D.R. Horton buys 81 lots in Manatee County, Florida, for US$4.1M, also receives preliminary approval to build 133-home development on 48.8 acres

BRADENTON, Florida , July 23, 2013 () – Texas-based national homebuilder D.R. Horton is grabbing vacant lots in Manatee County.

Horton on July 10 purchased 60 lots in Covered Bridge Estates in Ellenton for $2.36 million, according to property records. The sellers were CBH 5, which is a limited liability company that includes Zita, Trey and Diane Desenberg, based in Sarasota.

In a separate deal July 10, Horton also bought 21 lots in IMG's Legends Bay for $1.75 million, according to property records, from Sarabay Associates LLP and Legends Bay Investments LLC.

The two big purchases are the latest in Manatee County projects and acquisitions for the builder. The Manatee County Commission OK'd a preliminary site plan earlier this month for Horton to build a 133-home development off Circus Road, east of U.S. 301 and north of University Parkway, on 48.8 acres.

Horton is also the home developer of the neighboring University Groves Estates. The commercial end of the project, leased by Casto, just received planning commission approval this month for the 120-room hotel, office building and a rehabilitation center to be 10 feet higher than originally approved.

The builder is also codeveloping Silverleaf in Parrish with local builder Neal Communities.

Horton also bought 129 lots for $2.4 million in Rye Wilderness's fourth phase. The east Manatee County properties were purchased from Clearwater developer Florida Properties. Construction is now underway for earlier phases in Rye Wilderness, which were at one time offered as "free" lots by former owner Lee Wetherington Homes in 2009.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095.

Follow him on Twitter@ImYourChuck.

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