Cromartie Purchases Part of Silverleaf Property

Bloodstock agent Bob Cromartie has purchased 260 acres of the former Silverleaf Farm near Orange Lake, Fla., from SLF Partners, the investment group that owns the nursery. Cromartie is an investor in SLF and served as Silverleaf's president when it was owned by David Hutson. The transaction was announced by Shadd Daugherty of Showcase Properties of Central Florida on Nov. 21.

SLF purchased the three major parcels of the 635-acre Silverleaf in October of 2000 for $4.46 million. The group subdivided the property into 50 farm-estate properties last spring. In addition to Cromartie and Thomas, the other investors in SLF are Lewis and Brenda Lakin.

"While we had a favorable response from the county on our preliminary plat, the economic climate generated too many marketing concerns," said Becky Thomas, an investor in SLF, in a prepared statement. "Several unacceptable offers on the entire farm suggested that the alternative of selling it in three or four large tracts was our best strategy."

Most of the property bought by Cromartie is undeveloped.

"The architectural plans are completed, and I expect construction to begin on the new farm in a couple of weeks," he said.

Cromartie owns Briggs & Cromartie Bloodstock Agency in Ocala, Fla., in partnership with Alan Briggs.

An additional 240 acres of the former Silverleaf property, which includes two of the flagship Silverleaf barns and a 5,000-square-foot office facility, are under contract. A 20-stall complex with four barns, a home, and a private entry to the 127 acres remains for sale. It is on the market at $1,850,000,