NORTH PORT (WWSB) - The West villages community is 10-thousand acres of land, and in 2018 alone... more than 1,100 new homes were built.
All those new residents making The West Villages the 4th fastest growing community in the United States.
"So there's tremendous amount of demand and a tremendous number of people that recognize and value what's here at West Villages," Paul Erhardt, the President of The West Villages, explained.
Right now, there are seven gated communities with thousands of homes in this area. Developers tell us they expect to continue completing another thousand homes - every year.
"Obviously with that many new homeowners, and with that expectation to continue growing, we have to build the infrastructure to make it convenient to access the surrounding areas and to travel within West Villages," Erhardt said.
In about thirty days, there will be additional stop lights added to the intersection on Tamiami Trail and West Villages Parkway. While also putting in additional turn lanes, new paving, and updating the pedestrian crosswalks. West Villages is also building a new waste water treatment plant, and also plans on opening about five new roads within the area.
However, it’s not just about homes. They hope ot make west villages an all around town with shopping centers,restaurants, and entertainment. Their new marketplace mall is set to open next year, and of course… the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Facility will have its official debut this March. Plus, with this very fast growth, there’s another important factor that both West Villages and the county are working together on.
"We know that they want to be a family-oriented community, and they're going to do everything they can to draw families to their developments, so that means we have to work with them to plan schools. Eventually in West Villages we'll have a single high school, we'll have a K-8, and we'll have an elementary school," Kathie Ebaugh, the Planning Director for the Sarasota County School Board, told us.
These schools will not be built until there is enough students to fill them, so officials expect it to take at least another 10 to 15 years, but are planning ahead in case it comes sooner.
“Now we’re making a cohesive plan with the whole, bigger picture. The bigger vision of a new town and a new place to live,” Erhardt says.