Infra Projects Rev Up West Villages Development


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, June 21, 2018 – Two infrastructure projects—a $45 million wastewater treatment plant and a $41 million road project—augur well for the continuing development of the West Villages, one of the fastest-growing master-planned communities in the Sarasota real estate market.

The wastewater treatment facility broke ground in May in a site near the southwest corner of U.S. 41 and River Road. It has an initial capacity of 2 million gallons per day which can be expanded up to 6 million gallons. This full capacity is good enough to serve the planned 30,000 homes in the 105-square-mile West Villages as well as its retail and commercial components.

North Port Tie-up

West Villages Water Treatment Project

The water treatment project is being undertaken in cooperation with the city government of North Port to which the facility will be turned over for operation when finished. The reclaimed water from the plant will be used for irrigation in the West Villages’ residential communities and commercial properties.

The upfront costs of the wastewater plant is being funded by the partnership developing West Villages which includes Vanguard Land and Mattamy Homes. Impact fees that homebuilders pay will recover part of those costs as more residences are built in the West Villages.

Garney Construction, the same contractor that built North Port’s current water treatment plant, is building the West Villages facility. Manning for this project calls for about 50 workers, and all construction materials are to be purchased locally. Project completion is projected in January 2020.

Rural Road Modernization

West Villages

Meanwhile, arrangements have been finalized between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Sarasota county government regarding major improvements on River Road on the eastern periphery of West Villages.

Under the agreement between FDOT and the county, state funding estimated at $41 million will be used to improve the four-mile River Road stretch from Interstate 75 to West Villages Parkway starting in 2024. The county, on the other hand, will undertake starting in 2021 improvements on 1.6 miles on River Road from West Villages Parkway to U.S. 41 at a cost estimated at $24 million. An FDOT subsidy would be provided for any excess costs.

Currently, the length of River Road is a two-lane undivided rural highway with no sidewalks. For decades, it was considered as a flood-prone and dangerous route, and improvements are in order, as this road provides a major hurricane evacuation route for both Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

More vehicle traffic is also expected on River Road, as it is the most direct gateway to the $125 million spring training stadium of the Atlanta Braves now rising in North Port and scheduled to open in 2019. With the planned improvements, River Road would be transformed into a wider divided highway with sidewalks, bike lanes and lighting.

Besides the communities in West Villages, there are several other neighborhoods along River Road which would benefit much from its multi-million dollar road improvement project. These home-buying destinations include the residential developments of Stoneybrook, Stoneywood Cove Townhomes and Caribbean Village, as well as the estate properties in the gated Myakka River Trails, all in Venice locations sharing in the upbeat mood of the West Villages.