Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Water Tower & Windmill at The Brownwoods front entrance


The Villages. For those of you new to this blog or to our now defunct The Villages blog, here are some things you need to know.

It is a 55+ community but to abide by the law, 80% of the homes in The Villages must have at least one person 19 years of age or older, living in it. Persons under 19 are not allowed to live in The Villages.

It all began with a guy named Harold Schwartz from Michigan who bought up a bunch of land in Central Florida. Through a series of legal machinations, he was able, some 30 years ago, to begin building the first community, known as Spanish Springs.

Schwartz's family still maintains control and owns all of The Villages. Living expenses are high for it takes a lot of money to keep the place going. Today it remains the fastest-growing community in the U.S. Not that that is a good thing. It has become a traffic nightmare.

The Villages now sprawls over 32,000 acres, and covers 25 miles. Each development area (Spanish Springs, Lake Sumter Landing and Brownwood) has it's own "downtown" with a square of sorts which offers entertainment and liquor every day of the year, weather permitting.

These "downtowns" also provide a number of shops and restaurants. Please note also that everything is designed to give it an old-timey feel; most of the buildings have some faux notice on them indicating they were built in the 19th century. None were.

Spanish Springs has more of a Spanish style to its architecture; Lake Sumter Landings is more like a small lake town; and Brownwood, was built to resemble a 19th century western settlement.

There are 39 golf courses in The Villages, but most of them (32) are of the Executive type - small, par-3 courses. It is so difficult to get a tee time in The Villages that many residents end up playing golf in Ocala or other nearby communities.

The population has doubled since 2010 and is now over 104,000. Most of the folks get around by golf car, and most streets in The Villages with the exception of state or country roads are golf car friendly.

The Villages is overwhelmingly conservative and Republican so any candidate who wishes to win an election makes sure of at least one stop in The Villages during his/her campaign.

19 comments:

William Kendall said...

Nice looking windmill, even though it would be fake. The whole concept sounds like something devised by Marketing Chimps.

Linda said...

The criteria for living here sounds confusing, Lowell, but this may be just me. I am referring to the ages you mentioned, especially where you mention 19. 55+ is the norm; however, I must point out that I am too young to be considered a senior here in Quebec, as in order to be considered a senior one must be 65+. I will be 59 on October 27th, which makes me too young, not to mention a different age (especially female) for one seeking employment. Your photo is lovely, what a beautiful blue sky! :)

Pierre BOYER said...

Very nice picture and good presentation...

Pierre

Sylvia K said...

Ah, thanks for the warning!! I surely wouldn't be welcome there!! Hope your week is going well!! Enjoy -- regardless of the population!!

Kay said...

Okay. I'll say it: all of those places look fake. I guess if you've got a lot of money it's fine to live in Disneyland but even if I did and wanted to live in Florida I really prefer authentic. There. End of rant.

llandudnopictures said...

Very interesting piece, The Villages is clearly a very popular place for people to live... given the population there has doubled in just five years!

Karl Demetz said...

I love this picture, Lowell, it's so "western".

Bibi said...

My mother lived in one of these 55+ communities....I hated it. Everybody was soooo right-wing, but then again, so was my mother...

Small City Scenes said...

So "western" haha
You are very verbose as of late. but that is ok----some things need to be said.
As to your comment on my post--I like a small house---cutsy I guess.
We weent from a tiny house full of the 6 of us to a larger house when the 4 were gone. Liked it but half of them came back so now they have the house and I live again in a smaller house---but on larger acreage. haha!
MB

Sharon Anck said...

It sounds like a place for me to avoid at all costs! ;-)

Linda said...

Hi Lowell, thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog post today and thanks, as well, for explaining about the age thing. It makes sense now. :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Living in a Fantasy World ... ( fantasy that nothing has changed over the past century) .... . The guy knew his target audience didn't he!

RedPat said...

It looks like the wild west. I think this is an area you wouldn't be happy in, Lowell!

magiceye said...

Fake place for fake people - a reflection of our times!

EG CameraGirl said...

Hmmm/ I guess I just don't get why people like to live in faux environments.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I don't see you as being the conservative type Lowell, you have too much of an excellent sense of humour :)

Filip Demuinck said...

Like the blue sky.

Greetings,
Filip

Jack said...

Fortunately, I have not been tempted by the Villages . . .

Kate said...

Well, to each his own. It certainly has a different development history than many other US cities.

"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson