The Villages Daily Sun

The Villages Seeking Land Near Southern Oaks in Deal with Leesburg

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Posted: Sunday, May 7, 2017 2:53 pm | Updated: 1:55 pm, Tue May 16, 2017.

The Villages Developer has negotiated an agreement to acquire about 2,000 acres adjacent to the Village of Southern Oaks from the city of Leesburg.

Members of the Leesburg City Commission will consider the proposed sale, which is close to $12 million, Monday evening during its regularly scheduled meeting, according to the commission agenda.

The proposed acquisition, which is pending surveys, comes as the Wildwood City Commission also meets Monday evening to consider an ordinance to include Southern Oaks as part of the city’s long-term master plan.

Southern Oaks is part of the 8,000 acres and 14,000 homes the Developer announced in January in a plan to expand The Villages south of State Road 44 in and around the Village of Fenney.

That acreage would grow to around 10,000 acres with the proposed acquisition of the undeveloped Leesburg land, which extends roughly north of County Road 470 in Lake County along Florida’s Turnpike.

Pending final city approval, the Developer will begin planning for how the Leesburg property will be developed, said Kelsea Manly, The Villages director of operations, though construction on the land isn’t expected to begin right away.

“This property is a natural extension of the great neighborhoods we’re already creating for the Village of Southern Oaks,” she said. “And our planners are eager to begin work.”

Leesburg City Manager Al Minner is recommending the Leesburg commissioners approve the sale.

The development would bring new residents, net tax revenue and new jobs to Leesburg, he said.

“This is a huge win for our city and for the entire area,” he said. “The Villages creates beautiful neighborhoods and brings economic growth to our community that benefits everyone. This could add as many as 6,000 new residents to our community, along with all the shopping and recreational amenities that comes with The Villages. (We’d be) delighted to have the world’s leading active adult community growing as part of our city.”