Grand Oaks Resort has been forced to revise its business model due to the dominance of the World Equestrian Center in Ocala.
Grand Oaks Resort was long considered a premier venue for a variety of equestrian competitions throughout the year. However, when the World Equestrian Center opened in 2021 in Marion County, it quickly drew events away from the smaller area venues like Grand Oaks.
This week, the Lady Lake Commission heard a proposal from Greg Beliveau of LPG Urban and Regional Planners of Mount Dora about a major strategic shift in Grand Oaks’ business plan. In the presentation before the commissioners, Beliveau unveiled a proposal to create 795 manufactured home lots, primarily aimed at creating sorely needed family or “workforce” housing, driven by the explosive growth of The Villages. The price point for the manufactured homes would be about $165,000. The purchasers of the manufactured homes would also have to pay lot rent.
The manufactured home community would include a smart hub area, a solar farm, a commercial garden, a community garden and multiple trails across the property.
“These amenities would complement the existing clubhouse and pool area, chapel, and several acres will remain designated equestrian areas and open space,” Beliveau said in his presentation, in which commissioners were being asked to consider annexing the property into the town’s boundaries.
Other amenities may include an outdoor theater, outdoor performing arts area, and office/workspaces. Services within the development may include dog daycare, child daycare, educational/tutoring services, and transportation services.
While it would be an “all ages” community, Beliveau said the people interested in the development would probably skew toward younger ages.
“Our younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials) statistically are most interested in and satisfied with manufactured housing,” said Beliveau.
Access into the development would be from Marion County Road on the north with two access points, and access from the south and east would be via Griffin Avenue.
Grand Oaks will provide consumer financing to homeowners through its affiliated national lending company.