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Lennar’s $15.4 million land buy paves way for up to 10,000 homes in Pasco

The sale completes home-builder’s acquisition of more than 4,000 acres for the residential and commercial Angeline project.
Lennar has closed on the acquisition of an additional 1,567 acres from the Bexley family in central Pasco County for its massive Angeline development.
Lennar has closed on the acquisition of an additional 1,567 acres from the Bexley family in central Pasco County for its massive Angeline development. [ C.T. BOWEN | Times ]
Published Mar. 4, 2020

LAND O’ LAKES — Lennar has acquired the final portions of its planned Angeline development in central Pasco County for $15.4 million.

The purchase of more than 2,200 acres closed in January and locked up the eastern-most portions of the former Bexley Ranch abutting the CSX railroad line in Land O’ Lakes. Lennar and its project partner, Metro Development Group, plan to turn more than 4,000 acres, east of the Suncoast Parkway and south of State Road 52, into a residential and commercial development that carries entitlements for nearly 10,000 homes and 5.4 million square feet of commercial and office uses.

In transactions that began in 2018, Lennar’s Len-Angeline LLC acquired more than 2,900 acres from the Bexley family’s Angeline Corp. for $23.65 million. Lennar and the family sold 843 acres to Pasco County for an environmental preserve for $21.9 million. And in January, Lennar sold 775 acres, designated as Angeline’s corporate business park, to the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute for $23.5 million.

Related: Pasco okays largest-ever environmental land buy

“With this final purchase ... in Angeline, Lennar has chosen local developer Metro Development Group as its partner and lead development manager to bring to life Pasco County’s next great, multi-builder community,'' Mark Metheny, Lennar’s division president, said in a released statement. "Angeline will feature many consumer-focused amenities, to include The Farm, miles of trail systems, thousands of acres of conservation land, all developed in cooperation with Moffitt Cancer Center’s new Pasco research campus.”

Related: Lennar proposes agrihood on Angeline project

Angeline, previously called Project Arthur, already is advancing its residential plans. The Farm project, referenced by Metheny, is a proposed "agrihood,'' the first of its kind in the Tampa Bay area.

The 63-acre agricultural site, at the southwest corner of SR 52 and the planned extension of Sunlake Boulevard, could include a restaurant, playground, demonstration garden, a cattle barn and pasture, a community garden, a high-yield organic farm, a barn and pavilion for community use and parking for 75 cars, according to conceptual drawings filed with Pasco County.

Related: Moffitt Cancer Center buys 775 acres

.Additionally, Lennar filed its first-phase plans on Feb. 15 with Pasco County to build 360 single-family homes on 248 acres in Angeline.

At one time, the Bexley Ranch covered 15,000 acres in Land O’ Lakes. Family members listed the northernmost 6,400 acres for sale in November 2015. Lennar formed a new company, Len-Angeline, in the summer of 2017 to acquire a portion of the land, and the transaction closed Jan. 31, 2018. The most recent transactions leave Len-Angeline as the owner of 4,310 acres, according to the Pasco County Property Appraiser’s Office website.

A map of Lennar and Metro Development Group's Angeline project shows property still owned by the Bexley family at State Road 52 (orange) and the location of the 800-acre commerce park (purple) purchased by the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.
A map of Lennar and Metro Development Group's Angeline project shows property still owned by the Bexley family at State Road 52 (orange) and the location of the 800-acre commerce park (purple) purchased by the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. [ Pasco County ]
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Bexley family entities retain ownership of multiple parcels adjoining the Angeline development, including the family’s homestead and 607 acres southeast of the Suncoast Parkway interchange at SR 52. The site contains a shuttered building that formerly housed a Florida Highway Patrol barracks. The land remains for sale and is being marketed as a commercial node at the highway interchange.

"We are getting great activity and reviewing all the different uses with several buyers and developers,'' said Michael T. Fay, principal and managing director of Avison Young in Coral Gables, the firm marketing the property for the Bexley family.

The Angeline project is separate from the Bexley-named developments fronting on State Road 54, where Bexley by Newland Communities is developing 1,733 acres that are approved for 1,200 homes, 520 apartments and 660,000 square feet of commercial and office space.

North of that project is land for a separate county-approved development known as Bexley North. Its 5,442 acres remain undeveloped, but could include more than 11,000 homes, 600 apartments and more than 800,000 square feet of stores and offices.