500-home project shrinks to none

500-home project shrinks to none
Published April 7, 2007

In a part of the county where new developments used to be a dime a dozen, another megaproject has left the scene.
Crosswinds Florida, the local offshoot of a 36-year-old Michigan developer, will no longer build 500 homes proposed on 280 acres in southeast Dade City.

“No, we’re not” going on with the project, said Stephanie Blake, a Crosswinds representative involved with the project. “I’m not at liberty to discuss why that transaction didn’t happen.”

Dade City officials also confirmed that Crosswinds had canceled its contract to purchase the 280 acres from the Larkin family.
Crosswinds had worked on the project for more than a year, including rezoning and annexing it into the city.

Those associated with the project say Crosswinds’ decision was prompted by financial problems largely due to the downturn in the residential market, much like most developers in the building industry.

Its pullout from Dade City is a sign of the times.

Across the Tampa Bay area, only one in 20 homes is now finding a buyer within a month. Two years ago, half of all homes found buyers in a comparable period.

Work has also slowed on major developments such as the 5,000-acre Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel. In the past six months, Richmond American Homes canceled two contracts on proposed developments covering about 240 acres in Land O’Lakes.