By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Wildwood, Fla.—Work has been completed on the initial phases of Providence Independence, a 173-unit (209-bed) senior housing property in Wildwood, part of Sumter County, Fla. The development is part of a larger (42 acre) master-planned development.
Providence Independence features one three-story building with a connected 10,000-square-foot restaurant and bar. The independent living residences are available to those aged 55 and older in a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom units, many offering views from the screened-in patios or balconies.
Common amenities include a café, fitness center with therapy rooms and senior-friendly equipment, a theater with gaming area, cards and billiards room, a chapel, a business center/library, craft room and a hair salon. Providence Independence will also offer its residents a 24-hour staffed facility with electronic access control.
Outside the building—and befitting its location in a lush part of the state—is a “tropical” heated pool with spa, sundeck, cabanas and outdoor dining area. Various courtyards feature a butterfly/bird garden, dog park, garden walk, shuffleboard, putting green, tranquility garden and resident vegetable garden. Grace Management Inc. will manage the property.
Wildwood is the largest incorporated area in Sumter County, which is in north-central Florida. The location is northeast of Tampa-St. Petersburg and northwest of greater Orlando. Compared with those places, the county’s population is relatively small at about 101,600, but it’s growing fast: in 2000, the county only had about 53,300 residents, according to the Census Bureau.