With site work underway by Pulte Homes Corp. on a gated luxury lakefront community around Ruby Lake, the homebuilder is working again with two local developers to entitle an adjacent 15-acre parcel, which Pulte could acquire to build up to 130 townhomes.
Unicorp National Developments and developer Dwight Saathoff's firm Project Finance & Development joint-ventured in 2015 to re-entitle 157.88 gross acres around Ruby Lake for single-family residential on behalf of land owner DFD One, an LLC tied to Chicago-based advisory group MorrisAnderson that represents a group of lenders on the property.
Pulte paid $14.9 million in late October, with another $11.5 million paid by land banking agent Sun Terra Communities, for 158 net-developable acres of that site, where it is building the 236-lot Ruby Lake Estates through two phases.
Saathoff and Unicorp retained control of a 15-acre portion of the property near where Daryl Carter Parkway meets Palm Parkway, though Pulte holds the deed on it.
If entitlements are granted to build the townhomes, Pulte would pay the developers to consummate full closing on the property, said Clint Ball, vice president of land for Pulte. If Pulte chooses not to follow through, Saathoff and Unicorp would get the deed for the 15-acre tract, where they'd likely pursue an apartment project.
The developers are asking Orange County to revise the development program of Ruby Lake PD, "down-zoning" the property by converting approved multi-family units to townhomes. From a density standpoint, that's usually embraced by planning staff and neighboring property owners.
Pulte envisions around 130 luxury townhomes in a gated community, with synergies achieved via maintenance costs with the adjacent single-family development.
If the PD zoning plan conversion is approved, Pulte and the developer would pursue Preliminary Site Plan approval.
The property is bordered to the north by Hilton Resorts Corp.'s Grand Vacations Parc Soleil Resort, and to the east by Palm Parkway and I-4.