Minto Communities’ purchase of citrus farm Callery-Judge Grove means the builder paid just over $17,000 per unit. That’s based on the land price of $51 million and the 3,800-acre site’s approval for 2,993 homes.
By way of comparison, home builder Landstar last year paid $20 million for the 4,763-acre Vavrus Ranch in Palm Beach Gardens. That property is zoned for only 406 homes — meaning Landstar paid $49,000 per unit — but the new owner wants to build 7,600 houses there. (Add the $10 million Landstar paid to buy out another contract on the land, and the price rises to $74,000 per approved home.)
Minto has yet to divulge its plans but has indicated in private meetings that it will ask the county for permission to build up to 5,000 homes.
“They must feel that either the deal works at the lower density, or they’re confident they’ll get approval for the higher density,” said Brad Hunter, an economist at Metrostudy in Palm Beach Gardens. “Minto is clearly speaking with their wallet and saying the housing market is going to continue to flourish.”
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