The Real Deal Miami

Brunetti family may settle suit over cleanup of former bombing range in Orlando

The family of the late John Brunetti, best known for his ownership of the Hialeah Park Race Track, plans to build 4,000 homes on the 1,500-acre property
June 02, 2018 03:00PM

The former Pinecastle Jeep Bombing Range in Orlando (Credit: WESH Orlando)

The family of the late Miami businessman John Brunetti may settle their lawsuit against the federal government over cleanup costs at a former military bombing range in Orlando where they want to build 4,000 homes.

Since World War II, hundreds of bombs and explosives have been found at the former bombing range near Orlando International Airport.

The Brunetti family and other investors have conditional approval to develop 4,000 houses and apartments on the 1,500-acre property.

In February 2016, the Orlando City Council approved the 4,000-unit residential development if state and federal authorities certify the development site is free of explosive hazards.

The property was known as Pinecastle Jeep Bombing Range when it was a military training facility where soldiers practiced shooting guns, launching rockets and dropping bombs.

In February 2017, Brunetti claimed in a lawsuit he was unaware of the cleanup required for the property when his father bought it in the early 1970s.

Brunetti, best known for his ownership of the Hialeah Park Race Track, died in March at age 87.

His family’s lawsuit seeks $30.5 million in federal compensation for an ongoing cleanup of the former bombing range.

The Brunetti family claims more than $10 million has been spent so far on the cleanup and related site work.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to settle the lawsuit, but terms of the settlement haven’t been disclosed.

Hubert Farbes, an attorney for The Brunetti Organization, told the newspaper that the Brunetti family plans to finish cleaning the 1,500-acre site, which could take another year. [Orlando Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth