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Outlined in red is the 37-acre site north of Lake Emma that is targeted by Pulte Group for development.
Outlined in red is the 37-acre site north of Lake Emma that is targeted by Pulte Group for development. (City of Lake Mary)

Pulte Homes is seeking preliminary approval from Lake Mary city planners for a planned unit development with up to 77 homes near Lake Emma.

The PUD would be constructed on 37 acres on the west side of Rinehart Road, south of the intersection with Primera Boulevard. The area now consists of 25 privately owned parcels with 11 property owners, according to documents submitted to the city.

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Pulte is working with the land owners and Lake Mary to rezone the project for single-family homes, said Clint Ball, vice president of operations for Pulte's North Florida Division. The company has submitted a comprehensive plan amendment to change zoning on the property from Office and Restricted Commercial to Medium-Density Residential.

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The homebuilder bought property zoned for half-acre to 1-acre lakefront lots.

"There is a significant lack of supply of new homes in the Lake Mary submarket, which is why we have diligently pursued this property," Ball said in an e-mail.

The Lake Emma development would be the second Pulte community in Lake Mary. Crystal Reserve, on Crystal Drive just off Lake Mary Boulevard, has 16 home sites. The Crystal Reserve homes range from 2,446-4107 square feet, and range in price from $403,990 to $551,410.

"We currently are experiencing great success at a small infill location on Crystal Drive, just a few miles to the east of the Lake Emma site," Ball said.

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The 235 acres were held for two years by land banker Sun Terra Communities, which rezoned the property for building in four phases.

Homes in the future Lake Emma site would likely range from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet with a mixture of detached, single-family lot sizes. Ball said he expects the prices at Lake Emma to be higher than those at Crystal Reserve.

In 2014, this area was proposed for high-density townhomes, but that project fell through, said John Omana, Lake Mary community development director. The Pulte PUD will include additional parcels that were not part of the scuttled townhome development.

The project is scheduled to go before the Lake Mary Development Review Committee on Aug. 17. After that, there will be public hearings on the PUD proposal and the comp plan amendment before the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission.

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Unicorp and developer Dwight Saathoff and working with the homebuilder to "down-zone" the property to allow for up to 130 townhomes.

CPH Inc. of Sanford is the engineer on the project, and Javier Omana of CPH is listed as the project manager and land planner.

Atlanta-Based PulteGroup Inc. is the third largest homebuilder in the country. The company's website shows 13 Pulte communities either established or coming to the Greater Orlando area, including the Reserve at Legacy Park in Casselberry and Oviedo Park Terrace.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at msalinero@outlook.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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