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Mobile home park operator buys RV park with marina on East Lake Toho for $10 million

A Tampa company paid $10 million for the 97-acre Boggy Creek Resort and RV Park, which is also home to the East Lake Fish Camp restaurant and marina.
A Tampa company paid $10 million for the 97-acre Boggy Creek Resort and RV Park, which is also home to the East Lake Fish Camp restaurant and marina. (Osceola County)

A Tampa-based mobile home park operator has paid $10 million for the Boggy Creek Resort and RV Park that was slated for residential development.

Mark J. “Jamie” Sullivan, CEO of Summit Communities, purchased the property through an affiliate called East Toho LLC. Sullivan intends to continue operating the resort, formerly known as the East Lake Fish Camp. The park stretches across 97 acres on the south side of Boggy Creek Road, across from Tohopekaliga High School. It has over 250 RV sites, dozens of cabins, a pool, a restaurant and 150-slip marina.

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Longtime owner Waldo Morris died in 2020, and his family, who live in Iowa, divested of the asset. Morris had tried for years to sell the resort to luxury homebuilders to develop as the final phase of the Marina Bay Planned Development, but they could never close a deal. Under the terms of the PD, the third phase is entitled for 171 homes, all on 70-foot lots.

The approved Marina Bay PD called for a total of 422 single family homes, all on 70-foot lots, along with an internal lake and boat lift and 150-slip marina. Parcels "A" and "B" have already been completed, leaving only Parcel "C." It's entitled for another 171 lots.
The approved Marina Bay PD called for a total of 422 single family homes, all on 70-foot lots, along with an internal lake and boat lift and 150-slip marina. Parcels "A" and "B" have already been completed, leaving only Parcel "C." It's entitled for another 171 lots. (Rj Whidden & Associates)

In 2016, Pulte had a purchase contract and initiated a rezoning to allow for an upscale, boating community. The builder walked away from the deal due to the anticipated costs for removing existing infrastructure, including a private wastewater treatment facility.

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Ashton Woods put the property under contract in 2019 and tried for close to a year to get approval for a PD amendment that would have conformed to the densities allowed under the county’s Low-Density Residential zoning. Their plan called for 429 homes with a mix of townhomes, bungalows and traditional homes on different lot sizes.

Osceola County Commissioners unanimously rejected the plan submitted by Ashton Woods.

Sullivan engaged Rj Whidden & Associates to assist with obtaining a minor PD amendment that clarified the types of improvements he can make to the property if he maintains the RV park and marina as an interim use. Rj Whidden Vice President John Adams said the PD allows the owner to continue operating the existing facilities until they are displaced by new residential development.

“It could be operated indefinitely as an interim use,” Adams said. “OK, but at some point, the existing uses have to be fixed, so the PD amendment was really submitted to clarify all those things and to establish what can and can’t be done under the current code. So it really wasn’t asking for any new uses, just to define what would be allowed on the renovation stage.”

Sullivan could not be reached for comment. Prior to founding Summit, he served in roles at Goldman Sachs and at the White House.

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

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