Author: Nick Robinson
Published May 13, 2014
Plans for an active-lifestyle community at the old Ashley Farms location on U.S. 27 are underway. Shea Homes, a division of the J.F. Shea Co based in Walnut, Calif., has acquired the land through its subsidiary, IHP and will develop an active-lifestyle community with a focus on golf, walking & biking trails, and other lifestyle amenities. Trilogy at Ocala Preserve as it is now called, will not, however, exclusively be a 55-and-older neighborhood. “We’ve done this in some of our other communities and have had a lot of success, “says John Norkeliunas, sales manager in Ocala for Trilogy.
The community will include around 1,700 homes on 623 acres built over the next 10 years. According to Trilogy’s website, the neighborhood will combine thoughtfully designed floor plans with quality construction, energy-saving innovations and architectural inspiration in all of their homes. The community will include a golf course, a 5-star resort with state of the art fitness center, dining, special interest clubs, enriching classes, tennis, and much more.
Shea Homes claims to be the largest privately owned home-builder in the country and was founded in 1881 in Portland. Ashley Farms was originally going to be developed by WCI, a Bonita Springs builder, who acquired the site for $2.7 million back in September of 2007. WCI subsequently went bankrupt and Ocala 623 Development LLC, the Florida Subsidiary of IHP, got the property back for $2.1 million, 18 months later.
Strategically, Trilogy at Ocala Preserve is being developed at the right time as housing inventory is starting to tighten in Marion County and home values are continuing to rise allowing for new construction to begin. Currently Marion County has several national home builders in the area building in communities such as HeathBrook Preserve, Deerpath Estates, and Lake Diamond Golf & Country Club in the Silver Springs Shores, not to mention the areas’ established retirement community developers such as DECCA at Oak Run.
Trilogy hopes to have a number of model homes available for a “soft launch” in October, with larger selections up in the first quarter of 2015. The first models should be going up in four to five weeks, with a price range to be determined at a later time.