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Large Geneva property eyed for residential, gator farm

The 200-acre Cow Island property that three colleagues are trying to sell has a large share of wetlands.
The 200-acre Cow Island property that three colleagues are trying to sell has a large share of wetlands.

A vacant 200-acre parcel in Geneva may soon be bustling with development, including housing, commercial buildings and even an alligator farm.

The three owners of the land, which fronts Lake Harley and the St. John's River on one side and State Road 46 on the other, are seeking to subdivide the property's five lots in hopes of making the property more attractive to builders of individual projects.

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The asking price for the whole property, known as Cow Island, is $650,000, with about 60 acres developable and the balance wetlands.

The developer who wants to create the alligator farm is willing to take just the wetlands and leave the rest of the parcel for more traditional use, said Kimberly Campbell, the Century 21 agent who is representing the parcel. Campbell declined to name the person interested in creating the alligator farm.

The property has been on the market for about a year-and-a-half, and the owners feel by undertaking a subdivision more interest can be attracted. "We feel it should be easier to sell," said co-owner Alex Baetvman.

The other owners are Grace Murley and Susie Sweet.

The three friends bought the land in 1979 for roughly $50,000 and are now retired or semi-retired and feel it's time to let the land go.

The subdivision request is before the Seminole County Development Review Committee and would allow residential, some multi-family, with restrictions; and commercial buildings, although stilts would have to be used. Waterfront homes have been discussed for the property, as have small buildings.

"Stilt houses are all along the St. John's River," said Sweet.

In addition to coming up with the idea of subdividing the property, the owners also decided to let Century 21 go as Realtor when its contract runs out in October.

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"We feel it's time for a fresh start," Murley said.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at ktalley@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5176. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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