The Tampa-based developer that is wrapping up its final phase of Serenoa just received approval for its next huge master-planned community on 378 acres in Lake County on the outskirts of The Villages.
Kolter Land Partners is leading the Hammock Oaks development in the town of Lady Lake, along the Sumter County line. The project received preliminary plat approval on Jan. 4. from the Town Council. Construction of the Hammock Oaks community, which should get underway within the next six months, will include 1,142 residential units, more than half of which will be located within a large age-restricted community. The development will be spread across six phases and multiple subphases.
“It’s The Villages that make this a viable location,” said Jim Harvey, president of Kolter Land Partners. “The Villages has matured to a point where it is more than just The Villages and what they offer. There is a major need for housing for the workforce that The Villages demands and for the professionals The Villages demands. It is an alternative to what they provide.”
With 3,923 homes sold in 2022, The Villages was again the nation’s top-selling master-planned community, according to RCLCO. Despite the inflation and higher interest rates last year, the developer saw just a 2% decline in sales from its record-setting pace in 2021.
Hammock Oaks is located on the south side of Hwy. 466, west of Rolling Acres Road and east of Cherry Lake Road. The age-restricted portion is approved for 722 residences. The non-age-restricted section calls for 190 market-rate detached homes and 230 townhomes. Kolter has divided the project into six phases. The land already has Planned Unit Development zoning. Both neighborhoods will have their own amenity centers
Kolter also received approval in November for an adjacent 1,322-home community called The Reserve at Hammock Oaks, which will be constructed simultaneously with Hammock Oaks, Harvey said.
“We have been working on putting this together since 2020,” Harvey said. “For the age-restricted community, we are talking about close to 800 units with its own activities, a large, active clubhouse, pools, pickleball and fitness, similar to what The Villages offer, but in a more intimate setting.”
Robert Walpole, with CHW Professional Consultants, served as the applicant, submitting the preliminary plat on behalf of property owners Levon Mears, Sarah Mears, the Estate of Douglas A. Hill Sr. SK Hammock Oaks LLC is now the official owner.
Lady Lake Growth Management Director Thad Carroll said the property was annexed into the town on Feb. 23, 2022.
Kolter intends to provide various lot sizes for the project, including townhomes with 16x105-foot lots and 24x105-foot lots. The single-family homes would sit on 35x115-foot lots and 50x120-foot lots. The age-restricted home sites will have lots 40x130 square feet, 50x130 square feet and 60x130 square feet. Harvey said the age-restricted lots will be larger than those in The Villages, with homes ranging in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,800 square feet.
The Future Land Use designation for the property is Mixed Development/Traditional Neighborhood District and the zoning designation is mixed PUD allowing up to six units per acre.
The Preliminary Plat approval does not permit the construction of any improvements. The applicant must continue the process for approval with the submittal of an Improvement Plan application and all regulatory agency permits must be submitted to the town prior to commencing site work.
The developer will also need to create a water, sewer and reuse agreement with the Town of Lady Lake to service Hammock Oaks phases 1-6.
Harvey said Kolter received approvals for its traffic studies and will be making intersection improvements, adding traffic circles at the east and west side of the project and there will be some additional traffic lights installed, all to mitigate traffic impacts. Those improvements will be a part of the master infrastructure completed in Phase 1A, according to the phasing plan. The central amenity center and first 147 homesites are also scheduled in Phase 1A, including 49 market-rate homes and 98 age-restricted units.
Harvey said there will be multiple builders. “They are still in the due diligence phase, so we are not ready to announce which companies will be involved,” he said. “And we don’t have prices yet.”
At Serenoa, Kolter sold its age-restricted section to D.R. Horton for the 55-plus Palms at Serenoa community, with the remainder of the homesites sold to various builders such as Pulte Homes, Park Square Homes, NVR, Ashton Woods, and David Weekley Homes.
Harvey said Hammock Oaks, plus The Reserve at Hammock Oaks, will likely take eight to nine years to reach build-out. The master plan also shows a retail center at the southeast corner of S.R. 466 and Cherry Lake Road and a future apartment site just south of S.R. 466, off the main entrance road.
The developer’s plan addresses the preservation and removal of a few historic oak trees on the property. According to the arborist’s report, there are 19 viable historic trees. A historic tree removal variance would be required to remove any of those trees. “The applicant is preserving significant vegetation and open space with the development, including approximately 13 historic trees totaling over 580 tree caliper inches,” the report states.