The land-flipping season is back in full force in South Florida, resembling the days of the real estate boom-gone-bust less than a decade ago.
West Palm Beach developer Brian Tuttle just sold 173 acres in Parkland for $53 million, four times what he paid for the assembled site between February 2013 and April 2014, according to Broward County public records.
Back then, Tuttle’s various LLC’s paid $13.36 million for the four parcels in northwest Broward. The land is currently home to horse farms and stables, a recycling plant, rock pit, outdoor storage and vacant land.
When Tuttle’s companies first bought the land, he was only allowed to build one home per every 10 acres. But that changed earlier this year when Tuttle successfully obtained Broward County’s approval to change the site’s land use to allow about 531 homes. The lofty price reflects the new development rights.
The buyer is Hovsite 111 at Parkland, an affiliate of national homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises, in Red Bank, New Jersey. The land is at 15400 Loxahatchee Road, west of the future Nob Hill Road between Loxahatchee and County Line roads.
Hovnanian is one of several national builders chasing development opportunities in this section of Parkland, known as “the wedge.” The wedge-shaped area consists of 1,949 undeveloped acres that used to belong to Palm Beach County until a few years ago, when it was transferred to Broward County. Parkland officials eventually incorporated about a third of the wedge into the city. Since nearly 680 acres out of the 1,949 became part of Parkland, an affluent suburban community, developers like Lennar Homes and Standard Pacific Corp. have raced to secure home sites in a region where land available for development is scarce.
Parkland, designed to be an equestrian community, is one of the most active neighborhoods in Broward when it comes to residential development. Other developers building there are WCI Communities and Toll Brothers. In total, the area – known for elaborate landscaping, top-rated schools and large homes – expects to see more than 1,500 new homes in the near future.