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The Villages
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Villager wins approval for $110 million project at site of former Wildwood ranch

Wildwood Community Center at Millennium Park.

A massive $110-million mixed-use development is planned along County Road 44A west of Powell Road near Millennium Park in Wildwood.

The project by Blount Development Group will include apartments, independent living beds and medical office buildings.

Special Magistrate Grant Watson Tuesday recommended approval of a comprehensive plan amendment and a zoning change for the 36-acre project at a meeting of the Wildwood Planning and Zoning Board. The City Commission could act on the proposed ordinances later this month.

Three hundred and twenty-plus units of Class A non-age restricted apartments with a mix of townhomes, carriage homes and garden-style units are planned on this site. A mix of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units will be available.

Built on a former Wildwood ranch, the development will include at least 320 one- to three-bedroom, non-age-restricted apartments, which will include a mix of townhomes, duplexes, carriage homes and garden-style units. Amenities will feature a resort-style pool, clubhouse, fitness center, outdoor grills and walking paths.

The gated development also will include 150 senior independent living apartments and 100,000 square feet of medical office space. Developer Rick Blount, a resident of the Village of Bridgeport at Lake Sumter, said he hopes construction of the first phase can begin in late spring or early summer.

This land will be home to 100,000-plus square feet of medical office buildings.

Unlike other recent apartment projects, the Blount development is close to the heart of Wildwood, which means tenants will have access to Millennium Park and Wildwood schools are a short bike ride away. The apartments also will be within walking distance of the Wildwood Community Center and close to Brownwood shopping and restaurants.

“Residents will have easy access to the surrounding park for walking and running trails, soccer and ball fields and all the other many amenities and events taking place in the park,” Blount said. 

He described the apartments as Class A, market-rate units that he said may appeal to working couples or families. He said the construction will be architecturally consistent with the area.

A lifelong resident of Lake and Sumter counties, Blount’s previous projects include the HarborChase of Wildwood assisted living center, north along Powell Road at Huey Street.

The Blount project is one of several planned developments near Powell Road.

At the meeting, Watson also recommended approval of a site plan for a 3,500-square-foot 7-Eleven convenience store on the northeast corner of Powell Road and CR 44A. North on Powell Road, Wildwood Preserve is expected to include 126 apartments.

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