For the better part of a decade, the only growth at the 280-acre Cross Creek development in Parrish has been tall grass, vines and weeds overrunning the carefully drawn designs of developers.
That may be changing.
Recently, work crews have been hacking back the jungle from the streetlamps, sidewalks and curving streets, hinting that home building might resume in the not-too-distant future.
A tentative deal between the bond holders and the developer seems to be in the works, which would allow home building to resume in a few months. Because the deal is not 100 percent done, a source close to the negotiations asked not to be quoted.
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Cross Creek is located at the intersection of Fort Hamer Road and Golf Course Road near Williams Elementary School. Developers in the Parrish area are preparing to build thousands of new homes along Fort Hamer Road and Moccasin Wallow Road with the completion of the Fort Hamer Bridge in the summer of 2017. The bridge will open up a new north-south corridor connecting Lakewood Ranch and Parrish.
Cross Creek was approved for the construction of 1,117 single-family homes, the Herald reported in 2005.
The Cross Creek Community Development District was established in 2006. After financing $38.5 million in infrastructure improvements for the development, the district went into default during the Great Recession.
Carlos Beruff, founder of Medallion Home who is now running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Marco Rubio, bought the property in 2011. At the time, Beruff said he hoped to begin building in about three years.
Beruff got approval from Manatee County in 2012 to build up to 1,282 homes, the Herald has reported.
Prior to Beruff’s acquisition of the property, building at Cross Creek stalled after the construction of six homes and the community pool. Typically, community development districts assess property owners a yearly capital debt service assessment to pay back their bonds. With so few homes built, the district was unable to generate the revenue needed to repay its bonds, sending it into default.
The Cross Creek Community Development District filed a foreclosure suit on Feb. 24, 2012, against CC Parrish LLC, Iberia Bank, the Residences at Cross Creek Homeowners Association, and Savi Investments LLC. The suit has not yet been settled.
Even though the Cross Creek CDD has been in default, it continues to schedule meetings. Its next meeting is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Medallion Home, 1651 Whitfield Ave. Beruff is listed as chairman. Others on the board include assistant secretaries Margaret Holeman and Tom Dell. Two seats are vacant.
Herald business reporter Janelle O’Dea contributed to this story.