Celebration-based real estate firm makes big land sale for Haines City subdivision
By Mike Salinero
Sep 18, 2019 | 1:05 PM
CBD Real Estate Investment, a Celebration-based firm headed by David Waronker, has contracted to sell a 297-lot subdivision located across the street from Haines City High School in Polk County.
The buyer, Richmond American Homes, has agreed to pay $5.28 million for the 80 acres on the east side of 30th Street and the north side of Robinson Drive, Waronker said.
“We signed a contract with Richmond American Homes to buy the entire development,” Waronker told GrowthSpotter. “They said they will build on about half of them and sell the rest of them. We expect ground-breaking during the first quarter of 2020.”
The property, called Bonnies Landing, will feature lots 50 feet wide and 120 feet deep. CBD owns another 69 acres on the south side of Robinson Drive called Covered Bridge at Liberty Bluff that Haines City has approved for 255 lots, 52 X 110 feet. Waronker said multiple builders are looking at the Covered Bridge property but none have committed.
Waronker had intended to develop multifamily on the two sites because they are so close to a planned cloverleaf interchange for the future six-lane Polk Parkway Extension. But the parkway extension was delayed and demand for single-family housing increased.
Waronker, who has been developing property in Polk since 1998, said the Central Florida county is one of the hottest spots for development in the state.
“Polk County is a bedroom community mainly for Orlando, but also for Tampa,” he said. “It’s a drive for value market: A place where many people will go to get a less-expensive house.”
Waronker is in the process of buying another Polk County property he said will become one of the largest residential developments built there in 10 years. Called Ranches at Lake McLeod, the 258-acre property is on Bomber Road in unincorporated Polk, adjacent to the city of Eagle Lake.
The county has approved the land for 1,152 lots, Waronker said, all 60 feet wide. However, the developer said he wants to have the land annexed into the Eagle Lake city limits.
“In the city we would be looking for city utility services and flexibility in zoning where we could do a mixture of as small as 40-feet- and 50-feet-wide (lots),” Waronker said. “There’s no zoning designation in the county to do that.”
Gaining lot-size flexibility on such a large tract of land should attract multiple homebuilders, Waronker said.
CBD won’t close on the property until next year. The price will be “roughly $6 million,” Waronker.
Waronker also expects to close this week on 22 acres on Bingham Road in Eagle Lake proper. A husband and wife who live across the street sold the property to CBD for $475,000, he said. Highland Homes of Lakeland has contracted to buy the tract from CBD for $1.22 million, Waronker said.
“We have just received comp plan approval and a zoning change to develop 70 feet X by 120 feet lots,” he said. The subdivision, called Landings at Eagle Lake, will have 79 lots.
“National homebuilders – Southern Homes, D.R. Horton, Highland and Lennar – are all building other projects in the city of Eagle Lake,” Waronker said. “And in Haines City, I don’t know of one national homebuilder that isn’t building there. It’s just an explosion of development in the last three years.”