Lennar Corp. invested $17.5 million late last month to acquire a 273-acre tract in southern Hillsborough County, one of the largest land deals of the past year in the Tampa and St. Petersburg submarket.
The Miami-based homebuilder plans to develop some 850 single-family homes on the site, which is bounded by Interstate 75 and 19th Avenue and is near Amazon's 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center, in Ruskin.
The property had been owned since 1994 by Cypress Creek Land Corp., which bought the tract from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
“The property is constrained by the urban services area, so there aren't a lot of large tracts available in that part of the county,” says Bill Eshenbaugh, founder of Tampa-based Eshenbaugh Land Co., who negotiated the transaction on behalf of Cypress Creek and Lennar.
“With this purchase, it ensures that Lennar, already a major player in this market, will be a major supplier of new inventory for some years to come in Hillsborough County.”
By comparison, the largest residential land deal of 2017 involved a tract in Pasco County, where builder D.H. Horton spent $24 million to acquire a large tract to develop a community, Eshenbaugh notes.
The sale also marked Eshenbaugh's second turn with the property, too: He worked for the FDIC prior to Cypress Creek's acquisition of the land, before forming Eshenbaugh Land in 1