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Lake Jovita community sold to Tampa developer
The buyer, owner of the Eagles Golf Club in Odessa, may keep the two golf courses intact.
By CHUIN-WEI YAP
Published July 26, 2007
ST. LEO - The owners of Lake Jovita inked a contract last week to sell the 1,000-acre upscale golf community to a Tampa developer.
The two 18-hole championship courses will be sold for $11-million, but the seller's representative declined to disclose the proposed price for the accompanying 900-home development.
The prospective buyer, Lake Jovita LLC, owns another 36-hole course called the Eagles Golf Club of Tampa Bay in Odessa, said Hutch Brock, the attorney representing the seller, Lake Jovita Joint Venture. Brock is also Dade City's mayor.
The Eagles Golf Club was developed by the Lambos family, and state records show they are still listed as partners in the club.
Unlike other developments in central and east Pasco, the prospective owners have no plans to replace the golf course with additional homes, Brock said.
"It's too pretty a course," he said. "I don't think they're going to change that."
The contract was the result of a recent unsolicited offer.
But talk of selling Lake Jovita began about two years ago, when the real estate market was at its height, Brock said.
The owners decided at the time not to sell, but the discussions had put the development in play.
"They said they were not going to keep their heads in the sand," Brock said.
Lake Jovita Joint Venture, the current owner, is a partnership between URADCO, which is the development arm of Withlachoochee River Electric Cooperative, and Michigan developers. The development began construction in 1998.
While Brock declined to disclose the price for the ongoing development, URADCO spent $3.1-million to buy the golf course development and lent $8-million toward construction at Lake Jovita.
The owners had first approached Lake Jovita's golf course members and offered to sell them the course if they could match the $11-million price.
The membership's advisory group said they would probably not buy, which opened the field to Lake Jovita LLC, Brock said.
But, at the time, the owners did not put the rest of the Lake Jovita development on the block, he said.
The members were informed of the sale on Wednesday last week, a day after the contract was signed.
Brock said he could not tell membership trends at the club, but described it as "probably fairly steady."
Brock said he could not confirm when the contract may close. It is still undergoing due diligence work.