"It benefits us because we really want to focus on Harmony West and Harmony Central, and that allows us to do that," Sun Terra Principal Richard Jerman told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday. "We're going to break ground on Harmony West in the next 30 days."
The buyer was an affiliate of developer Steve Fusilier, owner of Fusilier Realty Group, which has maintained an office in the Harmony Town Square for more than five years. The deal has been in the works for months and closed just after Christmas.
"We worked with Sun Terra on the original purchase," Fusilier said. "We let them carve out what they didn't want. They're not operational guys, they're residential developers for the most part."
Jerman said the sale to Fusilier also included the Harmony Golf Club, 29 residential estate lots and a townhomes parcel that's pad-ready.
Fusilier partnered with Compass Trading Company LLC, an investment affiliate of Palm Coast-based Charles and Benjamin Vogel, who invested $3.9 million in the deal. He is also working with the Vogels as the development partner for 26 estate lots in Lake Nona.
Sun Terra retained the undeveloped land in the active adult section that's currently under development by CalAtlantic.
"We're starting construction on Parcel J -- that's another 90 active adult lots," Jerman said.
Fusilier said Starwood had spent $1.5 million upgrading the golf course last summer. He plans to upgrade the food and beverage offerings at the clubhouse, but will keep the same management team that was brought in by Sun Terra.
He also had big plans for the community's town center and vacant commercial parcels. The 20-plus acres is entitled for up to 150,000 square feet of commercial uses. Fusilier said he wants to capitalize on the community's 1,700-home expansion in Harmony West and the additional 450 active adult lots. That could include some build-to-suit medical offices.
"We want to bring in more neighborhood-friendly retail, along with heightened food and beverage offerings," he said. "Our group will develop the 20 acres, and we have exciting plans."
Fusilier said he's in negotiations with several local restaurants who are looking to open new locations in Harmony. "I hope to announce a roll out of tenant names in the next 60 to 90 days," he said.
He's also in negotiations for a childcare/educational facility to enhance the current school network in Harmony. The community already has a K-8 school and high school, and a new middle school will open next year.
Harmony was originally approved as a DRI in 1992 and was entitled for up to 7,200 single-family and multifamily homes, as well as a mix of commercial, office and light industrial uses. Located on U.S. 192 southeast of St. Cloud, Harmony is a green-certified development featuring with two privately owned lakes.
Sun Terra gave up entitlements for more than 3,500 residential units when it sold Harmony East, but Harmony West is entitled for 1,700 units. Starwood had already received Preliminary Subdivision Plan approvals for 1,500 units, but Jerman said Sun Terra is currently redesigning everything except the first 136 lots in Phase 1.
"We wanted to stick with that because we wanted to get started," he said.
The Harmony master plan also includes Harmony Central, which is adjacent to Harmony Main and has 283 lots.