LITHIA - FishHawk Ranch is expanding once again, as construction gets under way for some 1,200 homes in what was previously known as Circa FishHawk.
Thirteen model homes should be opening in October to showcase the builders constructing houses on a portion of the 710 acres added to FishHawk Ranch in 2007. An additional 231 homes are scheduled to be built on the property in the future.
A new village center is also in the plans.
Newland Communities, the developer of FishHawk Ranch, decided recently to change the name from Circa FishHawk to FishHawk Ranch to better blend with the existing community, located to its east, said Marketing Director Pam Parisi. The new neighborhood is located near the intersection of Boyette Road and FishHawk Ranch Boulevard.
Newland purchased 1,129 acres from Pulte Homes under the name Lake Hutto in 2007, then renamed it Circa FishHawk.
"Since FishHawk Ranch has such a strong, positive presence and reputation within our community, Newland Communities made the decision to include this latest phase with it as well," Parisi said. "And, of course, we remain committed to the same level of community building and respect for our natural environments that our residents and families have come to rely on. We will have many, if not all, of the same builders we've had in FishHawk Ranch through the years, too."
The builders for this newest phase are now in the process of finalizing home plans and designs. Sales should begin in August or September, Parisi said. Builders include Ashton Woods, Beazer, Cardel, David Weekley, Homes by WestBay, and Ryland.
The model homes are already under construction and will all be located in one area for easy visitor access, she said. Prices for the homes are expected to start just above $200,000.
Newland is in discussion with several groups that would build in a village center adjacent to The Mosaic Company, which has its headquarters there, said Newland Vice President and General Manager Tom Panaseny.
The center would include medical offices, a grocery anchor, retail shopping and rental apartments.
Panaseny said more details on the village center will be released later this year when Newland has signed contracts.
In addition to the Mosaic headquarters, Stowers Elementary, Barrington Middle School and Kids R Kids preschool are already up and running in this new area of FishHawk Ranch. And for new residents, recreational amenities are on the way, including a heated lap pool and a splash pool. A central park area now under construction should be open by October.
Newland also plans to open a Lake House in October that will have a space for parties and events, a cardio room for workouts and a screened game room with pool tables, ping-pong tables and foosball. Parisi said the Lake House is being constructed beneath a large tree canopy next to a lake.
Panaseny said sales on this project will likely continue for the next five to six years.
Already, new traffic signals are going up at the entrance to the Starling community and in front of Newsome High School and Randal Middle School, all on FishHawk Boulevard, , Panaseny said. They should be operating just before school starts later this month.
"These, along with the turn lanes completed at the FishHawk Regional Sports Complex, were obligations of the Lake Hutto approval," Panaseny said.
The intersection improvements at FishHawk Boulevard and Bell Shoals Road, which Newland contributed to, are nearing completion.
Construction plans and permitting for the widening of Bell Shoals Road from FishHawk Boulevard to Bloomingdale Avenue are well under way, Panaseny said. Hillsborough County should start to acquire the necessary right of way for the widening this year, with construction starting later this year or in early 2014, he said.
Once this phase is complete, Panaseny said, FishHawk Ranch will be 4,183 acres, with approximately 7,258 homes.
For more information on the new development, visit www.newlandcommunities.com.