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The Villages Land Co. LLC bought land on the west side of the Florida Turnpike, north of State Road 470 and east of the Sumter County line.
The Villages Land Co. LLC bought land on the west side of the Florida Turnpike, north of State Road 470 and east of the Sumter County line. (Lake County Property Appraiser)

The Villages Land Co. LLC bought 241 acres in Leesburg for $4.3 million from Pride Homes of Lake County, per a deed recorded Feb. 6.

The land is on the west side of the Florida Turnpike, north of State Road 470 and east of the Sumter County line.

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As is its custom, The Villages did not return calls seeking information about its plans for the land. However, The Villages of Lake-Sumter Inc. filed a request with the St. Johns River Water Management District recently asking it to formally determine the extent of wetlands and other surface waters on the property, a necessary step before filing development plans.

The huge active adult homes developer builds more homes in one place in a year than any other builder in the country. For the past few years it rapidly built homes in Fruitland Park, also on the border of Sumter County. That development, which had some million-dollar homes built among more modest abodes, is coming to an end soon, said Charlie Rector, Fruitland Park's community development director.

The Villages pulled its first permit for its 780-acre Fruitland Park community on March 1, 2015, said Rector. Since then, 1,372 homes were completed and there are 206 under construction," he said. "We have about 500 more permits to go."

The age-restricted Villages development has sparked other housing developments in Fruitland Park to house those who work in The Villages.  In addition, Fruitland Park's building department is getting a steady stream of permits for after-market improvements on the newly built Villages houses.

"People are putting in swimming pools now and doing remodeling projects," said Rector. There also are rumblings that there will be a spike in commercial development soon.

Rector heard from The Villages and Leesburg city officials that it planned a new development south of Fruitland park on the edge of Leesburg.

Leesburg's spokesperson said there are no development plans in the city for the new land on the south side of town.

"It takes a little while, even for The Villages," said Rector.

Last April GrowthSpotter reported The Villages had other plans to launch a 1,000-acre addition to The Villages in Wildwood in Sumter County near its most recent purchase. Both projects are a departure from The Villages' past developments because they are not contiguous to The Villages.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at teresaburney4@gmail.com or 352-455-1955. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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