A prime piece of property, once owned by the former chairman of Walt Disney Attractions, Richard “Dick” Nunez, and his wife Mary, is now the subject of a new luxury residential community in Windermere.
Last year, Nunis and his wife left behind nearly 10 acres of lakefront land on the Butler Chain of Lakes that originally featured three large single-family homes. Today, only two remain on the property. The land, quickly scooped up by real estate veteran Chuck Piper last year for $3.7 million, is now destined for new families.
Piper told GrowthSpotter he’s going through the final engineering plans for a 15-lot single-family subdivision called Lake Sheen Sound.
Approved plans consist of creating three large lakefront lots overlooking Lake Sheen and 12 interior lots in the Windermere neighborhood. Only one of the three homes has been demolished, Piper said.
He plans to build a 7,000-square-foot spec home on the recently demolished home site. The remaining two homes are planned to be demolished at a later time and replaced with new luxury homes.
Piper said he’s teaming up with custom homebuilder Element Home Builders, “however there might be other custom homes builders in the community,” he said. Element Homes is active in the area. The builder is constructing several homes in Lake Down Reserve, located across the street from the Isleworth private golf club community.
Piper assigned Madden, Moorhead & Stokes Inc. as the civil engineer. Currently, he’s focusing on building the single luxury spec home on one of the lakefront lots, which will average a minimum of one acre each and are 100 feet wide. Interior lots are 75 feet wide.
“The luxury market, just like anything in Central Florida, is very hot,” he said, adding he expects sales for spec homes to go by relatively quickly. “There’s a very low supply for luxury homes.”
Construction on the spec home is expected to begin in the next 60 days, while vertical construction on any of the interior lots is anticipated by Piper to take place next summer. Prices for lakefront homes are expected to land north of $3 million. Interior lot homes will likely sell for around $1 million.
At a similar project site nearby, created by Unicorp National Developments’ Chuck Whittall, lakefront lots fetched around $2 million, while interior lots sold for a little less than $1 million. The highest price paid for a pad within the Carmel community amounted to $2.05 million. A spec home in Carmel was recently put on the market for $3.3 million. According to the online listing, the home has a pending contract.
According to the Schmidt Report, opportunities to buy a new luxury lakefront home are becoming rarer. Data stated in the report found an annual median year-over-year inventory of luxury homes (priced $1 million and up) in Orange County is down, while overall sale volume and transactions are up.
Last year’s luxury residential sale volume jumped to $962 million across 560 transactions, up from $796 million in sales volume across 476 transactions in 2019. Year-over-year inventory went down from 421 units in 2019 to 353 units in 2020.
Piper is an ex-national homebuilder land acquisition executive who has been running his own practice since 2006. Since 1999, he’s been involved in development projects in various stages that have brought approximately 75,000 lots in Central Florida.
In Winter Garden, Piper’s taking advantage of an urban infill opportunity near the city’s downtown historic district. Piper is planning to build a new residential community that’s made up of 26 new single-family homes and 14 new townhome units on a 7.25-acre site west of the South Lakeview Avenue and West Lafayette Street intersection.
He was involved in a project in Lake County that entailed prepping land in Clermont for new residential construction. The property is now being developed into the 300-plus-lot Lakeview Preserve residential community by a partnership between Pulte Homes and Taylor Morrison.