Million-dollar Lake County development halted during market crash ramps up



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Million-dollar mansions are being built once again in a prominent Lake County neighborhood.

The Bella Collina development was thriving at its peak in 2005, with 40 homes built in the first two years.

When the market crashed, so did the development.

More homes could pop up due to a judgment against landowners who've defaulted on their dues.

According to a judge, they can either pay up or watch the developer take back the land.

"The real estate crash caused a lot of people to default on their obligations, so moving forward, getting this lawsuit out of the way will help us open up the community again," Randall Greene of Bella Collina said.

Eyewitness News learned many of the owners are out-of-town investors who lost interest when the housing bubble burst.

There are million-dollar views and lots along the lake were at one point going for about a million bucks at the height of the market.

After the crash, at least one lot sold for as little as $20,000.

Prices aren't that low anymore, but Eyewitness News asked local real estate agents whether Lake County's housing market can sustain new million-dollar homes.

According to the papers off the MLS, there is a demand for high-end luxury in rural Lake County.

There were at least three different construction crews on jobs in the neighborhood.

Only 150 of the 900 property owners pay their dues.

The community is planning an official re-launch next year.