New home construction boomed last year in The Villages.

The Developer pulled permits to build 1,586 homes for the 12 months ended Dec. 21 in the Sumter County section of The Villages at an average cost of $281,160 per home, according to the county Building Services Division.

Much of that construction happened in the Village of Fenney, as well as in-fill development in the villages of Osceola Hills and Osceola Hills at Lake Deaton.

Those 1,586 permits also represent a 93 percent increase over the number of permits the division issued in 2016.

In total, those permits account for about $446 million in new residential construction value.

However, new construction wasn’t limited to just The Villages.

Sumter issued 246 new home building permits in 2017 elsewhere in the county — a 31 percent year-over-year increase.

The Villages also pulled 544 permits in 2017 in the villages of Pine Ridge and Pines Hills as the Developer winds down new construction in Fruitland Park.

Also: Expect residential construction to soar this year in The Villages section of Wildwood as the Developer continues home building in Fenney and moves quickly toward home construction in the Village of Southern Oaks.

Also: In that vein, the Wildwood City Commission took action last week on several Southern Oaks development applications. It approved site plans for commercial development on about 98 acres within Southern Oaks Phase IV, an area north of County Road 468 and east of Florida’s Turnpike. It also approved site plans for development of Phase 8A of Buena Vista Boulevard, a total of 40 acres adjoining Southern Oaks Phase IV that eventually would intersect with CR 468.

Also: At two public hearings last week, the Wildwood commission approved two ordinances that modified development entitlements in Southern Oaks. One was a large-scale, comprehensive-plan amendment to designate 41 acres in Southern Oaks as suitable for age-restricted development, which would permit residential, commercial and institutional uses. That 41-acre site, due south of Brownwood on the other side of State Road 44, has been acquired by an affiliate of Central Florida Health, the nonprofit parent of The Villages Regional Hospital and Leesburg Regional Medical Center. CFH officials publicly disclosed plans last year to build an emergency department at that site. At the other public hearing, the commission approved zoning map amendments that permit the age-restricted development classification on about 1,500 acres on the south side of State Road 44, north of Florida’s Turnpike and west of Lake Okahumpka, as well as acreage at the southeast and southwest corner of SR 44 and CR 468. The change to that acreage brings it into compliance with the proposed future land use map designation.

Also: Related to Southern Oaks, the commission at another public hearing last week approved an expansion of Village Community Development District 12, which contains all of the Village of Fenney and parts of Southern Oaks. By state law, the commission oversees CDD 12. The action expanded CDD 12 by about 300 acres for a total of 1,490 acres. It includes Phase I of Southern Oaks, the area to the southwest of CR 468 and 501; Phase III of Southern Oaks, which extends northwesterly from at CR 468 and 501 along the turnpike to a point east of U.S. Highway 301; and an area southeast of CR 468 and 501 and east to the turnpike.

Also: The Leesburg City Commission moved one step closer last week to fulfilling important development entitlements on the sale of 2,600 acres of surplus city property for $12 million to The Villages. Commissioners heard first readings on three proposed ordinances that would guide development of the Villages of West Lake, the area on both the north and south side of County Road 470 along Florida’s Turnpike and then south to CR 48 and northwest to the Sumter County line, where it would adjoin Southern Oaks. One ordinance would create a new citywide zoning district classification of large-scale, age-restricted communities under guidelines set by the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development. The second proposed ordinance would rezone West Lake as a mixed-used age-restricted community under the HUD guidelines. The third ordinance would authorize the city and The Villages to enter into a West Lake development agreement under Chapter 163 of Florida Statutes. Commissioners will vote Feb. 12 on those ordinances following public hearings.

David R. Corder is a senior writer with The Villages Daily Sun. He can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5241, or