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Medical practices at the state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Healthcare at Brownwood have begun seeing patients at the new medical center that contains 240,000 square feet of advanced technology on four stories just west of Grand Traverse Plaza at Brownwood.

The Villages health care landscape grows this week as more medical providers begin to see patients inside the Center for Advanced Healthcare at Brownwood. 

The four-story, 240,000-square-foot facility is the newest jewel to the community’s expansive healthcare system. When fully operational, it will house nine medical tenants providing more than 25 outpatient specialities and an ambulatory surgery center. The facility, along with the Brownwood Hotel & Spa, serves as the gateway welcome for traffic arriving in The Villages from Interstate 75 via State Road 44 into Brownwood. 

St. Luke’s Cataract & Laser Institute was one of the first providers to begin seeing patients inside the facility. Dr. Kimberly Ireland, medical director and cataract surgeon, and her staff occupy 10,000 square feet that triples the practice’s multisurgical ophthalmology practice’s clinical space in the area. 

Lake Centre for Rehab also schedules patients in its 5,000-square foot state-of-the-art space offering treatment for musculoskeletal, neurological, balance and pelvic floor issues. The center’s office will be its first to contain an unweighting system, which uses an overhead track and harness to ensure patients won’t fall.

Today, The Villages Health begins an initial phase of operations inside the facility. Once fully operational later this month, it will bring together 15 specialties in its 70,000-square-foot space on the third and fourth floors: audiology, cardiology, dermatology, diabetes education, dietetics, endocrinology, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynecology, neurology, orthopedics, podiatry, psychiatry, rheumatology and urology. 

Another tenant is Aviv Clinic, the first clinic of its kind in the U.S. focused on improving the aging process by enhancing cognitive and physical performance. That clinic will use hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which research has shown may help people think more clearly and feel better physically. 

Other tenants at the Advanced Healthcare Center for Brownwood include: Lake Medical Imaging, Florida Cancer Specialists, Eyesight of The Villages, LabCorp and Walgreens pharmacy.

All those medical providers will advise their patients when they can be seen at the facility. Individuals should not enter the facility if they do not have an appointment. Patients and their limited number of escorts should strongly consider wearing a mask inside the facility. Each provider is following CDC protocols for coronavirus precautions. The south entrance should be used for access at this time and patients should not wander the building as parts remain construction zones. 

Also: Preleasing has begun on The Lofts at Brownwood, an age-restricted apartment community just a walk north of Brownwood Paddock Square. Residents age 55 and older have their pick of three floor plans at this golf cart-accessible community. For more information, call The Villages at 352-753-2270, and ask to speak to The Lofts representative; or visit online, www.thevillages.com/thelofts.

Also: Around 500 new residents eventually will enjoy the active adult lifestyle settle at The Lofts at Brownwood, based on a U.S. Census Bureau multiplier. They’ll join around 127,100 Villagers as of mid-March who lived in The Villages of Lake, Marion and Sumter counties, according to The Villages. The Lofts’ residents also will be counted among the population in The Villages metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Sumter County but not The Villages in Lake or Marion. Continuing retiree demand for The Villages active adult lifestyle transformed the community into the fastest growing MSA in the county over the past decade, according to a new Census Bureau report. The MSA grew by 40.5% to 132,420 people over the 10 years ended in April 2019.

Also: The community’s growing population has a positive impact on businesses thinking about relocating or expanding, said Scott Renick, The Villages director of commercial leasing. “In the retail world, retail follows rooftops,” he said. The value of The Villages MSA ranking as the fastest-growing is an enticement to any business looking to grow, he said. “For businesses already in the community and those yet to come here, this is nothing but great news,” Renick said.

Also: The same business opportunities ring true in two other fast-growing cities in The Villages — Fruitland Park and Wildwood. Fruitland Park ranked as the No. 1 fastest-growing city in the country with populations of 5,000 or more, with almost a twofold increase to 10,730 residents for the 10-year period ended in April 2019, according to a new Census report. Wildwood, home to The Villages neighborhoods south of State Road 44, is rising just as fast. It grew by almost onefold to 12,665 residents for the 10 years ended April 2019, according to statistics compiled by the Bureau of Economic & Business Research at the University of Florida. BEBR submits its population statistics every year to the Florida Legislature for revenue sharing purposes.

Also: What also interests business owners about The Villages is the continuing increase in income. The rate of real personal income grew faster in The Villages MSA than any metropolitan market in the state over the five years ended Dec. 31, 2018, according to the latest available statistics released last week by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real personal income, which includes wages, pensions, dividends and other income, grew by nearly 26% to almost $6 billion by the end of the five-year period. The rate of real personal income grew faster in The Villages over the past five years than the next fast-growing metro markets of Naples, Orlando, Crestview and Jacksonville.