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HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, FL-In a deal that took nine months to complete, from contract signing to closing, South Florida developer Barry Hurwit has acquired a prime 318-acre lakefront tract in Lake County for $4.2 million or $13,208 per acre (30 cents per sf). The land, two miles west of this town of 910 permanent residents, is eight miles from the Florida Turnpike and 39 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

Hurwit bought the property at 26100 Serenity Lane from Tammy SeRine Richardson, a private landowner who has lived in a mansion on the land for the past 10 years. She plans to remain in the area and build a new home nearby on a half-acre lot, Hurwit tells GlobeSt.com. “The actual retail value [of the 318 acres] is actually closer to $29 million,” says Hurwit who was raised in North Miami Beach and currently lives and works in nearby Weston, Broward County.

“This deal never made it onto the market,” the developer tells GlobeSt.com. “Tammy had a number of offers and a few contracts, each of which fell through before mine. In fact, I’m told she received a number of offers, as well, after I was under contract with her.” Hurwit says he did not originate his contract with the seller. “It was assigned to me,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

The developer plans to subdivide the tract and sell the dirt to a homebuilder. He says the county’s plat map allows for 63 lots on the site. Forty-two of the lots will be at least two acres in size and be located directly on the water.

Hurwit has named the land Serenity Equestrian Estates. The site currently houses two stables with a 20-horse total capacity on the 40 acres of dedicated paddocks. There are also a 2,500-sf guesthouse, about six miles of bridal paths and an equestrian center on the site.

“I envision this to be a quiet community for those who want to escape to rural paradise,” Hurwit tells GlobeSt.com. “The property is picturesque, with rolling hills, statuesque oaks, lush plant life and gorgeous water scenery.” He adds, “It’s as if we were able to relocate a section of Georgia to Central Florida.”

Bob Zahrednik negotiated the transaction for the seller. Pete Napoles represented the buyer. Both are independent brokers based in Lake County.

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