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MOUNT DORA, FL-Nestled among three lakes 28 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando, the 13-year-old Deer Island Golf and Lake Club anchoring the 385-acre Deer Island residential community in Lake County is on the selling block for the second time in 10 years. The subdivision itself is not for sale.

Locally based Mercantile Bank foreclosed on the prime real estate after developers John L. Webb, Joe B. Tramell, Deer Island Golf Course Partnership, Deer Island GCC Inc. and Tramell Webb Partners Inc. defaulted on a $1.9-million mortgage balance, according to Lake County Circuit Court records.

However, instead of shutting down the picturesque golf course, the bank is keeping it open to the public by setting up a subsidiary maintenance company, Flaresco Inc. When new buyers are found, Flaresco Inc. will vanish, according to court records.

Area brokers in a position to know tell GlobeSt.com the bank is negotiating with a group of investors and a contract could be signed by year end or first quarter 2004. Bank officials couldn’t be reached by GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline.

Although located in an idyllic setting, the course and the subdivision have not blossomed since they were developed in 1990, area brokers tell GlobeSt.com. Only 10 occupied homes have been built in the golf community which was designed for 289 single-family residences and townhomes. TW Island Inc., whose partners include Webb and Tramell, owns most of the vacant lots.

Webb and Tramell previously owned Tramell-Webb Partnership of Orlando, which bought the Deer Island property in 1996, three years after the original development group filed for Chapter 11 protection under the US Bankruptcy Code.

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