Lennar Homes paid $16 million this week to buy 323 acres of vacant land adjacent to one of its top-selling communities: Storey Lake Resort.
"It's a successful community for us, and we had a relationship with the land owner," Orlando South Division President Brock Nicholas told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. "We wanted to grow the community and continue to grow in Osceola County."
The seller was Osceola Development Trust. The trust had previously sold a $1.5 million easement to Osceola County for the extension of the Shingle Creek Regional Trail.
Storey Lake, located at the intersection of Osceola Parkway and Vineland Road (S.R. 535), is approved for roughly 2,000 homes. The community offers condos, townhomes, vacation homes and single-family homes. It also has a small commercial tract intended for dining and retail to complement the resort.
Lennar sold over 400 homes across all categories last year in Storey Lake, making it the second largest master-planned community by a single developer, behind only The Villages, Nicholas said.
The value of homes built in 2016 and 2017 total more $134 million, according to the Osceola County Property Appraiser.
Last year, Lennar paid $9.9 million to Westgate Resorts for 73 acres immediately south of Storey Lake. The homebuilder has since won approval for a new section called The Cove at Storey Lake, comprising 243 detached vacation homes on 40-foot and 50-foot lots.
The Cove includes an extension of Natures Ridge Drive, which would have dead-ended into the trust property. Nicholas said Lennar hasn't developed a site plan yet for the trust property, but the location would favor further development of the builder's vacation home product line.
Lennar is also currently building a new signalized intersection between Storey Lake Boulevard and U.S. 192 to create an entrance to the community directly off the tourism corridor.