Osprey Preserve– 47 Single family Homes in Davie- 1800sf to 2700sf from $400,000 to $600,000
This was a great project that sold out before the infrastructure was completed. It was also a “waiter” project. Meaning I had to wait many months for the Seller to accept my offer. This happens occasionally where the Seller wants more for the land than it is worth (in my opinion based on market conditions). The Seller was educated about the land he owned and after a while we were able to strike a deal. Sellers that are adamant (a coming article) and stay that way I walk away from. I know of four properties that I walked away from at least 7 years ago and all are still available but one.
The process begins– Davie, Florida is a great place to do business, which is probably why I have done so many varied projects there- luxury single family, townhomes and zero lot line single family. The town itself is tucked away into the SW corner of Broward County close to all major roads and adjacent to Miami-Dade and Ft. Lauderdale. The airport and port are close by. Schools in Davie and near by Cooper City are very good. All the ingredients to make this a happening place. One of its greatest assets are the city manager and the mayor and its council members (mostly women). They are astute in business and their jobs- they are all experienced. Getting a project approved there is no slam dunk and you must be smart-not cunning, common sense smart.
Getting approved– I always use top land use planners and lawyers to aide in my entitlements. It makes for a level playing field. But when all is said and done, it’s about your reputation in the city (doing what you promised) and rapport with staff and politicians. I like to think I have a great rapport with the mayor who is always my first stop. Over the years Judy Paul (Mayor) has been an understanding friend that keeps the remaining lands at a low-density factor in her town. But there are some parcels already zoned with higher densities which we have bought and developed.
The way we developed those projects, projects that maybe the town would like to have another shot at a lower density, is what gave us credibility in Davie. Originally on this project the Mayor and I sat down and I proposed 60 units on 10 acres. It was a stretch but my two zoning classes when blended made a decent argument for that number. Eventually we settled on 47 and from there we knew we had a success. This entitlement process was relatively quick at 14 months.
The Easy part– I have always felt that building the project is the easiest part of the whole real estate development process. Finding the right parcel at the right price and entitling the project is the most difficult. At Osprey Preserve we had a great mix of product. It was all two story with square footages between 1800 and 2700 SF. Prices started at $405,000 to just under $600,000. The sell out was swift. In fact, we were sold out before all of the infrastructure was complete. I wish there was more developable land in Davie, but I constantly keep my eye out for another Osprey Preserve.
Stephen Gravett has been a real estate developer for over 45 years and was most recently CEO of Kennedy Homes for the past 11 years and is still CEO of Kennedy Development Partners (KDP). He is also full time Director of Operations for 5 Star Developers. He is a state licensed broker and since 1980 a State licensed General Contractor Unlimited. He flew B-52’s in the US Air Force during the Vietnam war.