The Villages Daily Sun

Mulberry Gets Hot; Fenney Details Revealed

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Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 12:00 am | Updated: 8:51 am, Mon Jul 3, 2017.

Growth demands north of County Road 466 motivated Titan Senior Living to announce last week in the Daily Sun its first skilled nursing facility in The Villages.

The San Antonio developer of senior-living facilities picked a hot, growing area for the 120-bed nursing facility.

Chatham Glen SNF adjoins Soulliere Villas, 135 planned single-family homes, and Chatham Acres, the seven home sites planned on 5- to 7-acre parcels, all just west of First Baptist Church of The Villages and south of County Road 42.

Hot is the word to describe this area around Mulberry Grove Plaza, where Cody’s Original Roadhouse also just started construction on a new restaurant adjacent to Lake Medical Imaging just east of Buena Vista Boulevard and south of

CR 42.

The nursing facility could go vertical quickly, too, since Titan already possesses the required state-issued expedited certificate of need, said Charlie Fulton, Titan’s executive director of senior living development. He’s targeting a fourth-quarter 2018 opening date.

It will be the company’s third development within The Villages.

Élan Spanish Springs, Together with The Villages, an 86-unit assisted living and memory care facility, already serves residents at Alverez Avenue and Avenida Central.

Élan Buena Vista, Together with The Villages, a 224-unit independent, assisted living and memory care facility, could open as early as October at Buena Vista and CR 466, Fulton said.

Farther to the south, The Villages Developer generated considerable resident interest last week with the unveiling in the Daily Sun of a detailed map that contains the Developer’s vision for the area in and around the villages of Fenney and Southern Oaks.

It included the naming of two new villages, McClure and Desoto, a wealth of new recreation facilities, as well as new golf cart tunnels and bridges.

McClure covers about 456 acres with entitlements for around 1,550 homes at the southeast corner of county roads 468 and 501.

Desoto would contain a smaller number of homes about a quarter of a mile or so west of CR 501 and south of CR 468 and adjacent to the western edge of Southern Oaks.

The map the Developer unveiled also identified seven new recreational facilities and a championship golf course.

One of the larger recreation facilities covers considerable acreage just north of the 468-501 intersection.

It would include a recreation center; sports pool; softball and multipurpose fields; a remote control boat and fishing area; RC car and street hockey areas; and walking and cycling trails.

At McClure, the recreational facilities would contain a resort-style family pool; a pavilion; splash park; playground; beach volleyball, tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard and bocce courts; bean bag toss; fire pit; nature park and walking trails; fitness stations; and a dog park.

Villagers also learned exclusively last week in the Daily Sun that The Villages for the fifth consecutive year claimed the distinction as the oldest community in the country.

The distinction is a critical component of population in The Villages metropolitan statistical area, which ranked the past several years as the fastest-growing MSA in the United States.

But a caveat came with the new Census report that recorded the community’s median age at 67.1 for the year ended July 1.

While they’re getting older, Villagers also are living healthier, longer lives, according to Sumter County’s dramatic climb last year in the state’s health rankings. It ranked No. 15 in the state, up from 30th the year before.

Also: The Villages Developer continues to pursue avenues of easy golf cart access to Fenney and Southern Oaks from sites near Rohan Recreation Center and the Brownwood town center. 

Plans call for the development of three bridges.

One is a multimodal path bridge near Rohan Recreation Center that would cross State Road 44 for pedestrian, bicycle and golf cart use. It would link the 652 acres to future planning areas, including the 2,000 acres the city of Leesburg has agreed to sell to the Developer.

The second multimodal bridge across Buena Vista would permit access into a 359-acre parcel the Developer recently purchased, and then connect to a second multimodal-only bridge over Florida’s Turnpike, which would enter a newly announced recreational area with a family pool and additional amenities.

Golf carts, bicyclists and pedestrians then would be able to access Southern Oaks, Desoto and Fenney via a golf cart tunnel just west of the 468-501 intersection.

Another multimodal tunnel about a quarter mile south of the 468-501 intersection would link McClure with Southern Oaks, Fenney and Desoto.

Also: SECO Energy continues structural work on the $3 million expansion of its electrical substation on CR 501 adjacent to Southern Oaks. The upgrade will add enough capacity for 25,000 homes and nearby businesses.

Also: The Villages is moving forward with a new 150-room hotel next to Grand Traverse Plaza that will include an upscale full-service spa, a resort-style pool, 10,000 square feet of conference space and a Wolfgang Puck-licensed restaurant. A large advanced medical center — roughly 250,000 square feet — will be built next door.

Also: The Villages Developer still seeks resident feedback through the annual survey at thevillages.com on how future growth should take shape.

 David R. Corder is a senior writer with The Villages Daily Sun. He can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 9066, or david.corder@thevillagesmedia.com.