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The land outlined in red is for sale and planned to become Wellness Way Town Center.
The land outlined in red is for sale and planned to become Wellness Way Town Center. (Lake County Property Appraiser)

An old orange grove, blighted by citrus greening, was posted for sale this week in South Lake County.

Such a common occurrence in former citrus territory doesn't seem like news, except that this 721-acre parcel happens to sit in the middle of acreage planned for the town center of the proposed Wellness Way sector plan, which proposes developing a 16,200-acre, 25.28-square-mile chunk of southeast Lake County.

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Clonts Groves Inc., owner of the 721-acre parcel on the east side of U.S. 27 based two miles south of Clermont, listed it this week with Maury L. Carter & Associates.

No asking price was included for the property, which features rolling hills and views of Lake Louisa and Trout Lake, including a mile of frontage along Trout.

"The Clonts have been a big part of the Central Florida agricultural community since the early part of the last century," said John Evans, vice president of Maury L. Carter and Associates.

"They have owned [this land] since 1991 and have been good stewards to the citrus on the property for the last 25 years," Evans said. "While their heart and soul is in citrus and other agricultural businesses, it is probably the right time to look at other offers."

Evans said the Clonts are private people, and would decline to talk with media about the property's sale.

Meanwhile, the Wellness Way sector plan, which calls for the Clonts property to be the development's town center, remains short of full adoption by the state and has a lawsuit by Cemex clouding its future. A judicial hearing on the Cemex case is planned for July.

Cemex wants to build a sand mine in the heart of Wellness Way. The county turned Cemex down for a mining operation and Cemex sued.

Another Wellness Way development is closer to breaking ground. Avalon Groves, a 987-acre Planned Development project that has approval for 1,659 homes and some neighborhood commercial development, could start later this year.

There is also another blighted orange grove in the Wellness Way area that is seeking development approval. Extreme Groves LLC, an affiliate of land owner Uncle Matt's Organics, is seeking to increase the density on a 66-acre orange grove north of Hartwood Marsh Road.

Teresa Burney can be reached at 352-455-1955 or at Teresaburney4@gmail.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitterand LinkedIn.

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