Developer buys 10.8 acres next to 26-acre townhouse project on Naranja Lakes site
By Marilyn Bowden
LuckyStart Homes has purchased more than 10 acres next to the Naranja Lakes site where it is planning a 234-unit townhouse community.
The company paid $802,500 for 10.8 acres at Southwest 272nd Street and 137th Avenue, said Mimi Chao of Colliers International, which handled the sale for South Prop. of Coral Gables.
The property, she said, was the site of Rosemont Condos until Hurricane Andrew leveled the area in 1992. It's next to 26 acres LuckyStart bought in November for its Riverside Villas at Biscayne National Park project.
"It took 10 years to assemble the property and get legal title," she said.
LuckyStart has built several communities in Miami-Dade County. Its other projects in South Dade include Islandia and Mediterranea.
Jorge Fernandez, vice president at LuckyStart, said its townhouse community will rise on the 26 acres on Black Creek Canal. The company hasn't decided what it will do with the land it just bought, he said, but it will be related in some way to the Riverside Villas project.
He said construction on Riverside Villas could begin in late July or August.
The community will offer one- and two-story models with two, three or four bedrooms, he said, ranging from 1,200 to 2,100 square feet. Amenities include a clubhouse with a pool and a cabana bath.
Mr. Fernandez quoted unit prices from $130,000 to $200,000. "Our market is the younger buyer," he said.
The project is part of a housing boom in South Dade, said Bob Anderson, chairman of the Vision Council, the area's economic-development agency.
"From about 260th Street south to the Homestead line, about 14,000 housing units have been permitted," he said. "It's the only available land that can be developed and is still fairly affordable."
The area, hardest hit and slowest to recover from Andrew, is seeing a renaissance in business activity, he said.
"The houses bring the people," Mr. Anderson said, "and a lot will be self-employed or looking to start a business. Whether the people bring the business or the businesses draw the people is a chicken-and-egg kind of thing. Everything revolves around volume."
New to South Dade, he said, are Everglades Lumber, which consolidated activities in a large tract in the industrial zone, and Hilson Roofing, which consolidated operations from the Keys and North Dade.
Baptist Health Services is building a hospital in Homestead, he said, and charter schools are springing up.
Several boat manufacturers have migrated to the South Dade corridor, Mr. Anderson said.
"Agriculture is still a very important part of the economy, bringing in $1 billion a year," he said. "But we're hopeful that with all this new activity, we won't just be a bedroom community for Miami. People have been saying for years that companies can't get qualified help in South Dade. Because of these housing values, we will now have it."