Apartment life suits lofts’ new residents

Steven Benussi, of the Village of Pinellas, rests poolside at Trillium Recreation Center at The Lofts at Brownwood. About 80% of the leases signed so far at The Lofts are from Villages homeowners.

The first residents of The Lofts at Brownwood say they are enjoying The Villages’ newest lifestyle option and looking forward to getting to know their new neighbors. The Lofts features apartment-style living that allows residents to simplify their lives while maintaining the activities and relationships they enjoyed as homeowners, said Brittany Fugate, leasing leader for The Villages. “It has everything you could want,” Fugate said. “It even has a nice view.” Residents transitioning to apartment-style living in The Villages participate in the amenity fees and privileges they previously enjoyed throughout the community. They also enjoy onsite amenities at Trillium Recreation Center — open to all Villagers — that include an outdoor patio area, a multipurpose game room and a resort-style neighborhood pool where resident Laura Kozlowski swam recently with her friend, Angela Mattiace.

 “We wanted to come see our new neighborhood and check out our new pool,” said Mattiace, who is moving from the Village of Calumet Grove to The Lofts. “It’s so nice that it’s right next to where everyone lives.”

Kozlowski agreed, saying she was looking forward to the atmosphere of living at The Lofts, which are just a few blocks from Brownwood Paddock Square and golf cart accessible to entertainment, dining, shopping and other amenities communitywide.

“It’s a little more of a city lifestyle,” she said. “When there is music and dancing on the square, you can walk over. Plus there are the restaurants and stores right there.”

Apartment-style living offers an opportunity to continue enjoying The Villages active lifestyle in a maintenance-free environment, Fugate said. About 80% of leases signed so far are from Villages homeowners.

“Residents of The Lofts are Villages residents, so they get to enjoy all aspects of the community,” she said.

The promise of maintenance-free living was the main reason Kathy Szuster and her husband, Ed, Villagers for 15 years, decided to move to The Lofts from the Village of Ashland.

“We chose a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, which is the perfect size,” she said. “It’s not a lot to maintain or clean. It’s been great.”

She said the couple also likes being able to “lock it and leave it” without paying for home security, and Mattiace added that they have outgrown the stage in life when they enjoyed doing yard work.

 “We don’t have to mow or water any lawns,” Mattiace said. “I like not needing to stress about those things.”

Trillium Recreation Center welcomes residents from all over the community, said James Pierce, who manages its facilities as well as those at Eisenhower Recreation Center.

“They can expect the same opportunities to meet with friends and have fun,” he said, pointing out the indoor and outdoor dining spaces. “Residents can meet up for food socials, or just share a small meal with friends.”

Nicole and Mark Borski, residents of the Village of McClure, recently stopped by Trillium to check out the table shuffleboard.

 “We really enjoy this recreation center, it’s our first time visiting and it’s very cool,” Mark said.

Staff writer Maddie Cutler can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5386, or maddie.cutler@thevillagesmedia.com.