The Villages plans more construction near Coleman federal prison

Article Courtesy of The Villages-News
By Marv Balous
Published November 12, 2019


Besides ongoing home construction in the vast area south of State Road 44 and northwest of the Village of Fenney, The Villages also plans more building near the Coleman federal prison.

Special Magistrate Grant Watson last week granted a special zoning exception that allows the Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co., a Villages-related entity, to construct a cluster of buildings in an agricultural area across County Road 470 from the prison. He also recommended approval by the city commission of a site plan for the property.

The buildings include a 22,610-square-foot maintenance building, two office buildings of 13,280 and 6,000 square feet and an 800-square-foot restroom building.

The 37-acre site, off the highway on an unnamed road, also would include two parking lots for pickup trucks with trailers, as well as standard car parking lots.

The proposed buildings, served by a well and septic system, could be related to a recent action by the Wildwood City Commission that allows limestone mining on undeveloped land where home construction is a few years away.

Two years ago, the Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co. requested agricultural zoning for 4,130 acres along CR 470 that earlier was slated for homes in the Landstone development. That project was abandoned after the 2008 collapse of the real estate market.

City commissioners recently granted age-restricted zoning to an area about two miles south of CR 470 extending to State Road 48.

Under an agreement with Wildwood, The Villages Land Co. can build 14,455 homes, 1.8 million square feet of commercial/office space and 110,000 square feet of office/government space as well as additional recreation areas on its land south of CR 470.

Overall, the land company has acquired nearly 16,000 acres in south Wildwood where the maximum number of permitted homes is 40,000 to 65,000.

Another 2,800 homes can be built in the Village of West Lake in Leesburg, where the land company bought 1,127 acres for $7.4 million last fall.