An affiliate of Windermere-based FHC Developmentpaid $1.75 million on Thursday for 67 acres in Apopka, where the developer plans to market the site to homebuilders drawn to a burgeoning highway interchange.
Located on the east side of Orange Blossom Trail (U.S. 441), the property lies 1.5 miles nothwest of the S.R. 429 interchange, and approximately four miles nothwest of the new Florida Hospital Apopka medical campus.
Properly zoned for mixed-use, a Preliminary Development Plan has been approved by the city for 101 single-family lots, primarily at 75 feet wide, and 3.5 acres of commercial that are bisected at the development's entrance on Orange Blossom Trail.
CEO Frank Cawthon Jr.'s team will now finish engineering work and submit a Final Development Plan for staff review. He will lead it through subdivision approval, and aims to have the site shovel-ready in four to six months to take to market.
"With the recent moratoriums in Osceola and St. Cloud and land running low in most of Orange and Seminole, this area (of Apopka) is a natural growth corridor as the 429 is expanded," he told GrowthSpotter on Friday. "Our land will be one of the closest new home sites to the interchange at 441 and 429."
Cawthon said he will prefer to market and sell the entire residential segment to one homebuilder in 2018, but has experience selling tranches or individual lots.
The 3.5 acres fronting Orange Blossom Trail will be sold as well, likely after single-family rooftops begin to be built to augment the area's demand for neighborhood commercial, Cawthon said.
"We see that as being probably a daycare, medical office or similar. That whole area will need those neighborhood commercial uses," he said.
The seller, a trust managed by Daryl Carter of Maury L. Carter & Associates, previously paid $825,000 for the land in 2015. Carter led the property through initial zoning and plan development over the past year.
"This is well located on U.S. 441 and in a good school district in that area, next to existing residential development," he said. "So as the area continues to grow and home prices rise this will offer a good location for reasonably priced housing."