APOPKA – As the owner of numerous real estate development and sales companies, Jerome Henin, who heads Winter Park-based Henin Group, is accustomed to making things happen quickly, but one particular transaction last month surprised even him.
After viewing a 28-acre parcel at 1401 Votaw Road near the Wekiva Reserve in Apopka, Henin made an offer on a Friday, signed a contract on Tuesday and closed the deal the following Friday.
The one-week purchase was possible, he says, because he is an independent developer.
“The advantage of landowners selling to independent developers versus selling to the nationals can be huge,” Henin said. “The large national homebuilders just can’t do this without going through their corporate process. They’ll keep land under contract usually no less than 90 days – sometimes more – while they analyze and get extensions.”
The biggest difference, according to Henin, is that independents such as Henin Group have cash readily available to move forward quickly.
That Sept. 1st Apopka purchase was the beginning of what he said is planned as a 95-lot, single-family subdivision worth an estimated $40 million at buildout. Still in its infancy the community has yet to be named, but Henin said it will be designed by Gary Beverly with CDS Engineering of Maitland and will offer three- and four-bedroom homes on 50- by 120-foot lots.
In addition to Henin Homes building in the new community, Henin said he is considering more than half a dozen offers from other interested homebuilders.
“It will take a year or more to complete the various studies and then we’ll start developing,” he said.
In the meantime, it will be business as usual, which includes shopping for the next one-week purchase.
* * *
About the Developer: France native Jerome Henin, the founder and owner of several companies involved in real estate development and sales, has more than 30 years of experience in property development in Europe, Florida and Virginia. His largest Central Florida development – the award-winning Riviera Bella – is divided into villages with production homes’ pricing from the mid $200,000s and custom homes that are priced up to $2 million.