Orlando real estate investor Tim Majors sold more than 300 acres of pasture land on the shores of Lake Gentry south of St. Cloud in late August for just under $3.4 million.
Daryl Carter, president of Maury L. Carter and Associates, represented the buyers, the Oswald family of Orlando. Carter told Growthspotter the family bought the land as an investment and plans to maintain the agricultural operation, but it could be resold for development in as few as five years.
"That whole area south of St. Cloud we think is primed for growth," Carter said, comparing that part of Osceola County to a piece of fruit on the verge of ripening. St. Cloud is poised to capture more growth as development moves south from the Narcoossee area and Medical City.
"As that area explodes, property appreciation and pricing in that area is going to open up opportunities south of St. Cloud," Carter said. "It's a natural corridor for growth."
The Lake Gentry property, located just south of Mildred Bass Road, is already slated for an upscale housing development to be built around a man-made lagoon with its own marina and boat lift.
The Osceola County Development Review Committee approved a conceptual site plan more than a year ago for Lake Gentry Landings. The mixed-use project would include nearly 700 residential units, including 52 lots with direct access to Lake Gentry and 149 single family home lots with shared docks on the lagoon.
The concept mirrors two projects currenty planned for Alligator Lake: Hanover Capital Partners filed permits in July for Vista Lakes, a 556-home subdivision with private lake on Hickory Tree Road. Buena Lago, is slated for 545 homes also built around a private boat lift lake. Bellalago, on Kissimmee's Lake Tohopekaliga, also uses a boat lift to provide lake access for its residents.
Carter said Lake Gentry Landings' boat lift could give residents access to the entire Alligator Lake system, a chain of seven lakes connected by canals. He suspects the Oswalds will monitor development of the two Alligator Lake communities before committing to move forward with permitting for the lake dredge.
"In my mind, the question is really one of economics," he said. "Does it help the project enough economically to justify the cost? I suspect it will."
John Adams, a planner with Rj Whidden and Associates, designed the concept plan, which also calls for a 94-unit town home complex next to the marina.
Osceola County Commissioners rezoned the 216.5 acres of buidable land from agricultural to mixed use in 2014.
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