The Villages Daily Sun

Weekly Growth Report Weekly Growth Report: More Power, More People As Southern Infrastructure Continues to Take Shape

Thousands of residents have weighed in on what they would like to see in The Villages’ future.

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Posted: Monday, May 22, 2017 8:00 am | Updated: 12:39 pm, Mon May 22, 2017.

This week brought more headlines about expansion in The Villages, and the Developer is continuing to seek resident feedback through a survey at thevillages.com. More than 3,000 residents responded to the survey in the past week. Signs of progress became very apparent last week as The Villages is moving quickly on its plans to develop 14,000 homes on 8,000 acres in and around the villages of Fenney and Southern Oaks. Here’s what you may not have noticed:

The Southern Expansion: Site work has begun in earnest on phase one of Southern Oaks, a 274-acre parcel at the southwest corner of CR 468 and CR 501, just west of Florida’s Turnpike. Additionally, SECO Energy spokesperson Kathryn Gloria said the substation on CR 501 will undergo a $3 million upgrade to add enough capacity for 25,000 homes and nearby businesses. The upgraded substation — originally designed to serve the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex and around 5,000 member-customers — will also back-feed power source to other substations in the event of an outage. Wildwood city staff recommended last week that four new hires be made to assist with new work demands. The city commission will consider hiring an administrative assistant to the city manager, a development services specialist, a code enforcement officer and one new police officer. The Fenney Recreation Center is on track for a summer debut, and the Developer is reviewing the final construction punch list as the Fenney Grill comes together. Construction has begun on the Fenney Nature Trail boardwalk and the Fenney Putt & Play.Tickets for a resident preview of the Fenney Recreation Center and Fenney Grill are expected to be announced soon. 

  • Élan Buena Vista, Together with The Villages, the trademarked name applied to the independent living, assisted-living and memory care center at the southwest corner of Buena Vista Boulevard and CR 466, could receive its certificate of occupancy as early as December. 
  • The Villages is pursuing a bridge to cross SR 44 at Morse Boulevard for pedestrian, bicycle and golf car use. The idea still requires state and local approval. Another connecting point between the Brownwood area and the vilalges of Fenney and Souther Oaks lies at 359 newly purchased acres just south of Buena Vista Boulevard.
  • The Villages has announced it will develop seven home sites at roughly 5 to 7 acres each in the Marion County section of The Villages. The exclusive homes at Chatham Acres will have golf cart access and full amenities just like all Villages homes.
  • The Villages has announced 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 restaurant from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. A large advanced medical center — roughly 250,000 square feet — will be built next door.
  • Shooters World will build a 50,000-square-foot gun range near Powell Road and State Road 44A at Brownwood. A Petsmart and a Metro Diner are coming to Buffalo Ridge Plaza. A Cody’s Original Roadside is coming to Mulberry Grove Plaza. And a Habanero’s Mexican Grill is coming to the Southern Trace Plaza. Last year 42 new businesses signed leases here, said Kelsea Manly, The Villages director of operations. 
  • The Villages has announced it will develop seven home sites at roughly 5 to 7 acres each in the Marion County section of The Villages. The exclusive homes at Chatham Acres will have golf cart access and full amenities just like all Villages homes.
  • Since February, at least 60 new homeowners have decided to make Fenney their home, according to Jennifer Parr, vice president of sales and marketing for The Villages. And all construction has been completed at the Blue Heron Recreation Center, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony expected next month.