Pulte buys planting site for townhouse development

Andrew Maxey of PulteGroup and renderings of the project online (PulteGroup, LinkedIn, Getty)

PulteGroup, the nation’s third-largest homebuilder, closed a development site in Plantation for an 86-townhouse project dubbed Emory.

The Atlanta-based builder paid $6.9 million for 6.7 acres at 777 American Express Way to affiliates of Miami-based TM Real Estate Group, according to Andrew Maxey, vice president of land acquisition at PulteGroup.

TM Real Estate is developing a 25-acre mixed-use project known as Plantation Midtown Square on a site that once housed the offices of American Express. Midtown Square includes plans for 21,500 square feet of retail space and over 600 residential units. With this acquisition, Pulte will take over the townhouse component of the project and TM Real Estate will construct 480 rental units in mid-rise apartment buildings.

Emory townhomes are expected to hit the market early next year, starting at $400,000, near the median home price of $410,000 for Broward County reported by Redfin. Maxey predicts that townhouses will sell for more, despite the slowdown in the South Florida housing market.

“We still view housing fundamentals as very strong in South Florida,” he said. “These will start at the top [400,000s]it is more than likely that they will transact in [$500,000s],” he said.

The purchase of the land brings Pulte to 385 acres in Broward County, spread over six different projects, including Enclaves in Woodmont, Parkview in Hillcrest, Oak Tree, Cassia Estates and Cassia Commons. Maxey said land scarcity has pushed Pulte toward redevelopment projects.

“There are no opportunities for redevelopment in [Miami and Palm Beach]”, Maxey said. “Redevelopment – it will be one of the best ways to produce new housing.

In addition to the Broward projects, Pulte is pursuing a project at Palm Beach Gardens. In March last year, the developer paid $13.7 million for 98 lots for Avondale à Avenir, with plans to build 390 single-family homes.

In Plantation, the city council recently approved a rezoning that allows Miami-based Lennar to build a 40-person, single-family development called Enclave at Plantation. Lennar originally proposed a development of 111 townhouses on the site, but did not secure Plantation Planning and Zoning Board support for the project.