ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Central Florida’s leading candidate for priciest address isn’t on a chain of lakes, in Winter Park or Windermere. Of the 100 most valuable houses in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties, more than a tenth line Enchanted Oak Drive at Walt Disney Company’s Golden Oak community. That street had more mansions on the list of Central Florida’s 100 top-valued houses than any street in the region, according to a new analysis of tax records by Potomac Land Company.
Peter Kasmin, 26, an Internet marketing entrepreneur, was new to the list this year with an eight-bedroom house valued at $6.4 million on Golden Oak’s Enchanted Oak Drive. He was 22 when construction started.
“We have our clubhouse that is only for our residents and everyone has been so nice and welcoming and lovely,” said the youthful founder of Revenue Universe LLC. “You meet your neighbors and they all remember your name.”
In the Windermere area’s Isleworth community, the 10-acre lakefront estate of Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Vince Carter remained the region’s most valuable residential property with a market value of more than $10 million, according to Potomac’s fourth annual report of market values from county property appraisers. The least expensive house on the list was an Isleworth home valued at $4.3 million.
Bill Sullivan, president of Potomac Land Company, said the biggest change in Central Florida’s distribution of wealth during the last year was Golden Oak. The development launched in 2010 and has grown in markedly different ways than Central Florida’s other high-end hot spots.
“It’s a different kind of buyer there,” Sullivan said, adding that many buyers intend to keep the houses in their families for generations.
Unlike Central Florida’s two areas saturated with top-end houses – Winter Park and Windermere – Golden Oak offers theme-park concierge perks and the security of gates fortified with Disney property’s no-fly zone. The luxury neighborhood largely caters to an audience of second-home buyers, although Kasmin said he’s seen the number of permanent residents increasing.
In Winter Park, which prohibits gated communities, residents dine and shop along historic Park Avenue. At Golden Oak, homeowners and their families frequent the private Summerhouse club and set tee times at the Four Seasons resort next to them.
Land stands as a badge of wealth among Central Florida’s more traditional quarters for the elite.
The Windermere-area home of former NBA star Grant Hill sprawls across 20 acres spanning two lakes. Golf star Annika Sorenstam has a 7-acre spread in Lake Nona, the development’s sole residence on the list.
At Isleworth, which has a quarter of the list’s trophy houses, mansions each sit atop at least 1 acre. The lakeside mansion of Bettie
Whitaker, built by her former husband and timeshare magnate David Siegel, sits on more than 30 acres. Basketball celebrity Shaquille O’Neal’s Isleworth estate includes three acres.
And in Winter Park, the primary residence of Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers rests on the 1.4 acres of the Isle of Sicily peninsula, which juts into Lake Maitland.
At Golden Oak, meanwhile, houses are short on sprawling lawns with views of large water bodies. More likely, they sit on less than an acre in size.
Kasmin said he toured Golden Oak by chance about four years ago when he was visiting Disney. At the time, the Connecticut native lived in California and was building the company he started working on when he was 15. Kasmin said his accountant had lauded Florida’s relatively low tax structure but the idea of relocating wasn’t compelling.
“As soon as I walked in the model, I knew I was moving here,” said Kasmin, who works full-time from his home.
The development named for Walt Disney’s boyhood home might not have expansive yards, but it has room to grow and will likely continue reshaping Central Florida’s map of wealth. In January, Golden Oak’s first houses to fall under the brand Four Seasons Residences are expected to be completed with prices starting at $5 million.
The availability of land gives Golden Oak something that’s tough to find in Winter Park and Windermere – ample lots. Buyers coveting home sites on chains of lakes often have to demolish or gut existing homes.
“If you’re going to spend at least $3 million, what’s the chance that someone else’s house is going to suit you?” said Orlando Regional Realtor Association President John Lazenby, who specializes in the luxury market in the Windermere area.
On Palmer Avenue in Winter Park, the former home of ex-NBA star Horace Grant was listed earlier this year for $11.9 million and recently discounted to $8.4 million. Stockworth Realty Group co-founder Julie Bettosini has the listing and said properties at that level can either go quickly or take extended time to sell due to the limited pool of qualified buyers.
“That market was distracted by the elections but now that’s behind us, there are some great opportunities and indicators of a strong year ahead,” she said.