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ORLANDO-With the estimated arrival of at least 1,000 permanent residents to Central Florida each month, St. Joe Co. has broken ground on the first phase of a new shelter project in affluent Celebration, FL and plans to kick off a sales campaign in the Q3. The price range for the offerings is between $200,000 and $1 million.

“This new product in the Orlando market is being positioned to accommodate a rapidly growing segment of Florida homebuyers–Baby Boomers,” says St. Joe chairman and CEO Peter S. Rummell. “While oriented towards adults, it will not have any age restrictions for purchasing or living in the community.”

The 160-acre project will comprise 300 condominiums, 47 townhomes and 300 single-family houses. The neighborhood is in the southernmost portion of Celebration Avenue.

In a second Orlando area project, St. Joe reports Q1 sales at the 1,859-acre Victoria Park community reached $7.9 million for lots and homes. Contracts on 39 homes at an average price of $187,000 totaled $7.29 million. Nine home sites, at an average $69,000 per lot, will bring in $621,000 when the deals close. Closed deals in Q1 totaled 22 homes and 10 home sites.

“The development had its best quarter ever in terms of sales,” says Rummell. The site is in the college town of DeLand, FL, midway between Orlando and Daytona Beach. St. Joe plans 4,000 homes in the mixed-use community. Since sales started in 2002, the developer has logged 205 signed or pending residential contracts.

“After a slow start last year, sales have accelerated,” Rummell says. “Victoria Park’s diversity of product, ranging from family-oriented neighborhoods to a golf community to age-restricted homes, is being well-matched with a diversity of buyers in terms of price, product and lifestyle choices.”

Rummell says prospective home buyers are relocating “from a wide variety of markets, with approximately 25% coming from outside Florida. “We believe this diversity [of product] is a strong advantage,” he says.

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