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WINTER PARK, FL-Taking advantage of the tightest residential sales market in a decade in Central Florida, Engineered Homes plans to develop several townhome communities totaling about 1,000 units in Lake and Osceola counties near Walt Disney World. Construction would start in 2006.

Project details are still being worked out, officials at the locally based firm tell GlobeSt.com. However, area construction industry sources familiar with comparable undertakings tell GlobeSt.com that if Engineered Homes plans to sell its product in the $300,000 range, the estimated hard construction cost would probably be $100,000 per unit or a total $100 million for the entire project.

“We can’t cite specifics such as location, product and prices until everything is finalized,” sales and marketing director Marilyn Anderson tells GlobeSt.com. “However, we’re anticipating being ready to move forward some time in August.”

Anderson says the townhome development concept “will be a new departure for us.” But “considering where we are with our current developments, the timing is perfect.” Because of the planned projects’ proximity to the Disney theme parks, Anderson anticipates many of the buyers will be foreign investors.

Single-family and townhomes in metro Orlando are at their highest median price in 25 years–$218,000, up from a median $163,000 in 2004 and $123,000 in 2001, according to the most recent statistics announced by local real estate boards.

Now in its 10th year of homebuilding operations, locally owned and operated Engineered Homes recently sold out its Buckingham Estates community in the new section of Heathrow and its Forest Trails subdivision in suburban Ocoee. The firm is also approaching sellout of Brighton Lakes, a 751-home community off Pleasant Hill Road in Kissimmee. Engineered Homes posted $170.5 million on 629 sales last year, a record for the company.

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