D.R. Horton buys 48 acres in Manatee

County Commissioners approved housing development for property in August

cschelle@bradenton.comSeptember 28, 2013 

National homebuilder DR Horton has acquired 48.8 acres for the University Groves West housing development county officials approved earlier this year. RICHARD DYMOND/Bradenton Herald

MANATEE -- National homebuilder DR Horton has acquired 48.8 acres for the University Groves West housing development county officials approved earlier this year.

Duke Investments LLC, a company registered to Alicia and William Duke, received preliminary site plan approval for 133 homes at 8195 27th St. E in July. D.R. Horton was tabbed as the builder, and now Horton owns the land after closing on a $3.5 million deal with Duke earlier this month.

The Manatee County Commission granted special approval for the project on Aug. 8 because the developer needed permission to build a housing development on mixed use land adjacent to a perennial stream, and asked for other stipulations as well. The site was rezoned to mixed use in 1996, but never had a plan submitted for that use, according to county documents.

An August study by Manatee County Public Works showed that the property is in the A FEMA flood zone, putting it in a high-risk flood zone, meaning that homeowners will be paying some of the highest flood insurance rates, especially after changes to the National Flood Insurance Program kick in after Oct. 1 and new flood maps are adopted by the county by March 2014.

Manatee County Building & Development Services Department expressed concern at that meeting that future homes might also be impacted by the industrial warehouses located west of the development, too.

The project will have connecting roads out of the development to Circus Road (27th Street East), a neighboring proposed housing development called The Enclave at University Groves and to Shade Avenue, according to Public Works. Circus Road will also be paved by the developer. Another road, Kentucky Street, might be constructed for the development, too, according to county documents.

The development is required to build a floodplain component storage facility and reduce its runoff flow rate by 50 percent because of the drainage and flooding issues in the area, according to the report.

The 142-acre commercial development beside the housing complex called University Groves received approval by the Manatee County Commission on Aug. 8 as well. That property, developed by University Parkway Properties, will see a hotel, rehabilitation center and an office building.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.

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