FishHawk Ranch, a master-planned community in southeast Hillsborough County, is going - and growing - strong.
"Due to the established nature of FishHawk Ranch, people may be under the impression that there are limited opportunities for new home ownership here," says Dawn Turner, marketing manager for FishHawk Ranch. "This simply is not the case."
FishHawk Ranch offers town homes, luxury condominiums and single-family and custom estate homes priced from the $150,000s to more than $1 million. The community's 17 model homes are open daily, showcasing home designs from 13 builders in the Tampa Bay area.
Recently, Newland Communities, developer of FishHawk Ranch, purchased an adjacent piece of property on which about 700 new residences will be built.
"The new parcel is surrounded by mature oak trees and will be within walking distance of the new County Sports Complex, opening next year," Turner says. "In addition, many of the homes will be bordered by conservation land."
Turner says the extension will complement the community, which boasts three clubhouses, four swimming pools, a children's splash park, a waterslide, indoor and outdoor aerobics areas, tennis and basketball courts, a skate park and a theater.
The community also is convenient to Park Square town center, which is home to Park Square Cellar wine shop, Gracie's Ice Cream Parlor, Hit the Trails running store, the Fireside Grille and a YMCA-Express.
Alongside Park Square is a 2-acre park featuring splash fountains, an outdoor fireplace, a lawn and a performance stage for concerts and special events.
On Friday nights throughout the summer, residents from the community and surrounding areas can enjoy free concerts, and the Pumpkin Festival is set for Oct. 20.
"The energy in the community is astounding," Turner says.
Having been a resident herself for many years, Turner says watching FishHawk Ranch evolve into the vibrant community it has become has been priceless.
"FishHawk offers home styles, amenities and activities for every lifestyle. Whether you're just starting out, raising a family or retiring, it is a community that grows with you."
The sizeable menu of home choices will get even larger in the coming year.
Hannah-Bartoletta Homes recently opened their Sinclair model, which boasts 4,587 square feet of living space and an optional two master-suite design, in the Garden District neighborhood.
Cardel Homes will open a model in the Starling Water neighborhood. Priced from the $300,000s, Cardel will offer 11 floor plans, five of which are new to FishHawk Ranch.
D.R. Horton will join the community this fall as the builder in Kinglet Ridge, a gated neighborhood of triplexes, boasting maintenance-free living, garages, a private pool and convenient access to the new Publix shopping center.
Homes by John C. Fowke has been selected to build the Tampa Bay Builders Association's Showcase Home in FishHawk Ranch for the 2008 Parade of Homes. The showcase home, opening in March, will be certified by the Florida Green Building Coalition and feature Mediterranean architecture with a courtyard design.
To catch a glimpse of what everyone has been talking about at FishHawk Ranch, Turner recommends visiting FishHawk Ranch's new Web site, www.fishhawkranch.com, and making an appointment with one of the community specialists.
"Visitors can schedule an appointment with a community specialist, who can customize the guest's tour of the community, right from our Web site," she says. "In addition, while the guest is visiting the Web site, they can create their own file called My FishHawk Ranch Favorites, where they can choose all of the floor plans and homes they are interested in, save them and refer back to them at their convenience."
Guests also can visit the community's intranet, www.fishhawkconnect.com, which gives a glimpse into life in the community, providing access to the event calendar and information on clubs and organizations.
The FishHawk Ranch Information Center is at 16144 Churchview Drive in Lithia. The center and model homes are open daily. For information, call (813) 685-7500.
"The homes at FishHawk Ranch have such unique features, and they are all so different that it would take forever to describe each one," Turner says. "People really need to come visit the community to see them firsthand."