Tampa based eisenhower real estate group (EPG) has purchased Little Everglades Farm in Groveland for $21.2 million, with initial plans to build a village concept on the property.
The sale took place in April and the private bond was signed between Little Everglades Farm, LLC and EPG Sunstone Holdings, LLC. The property is located on the border of SAR 19, O’Brien Road and the Florida Turnpike.
Groveland’s village designation, which allows for six units per acre, includes three zoning areas. These include the denser core village along with some businesses, Village Center, with townhouses and cottages, and Village Edge, with separate plots for one family. Village Edge is where the largest lot sizes can be determined.
Greg Bellevue with LPG urban and regional planningas the Applicant on behalf of the Seller has previously requested and obtained approval to repartition the property from Lake County Agriculture to the City of Groveland Village after obtaining approval for the annexation of 74 acres of property located outside the city limits.
Groveland planner DeWayne Jones said he has been informed of the property sale, but that there are still no official city requests related to developing the farm.
“We spoke to Michael Rayner, who said his company was interested in developing the project, and if he showed up, it would be to approve an initial draft,” Jones said. “He told me they would present a blueprint soon” and plan to stick with the village concept of the project.
Rainer is the project manager at EPG. The company did not respond to calls for comment on development plans for Little Everglades Farm, which includes 147 developable acres and 46 acres of wetland.
house builder Dr. Horton Jones said he made an initial offer of 318 residential plots on the farm but then withdrew them from consideration. He said Rayner told him that Dr. Horton would be the builder of the house, but that a new painting would be presented.
The concept of the village fits with the city’s updated land development code. Community Development Director Tim Maslow said the EPG is expected to include the three village areas in its plan. “Pulp is closer to 19 SAR in the east, then it goes from Village Center to Village Edge.”
Maslow said the city has been in talks with DR Horton for about a year regarding this project, and the homeowner will designate a new scheme before he submits a formal application for development.
This wouldn’t be the first village concept to be built in Groveland.
In 2021 the city council approved a redistricting that would allow the construction of Cypress Bluff, a 163-acre development on Lake Lucy. It will include 56 cottages, 84 small (35 feet) plots, and 246 front-loaded plots in two sizes – 60 feet and 70 feet. The developer designed the project with many small gardens around.
The approved Cypress Bluff plans also include a rest center and a hilltop watchtower where a former mansion once stood. Cypress Bluff is located on 163 acres.
Lake David Preserve, near downtown Groveland and Lake Catherine’s Blueberry Farm, which Maslow said was, by far, the most interesting plan, got approval as well. “The blueberry farm is a very interesting and complete agricultural community plan,” he said. The development will include keeping the farm running, at least initially.
Buyer of Little Everglades Farm, EPG, headed by Jeffrey and Tonya Hills, is the same company that bought the massive Two Rivers Ranch in Pasco County for $70 million. EPG plans to convert the 3,400-acre farm in southeast Pasco County into thousands of new homes and more than 3 million square feet of commercial space. This agreement closed in October 2021.
Already, there is a mortgage and security agreement between EPG and DR Horton, America’s largest homebuilder. The home builder made a $4.5 million deposit on the property to EPG.
DR Horton has several projects in Lake County, including Verandah Park, Avalon Park Tavares, and Timberwalk.