ORLANDO-Pringle Development Co., the premier shelter developer in Lake County, has its eyes on a 120-year-old, 570-acre ranch that has been in the Noel Griffin Jr. family since the 1880s and may shortly become Central Florida’s newest community and the largest development in New England-styled Mount Dora, FL, 28 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

Elected officials in Mount Dora have called an Aug. 27 public meeting to discuss the project which would have 950 homes, an 18-hold golf course and an undetermined amount of commercial on Griffin Lane, south of State Road 44 near Eustis, FL.

Griffin and Leesburg, FL developer George Pringle couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline to learn what price the land might go for.

But area industrial brokers tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity the dirt could go for a minimum $30,000 per acre (69 cents per sf) or about $17 million for all 570 acres.

However, Griffin, who was Lake County Sheriff from 1980 to 1989, plans on keeping 150 acres for his family, he has told Pringle and the city.

Pringle is asking council members in the city of 9,786 permanent residents to annex the Griffin Ranch so that it would be part of Mount Dora and have sewer, water and utility hookups available to sell to his project.

Pringle’s planned venture is north of the Country Club of Mount Dora with its million-dollar homes and east of Loch Leven Estates and the planned Villages of Loch Leven, already approved for 400,000 sf of commercial/office.

Projected home prices at Mount Royal are $150,000 to $350,000 according to Pringle’s Leesburg lawyer, Steve Richey.

The only snag in the deal could come from Mount Dora city planners concerned over the use of excess drinking water for the golf course, area brokers following the project tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity.

But Pringle already has told the city he plans to use reclaimed water and storm water to irrigate the course.

“If they won’t let Pringle do the golf course, he isn’t going to do the deal at all,” a Leesburg broker not associated with the transaction tells GlobeSt.com. “The golf course is the key component in this planned adult retirement community.”

Mount Dora city planners and council members are generally perceived as being sticklers on municipal land use rules and requirements, brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

“A developer might be able to cut a deal in neighboring Eustis, Tavares or Leesburg but he probably wouldn’t be able to cut the same deal in Mount Dora,” a Mount Dora broker, not associated with the Pringle project, tells GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity.

Of special concern to some council members is the proximity to the project of the Wolf Branch Drainage Basin which drains into the Wolf Branch sink.

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