The only area left in Broward County for large-scale home construction doesn’t have much more available land to offer.
Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky said Wednesday during a groundbreaking of Lennar Corp.’s Parkland Bay that the 400-acre tract is one of the city’s last housing developments in the pipeline. The only others are Lennar’s Cascata at MiraLago and three 55-and-over communities, she said.
Over the past several years, Lennar, WCI Communities Inc., CalAtlantic Homes and Toll Brothers have built more than 1,500 homes in Parkland, an upscale suburb in the northwestern corner of Broward.
Anthony Trella, an industry consultant in South Florida, described the single-family homebuilding in the city as the county’s “last hurrah.”
“We are evolving into a society going forward of high-density, multifamily housing,” he said.
Because the Everglades limits far western development, Broward is one of the most land-constrained counties in the state, analysts say.
Miami-based Lennar launched sales last week at Parkland Bay, a 552-home community near West Hillsboro Boulevard and Nob Hill Road.
Homes range from 2,250 to 7,000 square feet and are priced from the $500,000s to $2 million. The first buyers are expected to move in early next year.
To gain city approvals for the development, Lennar agreed to pay $7.7 million to Broward County Public Schools. The company also created park space in Parkland Bay, as well as a private entrance for police and firefighters so they can respond more quickly to emergency calls in nearby communities.
“They really worked with us,” Hunschofsky said of Lennar. “We wanted to make sure any additional growth is thoughtful.”
WCI originally sought approvals to build Parkland Bay. But Lennar acquired WCI earlier this year for about $643 million.
Lennar reported last month that first quarter sales dropped to $130.8 million from $144.1 million in the same period a year ago. Despite the decline, CEO Stuart Miller said he’s optimistic about the housing market, citing higher wage growth and increasing consumer confidence.
Lennar shares closed Wednesday at $50.97, up 27 cents.
The builder is temporarily selling Parkland Bay homes from its Heron Bay sales center. It so far has deposits from more than 20 buyers, said Jon Rapaport, division president.
Amenities include a 16,000-square-foot clubhouse with a pool, spa, fitness center, tennis courts, culinary arts center and an entertainment pavilion. The centerpiece of the project is a 178-acre lake.
“We have designed this to be a resort lifestyle community,” Rapaport said. “We want people to feel like they are coming to a resort, but they get to stay.”
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