For many homebuyers, "community" is the most desirable part of active adult communities. Social clubs, classes, events, and amenities are all strong selling points, which often means choosing a community with a large central clubhouse. However, several developers are taking the clubhouse concept one step further with the evolution of community town centers.
The Features of a Town Center
In many ways, town centers in 55+ communities are quite similar to community clubhouses. Town centers generally house central amenities, such as fitness centers, swimming pools, hobby and game rooms, and large multipurpose rooms. Like clubhouses, they may contain restaurants, golf or tennis pro shops, spas, and learning centers. But in addition to resort-style amenities, town centers may also include a variety of daily services. They often are comprised of multiple buildings and feature necessities like banks, post offices, gas stations, and even retail stores. In essence, town centers help a residential community become more of a small town.
Active Adult Communities with Town Centers
With over 56,000 homes, The Villages in Central Florida does qualify as its own town. As such, it has multiple town centers, including its Spanish Springs Town Square and Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, as well as many recreation centers.
Active adults will also find town centers appearing in much smaller communities. DiVosta Homes, a Florida-based developer, is known for designing 55+ communities which feature town centers instead of clubhouses. In addition to recreational facilities, these town centers include banks, post offices, pet groomers, beauty salons, boutiques, gas stations, travel agencies, and more. A few DiVosta communities include VeronaWalk in Naples, VillageWalk at Lake Nona in Orlando, and IslandWalk at West Villages in Venice.
At Sun City Hilton Head in South Carolina, Del Webb developed a 45-acre town center, complete with a charming clock tower. This impressive collection of buildings houses recreational facilities, meeting rooms, hobby and game rooms, restaurants, and even a performing arts center. Similarly, Solivita in Kissimmee, Florida spreads its amenities across two village centers and several recreation centers.
Many other 55+ communities have also added town centers which combine recreational facilities with retail stores and professional services. Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida boasts its 70,000-square-foot Plaza Del Sol Town Center, complete with restaurants, a hobby shop, a computer classroom, a juice and smoothie bar, and a movie theater.
As 55+ communities continue to evolve, builders are finding more ways to support active adult lifestyles. Spacious clubhouses provide a wide range of recreational amenities and social activities. Town centers take the idea further by bringing retail stores and professional services even closer to home.