Lake County’s Sugarloaf Mountain will soon be home to thousands of new homes and an extension of Hancock Road, so the road has been paved, metaphorically speaking for now. Known as one of Florida’s highest peaks, Sugarloaf Mountain in Minneola is a popular spot for cyclists looking to get in some hill training. There have been plans to develop this rural area since the 1990s. In 2015, Richland Communities acquired approximately 1,420 acres of Sugarloaf Mountain property. The developer is now preparing for the first phase which will consist of 831 homes in two separate neighborhoods. The two new communities, named Lookout Ridge and Sugarloaf Ridge, will straddle the already in development Del Webb Minneola which will be home to 846 homes once completed. Del Webb Minneola will be a resort style 55+ gated community just north of the intersection of Hancock Rd and 561A.
Lookout Ridge, to the west of Del Webb Minneola, will have 344 homesites over 169 acres. Seventy-eight acres of this land will remain conservation. Homesites in the community will be 45, 55, and 65 foot wide lots. To the east of Del Webb Minneola, Sugarloaf Ridge will have 487 lots with front load garages and similar lot sizes to Lookout Ridge. Builder have not yet been named for these new communities.
Richland Communities will be completing an extension of Hancock Road which will run west of the Del Webb Minneola community and east of Sugarloaf Ridge. This extension of Hancock Road will cross over Sugarloaf Mountain Rd, likely with a traffic circle, and continue on to County Road 455 in Ferndale near the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook & Trailhead. Plans show the Hancock Road extension will originally be a 2 lane road but will leave space to later widen it to 4 lanes. It also seems likely that the Hancock Trail will extend along this new section of Hancock Road and eventually become part of the planned Lake Apopka Loop paved trail. The Hancock Trail is an extension off of Lake County’s South Lake Trail which also connects to the popular West Orange Trail.
All told, the Richland development is approved for 2,434 homes plus 120,000 square feet of commercial space. Fifteen acres will also be reserved for a future school and a fire station. The 2,434 homes are in addition to Del Webb Minneola’s 846 homes giving a total of 3,280 new homes north of 561A. The partially completed Hills of Minneola south of 561A will have another 3,000+/- new homes from builders such as Starlight Homes, Ashton Woods, Meritage Homes, and Dreamfinders Homes. On the south side of the turnpike there is also a build to rent community planned near the new Publix.
Future phases of the Richland project are further north on both sides of CR 455. Phase 2 will have 985 homes and phase 3 will have 755 homes including 125 multifamily units.
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