A 500-acre parcel of land between Alligator Lake and Brick Lake southeast of St. Cloud was just sold for $12 million, about $24,000 an acre, to Winter Park-based Douglas Partners LLC’s Triple H Ranch LLC, according to the Orlando Business Journal.

Douglas Hoeksema is listed as the President and Managing Member of Douglas Partners, which touts itself online as a “boutique development firm” that has constructed thousands of apartments, townhomes and other multifamily units. According to the Douglas Partners website, Mr. Hoeksema is a graduate of the University of Florida, College of Architecture, School of Building Construction with a Bachelors Degree. He has been a Florida State Certified Contractor since 1991.

The tract of land, which goes from south of Hickory Tree Road, a two-lane road that extends from Narcoossee Road south and east around Alligator lake to just west of Harmony, up to Alligator Lake between Lake Gentry Road and the canal connecting the two lakes, had been held by and was sold by, Henry Yates. 

The land is currently zoned as agricultural. If, or when the land gets developed, it will be subject to county ordinances put in place in 2017 to protect lakes, and those already living around them, from new boat docks, lifts or locks, and the dredging done to build them.

That year, the developer of a planned community, Hanover Lakes, obtained a small “keyhole” parcel on Alligator Lake, as well as a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge 1.24 acres of lake to build a boat lift that would give those new residents boat access to it.

Local residents responded against it, noting it would set precedent for future developers to come in and copy that blueprint, and it led to the new ordinances. They now prevent dredging other than for clearing navigation lanes or done with a state environmental permit, set very clear guidelines for boat lifts that ensure water quality is maintained on lakes, and created buffers between lakes and new developments.

Positively Osceola will update this story as more information becomes available. The graphic that accompanies this story shows an approximate area of the land purchase.