Meritage Homes is preparing to create an upper-end community in the Winter Springs area.
The homebuilder will do this through a land flip, in which Lake Mary-based Central Florida Housing Partners LLC, which went through the application process with Seminole County, will sell the 13-acre parcel to Meritage, people familiar with the matter say.
The approach is a common one that homebuilders take to reduce risk and avoid time before local government bodies, one builder said.
Representatives of Meritage and Central Florida Housing Partners did not respond to requests for comment.
Meritage will serve as developer and builder of the project, which will be called Tuscawilla Estates.
The community will be located at the intersection of Tuskawilla Road and Old Bear Run. It is not part of the 3,500-acre Tuscawilla planned unit development in Winter Springs farther north.
Tuscawilla Estates will be built on what is now grazing land that is surrounded by homes.
The community will feature 31 residences priced in the $400,000 to $500,000 range. Home sizes will run 3,000- to 5,000 square feet. The land will be gated and have private roads.
The development is being undertaken because there is a demand for these kinds of estate homes, especially in the Winter Springs area, where parcels of this size are becoming hard to come by, said a person familiar with the matter.
Construction is expected to begin next year, once final engineering designs are complete, and cost around $15 million.
The homes will be built on an "on demand" basis, so there will be no speculative construction involved.
Meritage Homes is one of the biggest builders in the country and already has a strong presence in Central Florida.
Newhomesource.com lists 17 Meritage communities in the greater Orlando area.