By Matt Wiley

Growth in the ever-expanding Wesley Chapel area continues, as a major home-builder is planning to begin construction on the first housing community in the Wiregrass Ranch Development of Regional Impact (DRI). Construction is set to begin in less than six months.

Standard Pacific Homes (SPH), an Orange County, CA-based builder, has purchased 675 acres of land at the intersection of Chancey Rd. and Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., south of S.R. 54 and just north of the new Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel (FHWC).

According to published reports, during a Pasco County Development Review Committee (DRC) meeting on January 10, representatives for the Porter family, which owns Wiregrass Ranch, negotiated with the county about being required to fund the widening of both S.R. 54 and Meadow Pointe Blvd., an issue that has been holding up development inside Wiregrass. Family Trust spokesperson J.D. Porter says that, during a January 24 DRC meeting, a revised version of the Wiregrass Ranch DRI Development Order was approved and settled who would build which roads inside and around the Wiregrass DRI, including the Chancey Rd. extension where SPH will build.

SPH just closed on the land in December, but currently is planning to begin the yet-to-be-named development — which will consist of 1,181 single-family homes — as early as June, pending any permit delays, says Frank Messina, Tampa Bay division manager for SPH.

“We’ve done well in the Wesley Chapel market in the past, so we knew we wanted to continue to build in the area,” Messina says, noting that SPH has been building in Wesley Chapel for more than 10 years, with subdivisions in Seven Oaks, Watergrass and Meadow Pointe. However, he adds that the new development will be like nothing else that has yet been built in the area.

“The homes in this development will target ‘move-up buyers’ (buyers who already have owned homes), but are looking to move into something new,” Messina says. “We’re not building typical ‘Florida-style’ homes.”

Instead, Messina describes the homes as having a more Tuscan-style, “Euro cottage” or Mediterranean look in front, which, he says, is much different than most other homes in the area.

The homes will be divided into four communities, each built around a first-class clubhouse, which will feature similar architecture to that of the homes in the community. The clubhouses will feature pools, tennis and basketball courts, fitness rooms and other amenities.

Messina says that with so much to offer nearby on the BBD corridor for shopping and entertainment, it was not necessary to include a “town center” feature, which has been a common amenity in several of the newer communities that are either planned or currently under construction.

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