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ORLANDO-Concerned that a prime site for its planned government annex building might cost more if they wait any longer, elected officials in Lake County have voted 5-0 to buy a 20-acre tract for an estimated $2 million or $100,000 per acre ($2.30 per sf) just north of the new 150-acre South Lake Hospital in Clermont, FL.

The site is 25 miles west of Downtown Orlando.

Area brokers intimate with the Clermont area submarket tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity the seller would be the hospital which has also contracted to buy an additional 40 acres from an Orlando trust.

However, if Lake County can’t swing the deal for half of the 40 acres, the hospital will buy the entire parcel itself which it needs for current and future expansion, brokers tell GlobeSt.com. The hospital’s facilities are on about 150 acres.

The deal hinges on separate appraisals the county has ordered on the land, county staffers tell GlobeSt.com. The appraisals are costing the county a total $500,000.

“At $2.30 per sf, you’re not talking any great bargain but at the same time, that land could double in value over time as new development continues to seep into south Lake,” an area land broker not associated with the deal tells GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity.

The transaction is expected to be completed by year end, knowledgeable county staffers tell GlobeSt.com. Lake County expects to buy the land from revenue generated by the local option one-cent sales tax which voters approved in November 2002.

Besides its proximity to the hospital, the tract is also near the USA Triathlon headquarters and a jointly developed campus of the University of Central Florida and Lake-Sumter Community College.

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