Lennar at ChampionsGate

Lennar Homes LLC is working to bring back an abandoned 900-acre residential golf community in the Four Corners area that fell by the wayside during the slow economy.

The Miami-based homebuilder wants to build 900 apartments, 1,010 townhomes/condos and 1,744 single-family homes in the Stoneybrook South community near U.S. Highway 27 north of Interstate 4, an area that includes both Osceola County and a portion of Polk County.

The homebuilder plans to donate a 15- to 20-acre parcel to Osceola for a park and school, and finish a partially completed golf course, though detailed plans have yet to be submitted to the county.

Lennar also reportedly has told the Stoneybrook South Community Development District — the funding mechanism created to pay for the project infrastructure — that it plans to revitalize the entrance landscaping and golf course.

Lennar Homes was involved in the development of the successful Stoneybrook West and Stoneybrook East communities in Winter Garden and east Orange County, respectively, through its former subsidiary, U.S. Homes Corp., which now is inactive.

The builder is seeking approvals from Osceola County and the state to update an existing development of regional impact plan, which would allow Lennar Homes to begin renovations and construction on the site that was abandoned several years ago by U.S. Homes.

Osceola County had 1,894 home resales through the first four months of this year, down 21.1 percent from 2,399 closings in the year-ago period. No data is available on new home sales in Osceola.

Meanwhile, the apartment submarket for the area including Stoneybrook South had a 5.6 percent vacancy rate in March, compared with 7.6 percent in the same month last year, showed the most recent data available from RealData Inc. Average asking monthly rents fell in that same period from $967 last year to $943 this year.

U.S. Homes and its related South Development LLC began working on plans for Stoneybrook South in 2005. However, as the residential mortgage market began failing in 2007 and the financial markets collapsed in 2008, the project was abandoned and hit with several construction liens in the ensuing years.

Lennar’s related Len-CG LLC in March took title to several parcels of that land owned by South Development, county records showed. This likely was in an effort to clear up the financial problems and restart development.

“Lennar Homes is taking all that back and getting ready to start moving forward,” said Osceola County planner Dave Tomek, who added that it appeared Lennar Homes plans to build out the community on its own for now. “They’re working hard to get rid of a bunch of construction liens from the hard economic times.”

The only thing developed in Stoneybrook South was a 302-unit apartment complex by Lake Mary-based Integra Land Co., some road, water and sewer infrastructure, as well as part of the golf course.