Orlando developer Kal Hussein made quick work of a deal in Auburndale at Lake Juliana Estates, buying and selling the same land in just two months.
Hussein sold the property to Adams Homes for $6.5 million in October, he told GrowthSpotter. Hussein’s KRDK Investments bought the undeveloped phases of Lake Juliana Estates from Toll Brothers in September for $5.1 million. He considered keeping some lots but then decided to sell it all to Adams Homes.
“Polk county is on fire right now,” Hussein said. “In Polk County, people can still get the home in the $200s. Orlando - you can’t touch the doorknob for $200,000.”
Adams Homes bought most of the remaining lots in Phase 1 and more than 200 lots in Phase 2, Misty Varner told GrowthSpotter.
“We’re building inventory as we speak,” said Varner, sales and marketing director for Adams Homes’ Lakeland division. The builder has 17 homes under construction ranging in size between 1,800 and 3,000 square feet. Phase 2 is a few years away from buildout.
Adams Homes builds in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Adams Homes at Lake Juliana Estates start in the high $200,000s in the gated community near I-4, highway 400, and highway 570. The property Hussein bought and sold is located on Lake Tennessee bordered by C Fred Jones Blvd.
“It’s a pretty nice lifestyle community. It has a lot to offer,” Varner said.
Among the amenities already in place that homebuyers have access to are an Olympic-sized pool, playground, gym, yoga studio clubhouse, tennis court, basketball court and a private boat ramp, Varner said. Lake Juliana Estates managed by Evergreen Lifestyles Management offers events for the entire community several times a year, she said.
Varner said Adams Homes offers buyers “affordable luxury” with access to high-end amenities.
Adams Homes is offering 21 different floor plans at Lake Juliana including one-story, two-story and two plans with 3-car garages. Also included are features and materials that other builders price as upgrades: tray ceilings and tiled showers in the master with a separate garden tub, wainscoting with chair rail in the dining room, granite throughout, stainless steel appliances and tiled roofs all come standard at Lake Juliana.
“We’re kind of doing something new,” Varner said. “It’s semi-custom.”
The Lake Juliana community has changed hands a couple of times. First started by Toll Brothers, underperforming sales caused the company to stop work in August 2012. Lakeland-based Kensington Homes - local franchise of Arthur Rutenberg Homes - restarted sales activity to build out the neighborhood as part of an agreement with Toll Brothers in May 2013, according to The Lakeland Ledger.
South Florida investment firm Lake Juliana Investments LLC bought the community from Toll Brothers in September 2014, keeping Kensington as the preferred builder, but then defaulted on the project during the 2016 housing bust. Toll Brothers obtained the property again through foreclosure in 2018.
Hussein said he is going to continue to be active in Polk County and also Lake County to “continue to generate lots.” In 2018, he partnered with Park Square Homes for the mixed-use OxBow Crossing – now Neo - next to Valencia College in Osceola County in 2018. And he’s got two residential projects in partnership with Century Homes in East Narcoossee.
Varner said Adams Homes was drawn to Polk County, and Auburndale specifically, because of the new employment growth from the 1.1-million square foot Amazon distribution center right across the street. “It’s a great little bedroom community to Orlando. We’re very close to I-4,” she said. “The amount of growth you’re going to see there is going to be tremendous.”
Adams Homes will soon close on another community in Polk County – more than 300 lots in Winter Haven near Thompson Nursery Road, Varner said. D.R. Horton and Meritage also will be building there, she said.