Homebuilder to build subdivision on 20 acres near Homestead
By Sherri C. Ranta
Residential developer Lowell Homes paid $4.3 million for 20 acres near Homestead where it is planning a subdivision of single-family homes called Granada Estates.
Groundbreaking is expected in late September, said Lani Kahn Drody, Lowell Homes' senior vice president, with closings to begin in the first quarter of next year. Lowell plans 100 three-, four- and five-bedroom homes in the new neighborhood. Seventy of the homes are pre-sold.
Lowell closed in June on the property just west of Florida's Turnpike off Campbell Drive on Farm Life Road. It purchased the land from 31500 Southwest 162nd Avenue LLC for about $215,000 an acre, said Ms. Drody.
Demand for the homes was so hot at one point, Lowell stopped sales to catch up, company officials said earlier this summer. They've reopened sales with average prices at $275,000.
Granada Estates, Ms. Drody said, is one of three Lowell developments in the South Dade and Homestead area. The company is building the 207-unit townhome and villa community of Marbella Bay and the 171-unit townhouse community of Marbella Cove in the Homestead community of Waterstone.
Landstar Development Corp master-planned Waterstone and sold several pieces of land to developers such as Lowell, Caribe Homes and Lennar Homes.
Marbella Bay, Ms. Drody said, is almost 40% pre-sold at $150,000 to $190,000 for first-time homebuyers. Marbella Cove is sold out.
The average cost of a new single-family home in Miami-Dade is about $260,577 and a new condo about $307,663, according to Integra Realty Resources. Buyers can expect to pay about $228,241 for an existing single-family home and about $193,641 for a previously occupied condominium, Integra reports.
Lowell is looking for other development opportunities in Homestead, Ms. Drody said, but the company is "not going to put all its eggs in Homestead's basket."
"There are some very bad deals to be made in Homestead," she said. "We're very careful about overpaying for the land. We know the area and know where to make wise investments."
Residential development is booming in the South Dade and Homestead areas. Homestead officials say about 12,000 residential units are in various stages of development.
"When you go past the last toll booth on Florida's Turnpike," said Keyes Co. specialist Susan Newman, "from that point in Cutler Ridge, there's solid building. Development is springing up everywhere - no more fields, just houses."
Retail development is following the residential boom. Equity One, an investment trust specializing in retail properties, is building a Publix-anchored shopping center, Waterstone Plaza, near Waterstone.
Homestead, Equity One president Doron Valero said, used to be the only place in the county where you could buy land in the low single digits per square foot. But not anymore.
"Fortunately, we bought this parcel about two years ago," he said earlier this year. "Since then, land prices have quadrupled."