even became an option, we were in discussion to connect through Baxter," McDonald said.
Lennar rezoned the Baxter property last year and filed a Preliminary Subdivision Plan in January. He said the developer intends to bring both projects into their respective CDD and homeowners associations.
The developer also filed a Site Development Plan in March for the first phase (141 lots) of a seven-phase expansion around the country club golf course. That expansion is approved for 821 homes, townhomes and condominium units.
The combination of all three projects would add more than 1,400 homesites to the project, which is still within the entitlements allowed in the Stoneybrook South DRI. McDonald said the county has recommended Lennar rescind the DRI, but the builder has resisted because it doesn't want to lose its vested rights -- particularly the ability to have gated streets.
If Lennar wants to keep the DRI active, it would need to file a Notice of Proposed Change to add the Baxter and Fox properties to the project, county planners said.