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Polk County Developments

D.R. Horton under contract for 256-home subdivision in Haines City

Celebration-based CBD Real Estate Investment LLC is about six months from completing its sale of 69-acre subdivision Covered Bridge at Liberty Bluff in Haines City. Buyer DR Horton is planning a 256-unit single-family home community similar to nearby Grace Ranch, CBD President and Founder David Waronker told GrowthSpotter.

Covered Bridge, off of 33rd Street on the south side of Robinson Drive near Roe Road, is approved for 52- and 62-foot wide lots. The community – to be built in two phases - will be made up of one- and two-story homes with three and four bedrooms and two-car garages.

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Grace Ranch is also on 30th Street just a quarter-mile north of the site. There, homes are 1,408 to 2,601 square feet with prices starting at $220,990.

“We are in for our preliminary plat approval now,” Waronker said. “I would say within six months, we should be fully permitted and sold and underway and they should be building homes.”

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CBD Real Estate Investment buys raw land and “take it through the heavy lifting, through the permitting phase,” Waronker said. “That seems to be how the builders like it.”

Nearby, CBD last year sold an 80-acre 297-lot subdivision located across the street from Haines City High School to Richmond American Homes for $5.28 million.

Waronker’s company has owned the Covered Bridge land for about 10 years, paying around $2 million for it, he said. Originally, CBD had planned for apartments on the property and received approval in 2015, but a recession and market changes showing a demand for single-family homes led the company to change the usage. Waronker declined to say how much DR Horton has agreed to pay.

Amenities at Covered Bridge will include, a pool, clubhouse and an actual covered bridge over a wet pond, “which will be kind of attractive,” Waronker said. Sidewalks, kids' parks and several walking areas also are planned.

Orlando-based Dave Schmitt is the engineer. Mike Lewis of Lake Wales -based Action Surveying is the surveyor. Environmental work was done by Port Orange-based Stillwater Environmental’s Tim Talbot.

“I have never seen such an appetite from builders to buy subdivisions,” Waronker said. “They are cautious on money but aggressive.”

With that in mind, he said: “We’re always looking for more land and trying to be careful at the same time.”

Both Bonnies Landing and Covered Bridge were purchased, along with 19 acres on Hinson Road near Powerline Road, with entitlements for multifamily development. CBD downzoned the two subdivisions along 30th Street for single family residential. Waronker said the firm is moving forward with the Hinson property, which is now for 265 apartments and “I think we pretty much have it sold.”

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