Villages plans to build 14,455 homes south of Coleman federal prison

Article Courtesy of The Villages-News
By Marv Balousek
Published November 28, 2019


Wildwood commissioners heard the first reading of an ordinance Monday night to annex 8,354 acres south of the Coleman federal prison that someday will become part of the ever-expanding Villages.

The proposed ordinance may be voted on at the commission’s Dec. 6 meeting. The property is over a mile south of County Road 470 and east of County Road 471, along County Road 526 and north of Center Hill. The prison is north of CR 470.

In July, Wildwood commissioners voted to annex about 700 acres in the same area.

If the latest annexation is approved, the Wildwood city limits and future Villages growth would extend nearly as far south as Bushnell.


An agreement between Wildwood and The Villages Land Co. allows construction of 14,455 homes, 1.8 million square feet of commercial/office space and 110,000 square feet of office/government space as well as recreational areas on land south of CR 470.

An estimated 40,000 to 65,000 homes can be built on 16,000 acres in south Wildwood, including the massive Villages of Southern Oaks development south of State Road 44. Another 2,800 homes can be built on 1,127 acres in Leesburg, where The Villages acquired property last fall.

Two years ago, 4,130 acres along CR 470 north of the proposed annexation were zoned agricultural at the request of the Buffalo Hide & Cattle Co., a Villages-related entity. The land earlier was planned for homes in the Landstone development, which was abandoned after the 2008 collapse of the real estate market.

Commissioners approved a site plan Monday night for three buildings on that property, including 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 buildings will be on 37-acre site, off the highway on an unnamed road, and also will include two parking lots for pickup trucks with trailers and standard car parking lots.

Earlier this month, Special Magistrate Grant Watson approved a special exception to allow the buildings in an area zoned agricultural.

The buildings will be served by a well and septic system and could be related to Wildwood’s recent decision to allow limestone mining on undeveloped Villages-owned land.

Commissioners also approved an ordinance that revises franchise agreements with several companies to supply electricity, natural gas, wastewater and fresh water services to The Villages area in south Wildwood.

The 30-year agreements allow the city to receive franchise fees of 5 percent of gross revenue and to approve fees charged to consumers.

Companies include South Sumter Utility Co., Southeast Wildwood Water Conservation Authority, South Sumter Electric Co. and South Sumter Gas Co.

Those companies are not allowed to infringe on Wildwood’s existing agreements with Duke Energy, SECO and TECO. Wildwood supplies wastewater and fresh water services directly to the rest of the city.