A proposed mixed-use agrihood in Orange County may be gearing up for development after years of legal challenges.
American Land Investments Of Orange County LLC — the development entity for The Grow, a proposed 1,200-acre residential community in east Orange County — bought about 407.9 acres for $6.5 million, or roughly $15,935 an acre, in August, according to Orange County records. The land is north of Colonial Drive and east of Tanner Road.
Experts who aren’t involved in the deal say it’s a sign the project may be moving forward. The Grow had faced challenges from six residents and a homeowners’ association who asserted that the planned community would undermine the area’s rural nature and encourage urban sprawl. But it received its state of Florida approvals in 2018.
Developer Dwight Saathoff, president of Project Finance & Development LLC, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The $1 billion community includes a revenue-generating farm, community gardens, farm-to-table restaurants, 12 miles of trails, edible landscaping and possibly an agriculture-based charter school east of the University of Central Florida on Lake Pickett Road.
“It’s the first of its kind in Central Florida to have this emphasis on sustainability,” said Brad Parker, a land expert with Longwood-based Southern Realty Enterprises Inc., who isn’t involved in the deal. “Central Florida needs more sustainable development.”
Saathoff previously said the project may take a decade to completely build out. For each year of 10 years, 200 new houses will be built in The Grow, creating $7.2 million in taxes and other revenue along with 788 jobs, Saathoff said. The homes will range in price from $250,000-$1 million.
At full buildout, The Grow’s homes will produce a recurring economic impact of $82 million in local income, $20 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments and 1,380 jobs. In addition, Saathoff previously said he sees the nature-oriented development attracting thousands of visitors a year.Source: OBJ
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