WESLEY CHAPEL — Less than a year after the launch of Estancia in Wiregrass Ranch, Standard Pacific Homes has announced plans for a second phase in the resort-style community.
Dave Bulloch, Tampa president for Standard Pacific, said the next phase of the 1,181-home community would include an age-targeted, villa-style product. “It’s going to be a luxury, upscale product with all-inclusive landscaping package,” he said during the company’s recent amenity center dedication. “We’ve built it in other markets, so we’re fine-tuning that design now.”
The builder invited community leaders to the opening of its $5 million amenity center, which features private meeting rooms, a fitness center, two pools and a two-story water slide. The massive pool deck has room for at least 100 lounge chairs, and the shade pergolas on the perimeter conceal a special surprise for sunbathers — cool water misters.
“It has a resort feel, and that was by design,” Bulloch said, pointing to the lush landscaping.
The center has a full-time activity director, basketball courts and four Har-Tru clay tennis courts.
At one time, Pulte Home Corp. owned the land just north of Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel and had planned its own major housing project there. However, it walked away from the project in 2008 when the market went bust. Four years later, Standard Pacific bought it for close to $25 million and is now competing with developers like Newland Communities, Hines, Wheelock and Metro Development — all of which are building in Pasco.
“It’s certainly competitive, but I think the market will hold,” Bulloch said. “There’s enough growth to support it. We certainly have staked our flag in the county.”
Estancia’s first phase has 300 home sites in six neighborhoods, three of which are gated. Home prices start at $250,000 but average well over $500,000.
“When they bought this land, the economic conditions weren’t perfect, but Standard Pacific decided to take that risk,” Commissioner Mike Moore said. He called the neighborhood the “epitome of what Pasco County is about.”
The Tampa Bay Builders Association agreed, choosing Estancia as the showcase for this year’s Parade of Homes. “We don’t go to all these openings, but Estancia is special,” TBBA Vice President Jennifer Dorefel said.
Property Appraiser Mike Wells predicted the community would contribute millions to the county’s tax roll. “I predict that Pasco’s first $1 million non-custom home will be sold in this community,” he said. “We have a few $1 million homes, but they’re all custom homes.”