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Residential Property Developments

Developer offers a new vision for 200-plus acres in Apopka that were up for auction

About 202 acres were assigned for sale to Kelly Park VB Development LLC, led by Ron Edwards.

Kelly Park VB Development LLC is the prospective buyer of 200-plus acres in Apopka that were previously up for auction.

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida recently approved the sale of 202.5 acres located west of S.R. 429 at the intersection of West Kelly Park Road and Golden Gem Road.

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According to a global settlement agreement, Kelly Park VB Development LLC will close on the land that was in bankruptcy next month. The deal amounts to $44 million and cancels out a preceding U.S. Bankruptcy Court-ordered public auction for the property that was being handled by Ewald Auctions.

The buyer is required to put down a non-refundable $4.4 million cash deposit.

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Robert Ewald, broker and president of Ewald Auctions, told GrowthSpotter the global settlement squared away all remaining disputes and debt owed to creditors.

“In this particular case, the judge said this [settlement] really wrapped up all the issues,” he said. “It could have taken years and years.”

Rochelle Holdings XIII LLC, led by Matthew R. Hill, is the current owner. Records show the company bought the property in 2007 for $13 million.

The two secured creditors are the Risser Family Trust and Nicholson Investments. Previously, Ewald Auctions was accepting stalking horse bid offers until Feb. 11 that were higher than the credited amount of $32.5 million

Kelly Park VB Development LLC is led by longtime developer and fruit grower Ron Edwards of Evan Properties Inc., which is a family-owned agricultural and land-management company based in Vero Beach.

According to a news release about the sale, Edwards has put together a development team with the intention to build a new mixed-use community on the property. It has 34.4 acres of contiguous land under contract to increase the size of the assemblage to approximately 237 acres.

“The next chapter is going to see Kelly Park finally launching an exciting live, work, play project that generates jobs, residential and entertainment options for the entire City of Apopka and its neighboring communities,” Tara Tedrow, a shareholder in the Lowndes Law firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Environmental Group, said in a prepared statement.

Edwards retained the Lowndes Law firm to oversee the land use entitlement process and transactional matters on behalf of his LLC.

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The property has the potential to utilize the city’s Kelly Park Mixed-Use Future Land Use and Kelly Park Interchange District zoning overlay, which permits high-density multifamily and industrial/commercial development.

According to the release, the Kelly Park mixed-use project will feature retail and office space, food and beverage options, and possibly new hotel rooms.

C4 Architecture is designing the industrial buildings on the site.

Justin Ruby with Foundry Commercial is the exclusive leasing broker for the industrial portion of plans and will be responsible for tenant rental and build-to-suit needs.

Jeff Morris and Bret Felberg of Colliers will oversee the management of any joint venture or parcel sale proposals regarding industrial, multifamily, retail, and hotel development.

The Rossway Swan Tierney Barry & Oliver law firm is handling getting financing. The law offices of Jeffrey Hellman oversaw the global settlement as the special bankruptcy and litigation counsel to the company.

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Evans Properties began operations in Florida in the 1950′s and has a portfolio of more than 40,000 acres of agricultural land and commercial real estate in Florida and the Carolinas.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 491-3357, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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