The Real Deal Miami

Canada’s top homebuilder closes on portion of Tradition in Port St. Lucie

Mattamy plans to appeal to buyers outpriced of Palm Beach County
By Amanda Rabines | July 05, 2018 01:30PM

Rendering and Lara Swanson divison president at Mattamy Homes in South Florida

Canada’s largest homebuilder just closed on 2,950 acres in Port St. Lucie for $24 million, giving the company control of 7,800 home sites in one of the largest residential deals in southern Florida in recent years.

The firm, the biggest privately owned home builder in North America, recently expanded to South Florida with acquisitions in Boynton Beach and the Lake Worth area.  It also owns land in Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota and other parts of the state.

The move into Port St. Lucie potentially marks a shift north for new mid-priced home construction as a result of rising land costs and a shrinking supply of land. Despite strong demand for affordable, single-family homes, the country is facing a huge shortage of those homes, with the National Association of Homebuilders projecting that 2018 will have a shortage of almost 400,000 new homes compared to the population growth.

With Tradition, a master-planned community in Port St. Lucie, Mattamy Homes plans to target buyers looking for new homes in the $200,000s as home prices rise in neighboring Palm Beach County. Mattamy acquired 2,780 acres of residential land and 150 acres of commercial land along Village Parkway, just south of Tradition Parkway.

The company plans to complete development of single-family homes and multifamily homes within 10 to 15 years. Prices will range from the low $200,000s to the $400,000s. The homebuilder is also targeting active adults seeking more affordable communities.

In all, Tradition encompasses 8,200 acres with about 11,000 single-family home sites, schools, office and retail space, home to The Landing at Tradition, Tradition Medical Center, Keiser University and the Florida Center of Biosciences. Target, LA Fitness, Publix and others anchor the town center, according to its website. City Electric Supply is also planning to move into a 400,000-square-foot facility.

Developers like Pulte Homes have built and sold houses within the Tradition. Port St. Lucie, the eighth-largest city in Florida, is immediately north of Palm Beach County and about 30 miles away from Jupiter.

Tradition Land Co. sold the nearly 3,000 acres to Mattamy. Tradition took over the land after the original developer, Core Communities, defaulted on its loan in 2010. (Core Communities was tied to Fort Lauderdale developer Woodbridge Holdings.) Mattamy beat out other homebuilders that include CC Homes, led by developers Armando Codina and Jim Carr, in purchasing the property, according to Tony Palumbo, director of land acquisitions for Mattamy’s Southeast Florida division.

The deal with Mattamy was contingent on the city purchasing more than 1,200 acres of vacant commercial land designated for economic development, said Lara Swanson, president of the Southeast Florida division. The city is hoping to attract new employers and commercial developers to expand on the recently opened Tradition Surgery Center.

In June, Mattamy paid $12 million for a 37-acre development site at the former entrance of the Gulfstream Polo Club west of Lake Worth, and $5.5 million for 39 single-family home lots in Boynton.