Residents began calling the The Lofts at Brownwood home back in July, but the third and final phase of the community was just completed Jan. 5. With all construction now done, it represents more opportunities for residents like Frank and Andy Cooke to welcome even more new neighbors. The Cookes previously lived in the Village of Caroline for 13 years, but a desire to downsize ultimately brought them to The Lofts last fall. “It’s perfect for us,” Frank said. “We love the freedom here. Our apartment is beautiful and it has everything we need. And we walk to the Brownwood square a few nights a week for dancing or to go to one of the restaurants.” Leasing officials report that 80% of The Lofts residents are like the Cookes, coming in from another Villages home, to downsize and experience apartment home living.
With the final phase completed, now the entire community is open.
“I’m really excited for the property to be fully open and be able to share the entire neighborhood with everybody,” said Brittany Fugate, leasing leader for The Villages.
The community features 265 total units in five three-story buildings and four two-story carriage house buildings. One-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes are available with nine floor-plan options.
The Lofts allows residents to simplify their lives while maintaining the activities and relationships they enjoyed as homeowners, said Fugate.
“Our residents have found tremendous relief in no longer having to worry about all the things that come with home ownership, such as home maintenance, saving for home repairs, or finding a house sitter while they travel,” she said. “Having the opportunity to live The Villages lifestyle in the most carefree way yet is proving to be quite the attraction.”
Apartment-style living offers an opportunity to continue enjoying The Villages’ active lifestyle, Fugate said.
“Residents of The Lofts are Villages residents, so they get to enjoy all aspects of the community,” she said.
Residents at The Lofts participate in the amenity fees and privileges throughout the community. They also enjoy onsite amenities at Trillium Recreation Center — open to all Villagers — that include an outdoor patio with a fireplace and kitchen area with two barbecue grills, a multipurpose game room and a resort-style family pool.
Those who already have moved into The Lofts are feeling right at home.
“It took a little bit of getting used to as far as downsizing goes, to be honest,” said Bob Hoffman, who moved with his partner, Angela Mattiace, to The Lofts from the Village of Calumet Grove. “But we’ve settled in and we’re very comfortable now. It’s been a great move for us.”
Hoffman said not having to worry about home maintenance has been a benefit of apartment living.
“Taking care of a large property is a lot of work,” Hoffman said. “And the amount of work increases as the house gets older. Here, if we have an issue, we just make a call and they come fix it. The staff has been super.”
The Cookes moved into the community last fall and quickly fell in love with their new home. They also did their part to help the community come together by starting the first social group — The Lofties.
“It was a big hit,” Frank Cooke said. “We had about 40 people show up for the first night. Most of us didn’t know anybody else in the community yet. We had some nibbles and some drinks and just socialized to get to know each other. We decided to do this every month. We’ve had four meetings now and each time we’ve had a few more people.”
Lofties have started organizing activities among themselves such as card games, shuffleboard groups and golf outings.
“2021 looks like it’s going to be really amazing for The Lofts and this community,” Fugate said.
Specialty Editor Keith Pearlman can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5347, or firstname.lastname@example.org.