A Fruitland Park neighborhood that has been sitting ready for construction of 90 homes since stalling at the beginning of the recession was bought recently by Avex Homes, which plans to open a model and start selling homes in the next two to three months.
Avex Homes bought the turn-key community, located north of Orrick Street and west of the Assembly of God Church, from an affiliate of Demetree Builders for $1.8 million, according to Lake County property sales records.
"It was ready at the time the housing market crashed," said Charlie Rector, Fruitland Park's community development director.
"We think this is a good opportunity in Lake County," said Eric Marks, senior vice president and COO at Avalon Park Group Management, an affiliate of Avex Homes that built Avalon Park in Orlando. "We are excited to sell in that market."
Marks said starter homes priced in the low $150,000s and targeted to buyers who work nearby in The Villages are planned for the community. He says the homes will have between 1,350 and 2,500 square feet.
Avex has an option to purchase the second phase of the community with rights to build 76 lots, but the roads and other infrastructure have not been installed in that portion of the development.
Avex Homes is in expansion mode throughout Central Florida.
"We are looking at two or three other positions (in Lake County) at this moment," he said. He said he could not speak about the locations because the deals are not complete.
Avex also is planning construction projects in Ocoee, Kissimmee, Wesley Chapel (near Tampa), Champion's Gate, Sawgrass in the southeast area of Orlando's airport, and a townhome project in Longwood.
The company is also building a design center for the builder in Downtown Orlando.