The Villages Voice - August 2010

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Presidents Message

by Don

President’s Message – Biggest, Best, and Getting Better

Fortune’s online magazine visited The Villages a few weeks ago, and like most first-time visitors, discovered that the reality of The Villages far exceeded preconceived ideas of what the world’s premier retirement community might be.  However promoted by advertising or hyped by residents, The Villages experienced always impresses and far exceeds expectations.  Fortune was here to consider The Villages as a candidate for inclusion among their review of the nation’s master planning communities.  Last month Fortune featured The Villages first among “America’s Most Unusual Communities”.

Five years ago The Villages was less than half of its current population of about 80,000 and already the largest community of its type in most categories including size.  With completion of buildout projected to be by late 2015, homes are expected to reach about 55,000 with The Villages’ population to exceed 100,000.  Several major features can be anticipated south of CR466A including a new town center of Brownwood and additional healthcare facilities.  Three 27-hole country clubs and six executive golf courses will bring The Villages world’s largest golf facility to a total of 621 holes of golf.  Additional amenities and recreation facilities will continue to be proportionate to the numbers of homes in the Villages of new Districts 9 and 10.

The 25,000 acres of The Villages reaches into three counties and two cities.  The secret to maintaining the quality and quantity of amenities enjoyed by residents is the even more complex community development district form of government of The Villages.  There are 10 CDD’s and 2 center districts in The Villages.  Each of the districts is managed by board of supervisors.  Each CDD supervisors are initially appointed by the developer and transition to elected residents as the district becomes developed and populated.  Amenities and facilities in each district and village are built ahead of the population with ownership (and management) transferred from the developer to the districts upon completion of each district.  Residents are encouraged to attend District Government Orientation given 10 a.m. every Thursday at District Government Offices for a more complete explanation of this process.

The Villages’ developer is in its third generation of the family’s leadership, with the fourth generation in training.  Our atypical developer has repeatedly told VHA members that they are not leaving.  The Villages is the developer’s home too.  Even after residential buildout and transfers to the districts are complete, the developer will retain a considerable holding in commercial interests.  

The developer’s mission of building a retirement community where your dreams can come true is not yet complete, but one of his final objectives toward this goal is getting much closer with the just announced Moffitt Cancer Center partnership agreement.  Just over six year ago founder Harold Schwartz’ dream of a Hospital in The Villages came true.  Every year since, The Villages Healthcare System has grown and improved contributing to The Villages’ worldwide reputation as the premier retirement community and the making our dreams come true.