Betting With The House

bettin on the houseSingle-family home-builders in South Florida are starting to mobilize as the sector thaws from the Great Recession.

Major residential builder Minto Group Inc. is gearing up for the new cycle. A company managed by Coconut Creek-based Minto paid $51 million Thursday for most of the Callery-Judge Grove agricultural site in unincorporated Palm Beach County, according to Palm Beach County records.

Minto SPW LLC acquired 18 parcels totaling about 3,724 acres from Loxahatchee-based Callery-Judge Grove LP. The company paid a little under $13,700 per acre, or a scant 32 cents per square foot, for land that has been citrus groves for nearly 50 years.

The county recorded the transaction Friday. Minto Holdings (Florida) Co. and three affiliates obtained a $25.5 million mortgage from the Prudential Insurance Co. of America for the 4000 Seminole Pratt Whitney Road acquisition.

Minto Group is a family-owned real estate development, construction and management company with operations in Ottawa, Toronto and South Florida, according to its website. The company has constructed more than 67,000 homes, manages more than 15,000 rental units and has a commercial portfolio of more than 2.5 million square feet. Nearly half of the homes built by Minto are in Florida.

The company’s South Florida development portfolio includes Boca Reserve in Boca Raton, Cascada Isle at Monterra in Cooper City and Artesia in Sunrise.

Development plans for the Callery site have not been finalized, according to Minto Florida president Mike Belmont.

“We are currently working with the neighboring stakeholders in Palm Beach County,” said Belmont, who noted Minto plans to release more project details by early next week.

A Prudential company in 2011 filed a foreclosure lawsuit against Callery on mortgages totaling more than $37 million. The citrus grove has been operated for decades by a large group of private investors. Attempts to develop the site into a master-planned, mixed-use community were scuttled by Palm Beach County and state land-use authorities before the state loosened growth-management controls.


Source: DBR