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Akerman Senterfitt Forms Special Task Force as Home Builders Storm Back to Business
Home Builders/Developers are Restocking Land Inventory throughout the U.S.
February 9, 2010
In response to a groundswell of demand from home builders throughout Florida, Akerman Senterfitt today announced the formation of a Special Task Force to assist builders and investors in securing lots and in structuring deals for select land purchases.  The Task Force includes senior real estate lawyers experienced in representing builders and developers of single family, multifamily, condominium and mixed-use communities.

“The residential market was the first to collapse and all signs indicate that it will be the first to bounce back” said Robert Poppell, Akerman Shareholder and a member of the new Task Force.  “Our clients are actively seeking premium single family home sites and with recent deals totaling several thousand lots across the state, the competition among financially sound builders is fierce and the activity is fast and furious. The Akerman Task Force will be of great value to our clients as they respond to these changing market conditions.”

The U.S. housing market has been undergoing a correction of unprecedented size for the past three years, a shift that has played a major role in the broader stagnation of the U.S. economy.  Business professionals, media and policy makers have since been looking for clear signals of life from this crucial sector of the economy. They may find what they’re looking for in a recent spate of rising competition over lots throughout Florida and other parts of the country, including Southern California and Las Vegas.  As home builders have seen an increase in demand, they have replenished their inventories of lots, often finding increasing competition over desirable locations. Other areas of the country that are seeing similar activity are Indianapolis, Atlanta, Houston and Baltimore.  Notably, a half percent of the recent 2.8% growth in GDP is contributed to residential construction.

“At the end of the summer we really saw this trend pick up in Central Florida, and during the fall months we’ve seen it spread throughout the state,” said Richard Bezold, Chair of Akerman's Real Estate practice.  “This is extremely encouraging news for the real estate industry, not only in Florida, but throughout the nation.  Given the recent debate over real estate related economic indicators it is encouraging to see a core part of the industry come back to life in way that suggests recovery and extended growth.” 

Kolter Land Partners, LLC, a privately-owned land acquisition and development firm based in Palm Beach County, Florida, is optimistic about 2010 and feels that the residential market is starting to show important signs of recovery. 

“Home building activity is real and moving forward at a brisk pace,” said Jim Harvey, President of Kolter Land Partners, LLC.  “It is our belief that there is tremendous short-term and long-term value in the residential sector, and as the economy continues to improve in 2010 we will be positioned to capitalize on this opportunity.”

On December 17, Kolter acquired Victoria Park in DeLand, Florida from The St. Joe Company in one of the largest residential real estate deals of 2009. Victoria Park includes seven single-family homes and 20 town homes built by The St. Joe Company; 436 fully developed home sites, 88 partially developed home sites, 1,879 undeveloped home sites on 380 acres; a 2.2-acre commercial site, and a Ron Garl-designed golf course with clubhouse and equipment. Akerman represented Kolter in the recent Victoria Park transaction.

Kolter plans to initially focus on selling out existing inventory at Victoria Park, supporting existing builders in the community and bringing in new builders in early 2010. In the past 60 days Kolter has closed residential lot deals in six counties throughout Florida, with more deals pending throughout the Southeastern U.S.

Akerman is a recognized U.S. corporate real estate law firm, representing clients in complex real estate transactions, development and redevelopment projects, public-private initiatives and litigation matters. With more than 140 lawyers, the firm manages the legal aspects of large land deals and major construction projects, assists developers in meeting environmental regulations and green building standards, conceptualizes and obtains development incentives, advises on all aspects of transactional work, including leasing, acquisitions, sales, financings and loan restructurings, and represents clients in disputes and litigation.

About Akerman Senterfitt
Akerman is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the U.S. by The National Law Journal NLJ 250 (2009) in number of lawyers and is the largest firm in Florida. With more than 500 lawyers and government affairs professionals, we serve clients from major business centers in Florida, New York, Washington, D.C., California, Virginia, Colorado and Texas.  More information can be found at
www.akerman.com or www.twitter.com/akerman_law.

About Kolter Land Partners, LLC
Kolter Land Partners, LLC is the land acquisition affiliate of The Kolter Group, the West Palm Beach-based real estate development, investment and construction company that is also developing the Central Florida communities of Grande Oaks at Heathrow and Lake Charm in Seminole County and Calabria in West Orange and other projects throughout Florida and the Southeastern United States.



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