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Developer seeks approval for 873-home subdivision on Osceola’s Hickory Tree Road

The preliminary site plan for Triple H Ranch South calls for 280 townhomes and 593 detached home lots.
The preliminary site plan for Triple H Ranch South calls for 280 townhomes and 593 detached home lots. (Hanson Walter & Associates)

Orlando developer Kal Hussein was an early investor in Osceola County’s East Narcoossee area, having put deals together for multiple builders on Jones and Jack Branch roads.

Now he’s turning his attention south of U.S. 192, to the Hickory Tree Road corridor. Hussein’s KRDK Investments is under contract to buy the southern half of the Triple H Ranch property that was bought and assembled by Douglas Partners CEO Douglas Hoeksema in 2019.

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“This corridor really has a lot of potential now, because if you start on 417, on Narcoossee, and you start going south you’ve got Jones Road, Jack Brack and a little bit south of there along Nova road. But pretty much everything is spoken for,” Hussein said. “So, now south of 192, which is Hickory Tree area, that’s going to be the Jones-Jack Brack five years ago, where it’s just gonna come too fast too furious. That’s what’s happening right now.”

Hoeksema rezoned his combined 700 acres from Agricultural to Low Density Residential (LDR) last year. On Wednesday, Osceola’s Development Review Committee approved Hussein’s Preliminary Subdivision Plan (PSP) to create a residential neighborhood on Triple H Ranch South with 280 townhomes and 593 detached home lots.

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The developer is extending utilities from D.R. Horton's Buena Lago project, under the canal and along Hickory Tree Road.
The developer is extending utilities from D.R. Horton's Buena Lago project, under the canal and along Hickory Tree Road. (Hanson Walter & Associates)

The density equates to 4.8 dwelling units per acre, well below the maximum 8 allowed in LDR zoning. Hussein said they intentionally pushed the lot count to try defuse the offsite cost of extending utilities from the Buena Lago site nearby.

“The job is top-heavy on the development because we have to drag the utilities from where D.R. Horton is on the corner to the piece,” he said. “I don’t have the figure yet, but it’s north of $3.5 million. We have to go under that canal with a directional drill, and that’s not cheap. But, basically, the job is doable because we managed to get the county to agree on that kind of lot count.”

The Triple H Ranch property is just outside of the county’s Mixed-Use District. In 2020, Hoeksema sought a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to change the future land use and zoning to Community Center. The CPA was denied, so the owner rezoned to LDR in December.

The land is a productive citrus grove and cattle pasture, but it's also on corridor that is transitioning from rural to residential uses.

The plans by Hanson, Walter & Associates, create a large mix of housing products, with townhomes, rear-loaded bungalow lots, side-loaded corner lots and traditional lots in four sizes. The largest lots, 70 feet wide and 120 feet deep, are all along the eastern and southern portion of the site and have either water or conservation views.

The PSP also carves out 21.66 acres for recreational amenities, which include ponds with fishing docks, a soccer field, two dog parks, playgrounds, a community swimming pool and cabana, picnic areas, pickleball courts and bocce ball.

The staff and DRC approval recommendations come with multiple conditions, including that the developer completes a traffic impact analysis before submitting a Site Development Plan and pay for road improvements on Lake Gentry Road and Hickory Tree Road. The school district noted that when Triple H Ranch North comes in for development, the owner could be asked to dedicate a future school site.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the PSP on Aug. 19, and it goes to the Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 20.

Hussein said his phone is “blowing up” with builder interest in the project. In the past, he has worked closely with Park Square Homes, Century Homes, David Weekley Homes and Highland Homes — all on East Narcoossee deals. He expects Triple H Ranch to be split into two or three phases, but those will be shown at the SDP stage.

New home construction and sales on the Hickory Tree Road corridor has increased each of the last three years, and it is expected to continue that trend as D.R. Horton’s Express Homes launches Buena Lago, which is approved for 545 homes. Last week, K.B. Home paid $5.93 million for Deer Run Estates, a 167-lot subdivision just across from Buena Lago.

“It’s catching fire,” Hussein said. “It’s gonna take, because of the utilities, what’s going to happen is the utilities are going to jump from Paul to Peter, you know? I finish this, and then somebody’s going to come to me and do something to the east. So it’s going to be progressive because every developer has to extend his own utilities.”

Nearby, Jones Homes is expanding its popular Twin Lakes community with a section of non-age-restricted homes. And Lennar Homes and Hanover Family Builders are actively selling at Hanover Lakes on Alligator Lake.

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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