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Osceola County Developments

Sterling Group wins bidding war for land on Lake Lizzie

A Canadian homebuilder with other projects in Osceola County is planning a 54-home subdivision on the Lake Lizzie acreage.

Canadian homebuilder Sterling Group paid $2.575 million this week for 17 acres of prime lakefront property in fast-growing St. Cloud.

The acreage at 1795 Pine Grove Rd. was part of a 22-acre pastoral estate built by Orlando attorney Rainier Munns and his wife, April. The couple sold their custom-built Spanish Mediterannean mansion, land and guest house on Lake Lizzie in 2017 for $4.25 million, which at the time was one of the most expensive home sales in Osceola County.

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The buyers, Scott and Dina Roberts, lived there for three years before relocating out of state and putting the property back on the market.

The land includes nearly 1,000 feet of shoreline on Lake Lizzie.

Miranda Cady of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty’s Southeast Orlando office had the exclusive listing for both the house and the adjacent acreage. She sold the 8,863-square-foot mansion last summer to a buyer from Singapore for $3.4 million cash after splitting the lot and marketing the 17 acres for development. The combined selling price of the two parcels totals $5.975 million.

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“This unique residential offering was subdivided for optimal value which ultimately commanded a combined significant sale price, shattering the record previously set by the same property,” Cady said. “Both listings secured international buyers — an indication of the heightened interest and strong demand for Orlando area real estate in one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation.”

With 930 feet of shoreline on a recreational lake across from a 1,000-acre nature preserve, the land included a five-bedroom, three-bath guesthouse, stables/casita and direct access to the Alligator Chain of Lakes. The site is one of the last remaining parcels on Pine Grove Road, where Landsea Homes, American Homes 4Rent and Pulte all have active subdivision projects underway.

Cady told GrowthSpotter the listing generated multiple offers from homebuilders. The deal included $925,000 in seller financing in the form of a balloon mortgage.

Led by President Paul Federico, Sterling Group entered the Florida market in 2020 with the acquisition of 30.5-acre site on Mill Slough Road, just west of Florida’s Turnpike and north of Osceola Heritage Park. Sterling has approved plans for a 190-home townhome community. Federico said the townhomes will be fee simple units with projected prices between $250,000 and $350,000. “Our target market will be entry-level/ first-time buyers with the larger units geared to move-up buyers,” he said in a 2021 interview. “Some units will accommodate multi-generational famil units, more so the wider end units with two-car garages.”

This conceptual plan creates fewer overall lots, 52, but more of them would have water views because the existing pond would be expanded.

Federico said the company has a team of local experts assisting in the company’s Florida expansion. “We are actively looking for more opportunities of this nature,” he said. “I’ve been researching the central Florida housing market for some time, more particularly, the Greater Orlando Area. Market fundamentals are very strong with high demand chasing low inventory. I think this trend line will continue especially as more buyers return to the market after the pandemic wanes. We, therefore, felt that the timing was a good entry point for Sterling.”

Federico submitted three conceptual plans to Osceola County back in March when he initially requested a pre-application meeting. But he canceled the meeting and started working directly with the City of St. Cloud after being told he would need to apply for annexation to receive utility service, Cady said.

The highest density option would create a dozen 50x120 foot lots on the lakefront and 62 townhomes, for a total of 74 homesites. The 5.9 unit/acre density would not be permitted under the city’s Low Density Residential zoning.

The other two concepts are similar in density. The main difference is the location of the stormwater retention pond. Both retain the 12 lakefront lots but replace the townhomes with 36-foot bungalow lots. One plan has 40 bungalows, the other has 44. RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture created the conceptual plans.

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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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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