The Bella Collina clubhouse presides over a development that is living the high life now.
The Bella Collina clubhouse presides over a development that is living the high life now. (Bella Collina)

It's been barely a year since Bella Collina started regularly seeing million-dollar home sales again, after the recession dealt the ultra-exclusive South Lake County hilltop development a hard smack down.

This year the development is expected to do twice as well, with the cost of custom and semi-custom built homes projected to average $2.2 million, says Randall F. Greene, CEO/managing partner of RG Developments & Investments LLC as well as Bella Collina Partners.

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Through the first two months of this year, Bella Collina has 23 new home starts on the books for 2016, Greene said.

Contractor chosen for Bella Collina's luxury hotel, sub-contract bids sought

Schmid Construction won the lion's share of the $30 million hotel project. Sub-contractor deadline is next week.

The development's success can be attributed to hard work by RG Development and Bella Collina Partners.

When the group bought the stalled and indebted Bella Collina in 2012 for $12 million it got 50 lots, an unfinished clubhouse, the developers' rights, and hundreds of deadbeat property owners who were hundreds of thousands of dollars behind on their Property Owners' Association fees.

The owners, many speculative buyers who paid $7 million or more for lots and homes in the pre-peak buying frenzy, saw their values plummet in value during the recession.

Fourth custom home builder moves into Bella Collina

Legacy Custom Homes of Winter Park is starting a series of 'ready to move-in' homes priced in the $700,000s along Bella Collina's Nick Faldo-designed golf course.

So the group went to work suing and getting judgments against the delinquent owners for their property owners' fees, which totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively. Greene's group offered to buy the lots back at their current worth, applying whatever that current value was to the debt owed, a deal many owners took.

With the development well under control, Bella Collina is now building a high-end 100-unit hotel/condo overlooking Lake Sienna to cater to golfers who play some 25,000 rounds of golf a year, as well as guests at weddings held in the picturesque clubhouse, and international parents visiting their children at the Monteverde Academy nearby.

Teresa Burney can be reached at 352-455-1955 or at Teresaburney4@gmail.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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