By PHYLLIS HODGES
The 160 buyers of Lennar homes in the 55+ Medley at SouthShore Bay community in Wimauma were promised a gated, amenity-rich atmosphere that encourages an active, socially vibrant lifestyle. The builder made good on that promise in mid-December with a soft opening of a clubhouse complex followed by a grand opening on Jan. 18. Visitors and residents alike were on hand for the tours, food, giveaways and opportunity to meet the staff and fellow residents.
Included in Phase One of the complex are a café, pool/lounge area, pickleball courts, Bocce courts, card room, multi-purpose room, billiards, fitness center, pet wash and event lawn.
Tesa Teal, clubhouse manager, said, “Our intent is to keep everybody busy.” She was beaming as she explained that Phase Two will expand the complex to accommodate a larger number as homes are sold.
Visitors were escorted around the complex by a cadre of homeowner ambassadors who volunteer to talk to homeowners and potential buyers. Sandra Graham was one of the first to move to Medley and to volunteer as an ambassador. Graham said she had always heard about the senior golden years and for a few years after retirement and living in Valrico, she was asking herself when the gold was going to kick in. “It did when I moved here. I love it. There are lots of activities and the staff and residents are wonderful,” she said.
In the clubhouse café, newcomers Troy and Deborah Melquist (St. Petersburg) and Patti and Ron Castro (New York) were getting acquainted. Even though the Melquists are not retired yet, they say the friendly, resort-style atmosphere makes it easy to meet like-minded people and that they are on vacation every day. “We have met more people in two months here than in 20 years in St. Pete,” he said.
Mike Bachman, Medley’s sales director, said that Lennar is offering a two-day Stay and Play package for prospective home buyers. Call 1-800-495-6496 or visit the website wcitampabay.com for information.
SouthShore Bay, the master gated community, is located on S.R. 674 just east of U.S. 301. The Medley component, where Lennar is building 226 villas and 629 single-family, will constitute about one-third of the 2,400 homes planned for the 1,000-acre site. Neither of the remaining sections being developed by Holiday and D.R. Horton are age-restricted or gated with amenities separate from those surrounding the Crystal Lagoon. Lagoon amenities will include a pool, beaches, restaurant, swim-up bars, entertainment plazas and more. Man-powered water sports will be allowed.
Metro Places introduced lagoon communities to Florida in 2018 with the Epperson community in Wesley Chapel. The SouthShore Bay lagoon is the only one planned to date in Hillsborough County.