LGI Homes, the nation’s 10th largest homebuilder known for affordability is bringing an upscale product line to Reunion Village.
The Texas-based homebuilder paid $3.65 million this week for the first residential pod within the Reunion Village mixed-use district. The transaction covers 41 platted residential lots and a recreation tract just north of the planned Orlando Health medical campus at the I-4 ChampionsGate interchange.
Boca Raton-based Encore Homes, master developer of Reunion, was the seller. Encore went through a major redesign of the community last year to increase the minimum lot size from 30 feet to 40 feet. The total number of lots in the first phase went from 52 to 41, according to the plat that was approved in October 2020.
While many of the lots are within 100 feet of the interstate, they present a rare opportunity for home buyers to enter a market known for luxury vacation homes and golf courses. This is the first of three residential phases in the 108-acre community that are not approved for short-term rental. Future phases, which are set back from the interstate, are currently in permitting for 206 lots.
Founded in 2002, LGI is publicly-traded on the NASDAQ and currently builds and sells homes in 19 states. As of the end of January 2021, the Company had 106 active selling communities, including 10 in the Orlando region.
The builder typically offers a mix of one- and two-story homes with prices starting at around $220,000. Each features an open-concept floorplan with a 2-car garage with a WiFi-enabled opener. All homes come standard with the builder’s CompleteHome package, highlighted by Whirlpool appliances, programmable thermostats, 36″ upper-wood cabinets with crown molding and professional front yard landscaping
LGI Homes Marketing Director Rachel Eaton told GrowthSpotter this would be the first community in Central Florida to feature the builder’s CompleteHomes Plus package, which includes upgrades such as 9-foot ceilings, designer doors, enhanced landscaping that extends to the back yard, superior lighting packages, faux-wood blinds and two-toned interior paint. In these homes, the kitchens come with 42-inch cabinets and upgraded appliances.
Eaton said the pricing hasn’t been released for Reunion Village, but she expects the homes will start in the mid-$300,000s.
The only other Florida community to exclusively offer CompleteHome Plus floorplans is in Pasco County, north of Wesley Chapel, in a master-planned community with its own Crystal Lagoon. There the company introduced a townhouse product line starting at $240,000.
Eaton said she anticipates a sales launch at Reunion this summer.
Orlando Health applied for building permits in late 2019 for 47,000-square-foot building that would house an emergency room on the ground floor and medical offices on the two upper floors, but the project appears to be on hold for now. The site is entitled for a 240-bed full hospital and up to 96,000 square feet of office space, according to the approved planned development.
New shops and restaurants fronting on C.R. 532 are underway or in permitting. Those include a Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Starbucks and Flippers pizza.
LGI Homes is coming off a stellar year in 2020 in which it closed 9,339 homes, surpassing its previous annual record set in 2019 by over 21%. CEO Eric Lipar told shareholders last month he expects the company to maintain the pace in 2021.
“As we start 2021, we continue to see strong demand in all of our markets and maintain our positive view on the long-term outlook for homeownership,” he added. “As a result of our outstanding performance in 2020 and dynamics related to the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus in 2021 will be on maintaining our industry-leading returns and margins while building our land supply with a view to expanding our community count in 2022. We expect to have between 112 and 120 active communities at the end of 2021. Based on this range and our expectation to maintain our industry-leading absorptions, we expect full year 2021 home closings to be between 9,200 and 9,800.”