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The Villages
Sunday, March 26, 2023

Wildwood commissioners clear way for Villager’s $110-million development

Wildwood commissioners Monday cleared the way for a massive $110-million development northwest of Powell Road and County Road 44A behind the Wildwood Community Center.

Commissioners gave final approval to a comprehensive plan amendment for the project after it was reviewed by state officials because it is a development of regional impact. They also approved a zoning change to central mixed use for the 36-acre property recently annexed to Wildwood.

Development director Melanie Peavy said the city is negotiating an agreement with Blount Development Group that spells out the responsibilities of the company and the city.

Built on land once occupied by a Wildwood ranch, the project is expected to include at least 320 one- to three-bedroom, non-age-restricted apartments, 150 senior independent living apartments and 100,000 square feet of medical office space.

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

With the city’s legal approval completed, construction of the first phase could begin this spring or early summer, according to developer Rick Blount, a resident of the Village of Bridgeport at Lake Sumter.

He said apartments will include a mix of townhomes, duplexes, carriage homes and garden-style units. Amenities will include a resort-style pool, fitness center, clubhouse, outdoor grills and walking paths.

Blount said the Class A market rate apartments may appeal to working couples or families.

Due to the project’s location close to the center of Wildwood, tenants will have easy access to the Wildwood Community Center and Millennium Park. Brownwood shopping and restaurants are nearby and children can ride their bikes or walk to school.

The property includes wetlands, surface waters and flood zones and the developer is required to preserve these areas or allow for mitigation by working with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Environmental resource permits may be needed.

The project will add 8,260 daily trips to area roads, according to a traffic analysis that also recommends adding westbound and eastbound turn lanes on CR 44A.

A lifelong resident of Lake and Sumter counties, Blount’s past projects include HarborChase assisted living center north of Powell Road.

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