Veteran Polk developer prepping Winter Haven multifamily site for sale

Longtime Lakeland real estate developer and homebuilder Larry Glenn Sr. is prepping to sell 19 acres in Winter Haven he bought and sat on for nearly 20 years.

Glenn told GrowthSpotter Coldwell Banker Commercial's Gary Ralston will list the site on Spirit Lake Road and will target apartment developers. The site is west of the Winter Haven city limits, and minutes from Polk Parkway.

The site is currently zoned to allow up to 10 units per acre. Glenn was scheduled to meet with Polk County planners this week to discuss rezoning it to allow the potential for 300 units, but opted against it.

"They told me if I wanted to rezone it for high-density, I would have to file a binding site plan," Glenn said. "We're not going to do that. We'll just present it to buyers as having the potential for 15 units per acre."

He reasoned that any multifamily developer who bought the property would want their own site plan anyway, so there was no sense in going through the approval process twice. He expects that any sales contract would have a closing contingency based on the rezoning.

Glenn, founder of Creative Builders of Lakeland, said he bought the acreage in 1986 for $331,000. It was a handshake deal with a local veterinarian who had sold him the land for Phase 3 of his Cypress Landing development on Lake Dexter in Winter Haven. 

At one point he did rezone the Spirit Lake property and submitted a site plan for a 288-unit apartment complex. But he never built the project and the zoning reverted to the 10 units per acre.

"I've paid taxes on it all these years," he said. "But that's OK, because considering what I paid for it and what I'll get when I sell it, it'll be a better return than most stocks." 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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