When Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can't Go Home Again, he obviously didn't know Nicole Nodal.
The registered nurse and work-at-home mom grew up in Wesley Chapel so, after a short stint in New Tampa, the then-pregnant-with-her-third-child Nodal moved back in 2009.
She chose Meadow Pointe. It's not the exact neighborhood in which she grew up but it was the neighborhood in which many of her friends lived. It was familiar. She was home.
Meadow Pointe, one of Wesley Chapel's largest planned communities with its 8,400 built or planned single-family homes, multistory townhomes and two-unit villas, two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school, is composed of 43 neighborhoods, many gated, in four separate Community Development Districts. Half of its 1,800 acres are conservation or recreation areas.
Nodal said she pays a monthly HOA fee of $89 and an annual CDD fee of about $2,200, but added to Pasco County's lower taxes, it's still a wash compared to living in New Tampa, the immediate neighbor to the south that it's often confused with.
The biggest priority on her home search was having four bedrooms so each of her daughters could have her own. Kaylin, 10, Bella, 8, and Grace, 4, seem thrilled with the arrangement, tugging a visitor to come see their rooms. Similar but different, each of the bedrooms — done in shades of pinks, purples and pastel greens and blues — bears the occupant's name in fancy letters on a wall. There are pink TVs and Barbie shower curtains. It's a very girlie place.
Like many newer communities in outlying areas — Meadow Pointe's first phase was begun in the late 1990s; construction continues today — it was built in the middle of nowhere on former swamp or farm land. The six-lane State Road 56 (mostly east of Interstate 75, just north of the I-275 exit) that leads to it suggests that some visionary knew it wouldn't remain in the middle of nowhere for long.
Today, things like the Shops at Wiregrass, a Pasco-Hernando State College branch, many other housing developments and retail outlets break up the vast open spaces along the road. And, while State Road 56 now dead-ends at Meadow Pointe Boulevard, construction equipment sits at the ready for a future extension that will connect it to U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills.
As development has brought more and more restaurants, stores and medical facilities, its residents have even fewer reasons to leave the area to drive anywhere.
And that's a good thing because Nodal said, in traffic, it takes her an hour and 15 minutes to get to downtown Tampa 30 miles away.
Loreta Abogabir, an agent with Tampa4U.com Realty and one of the top sellers of Meadow Pointe homes, is such a fan of the place she's in her second home there. She bought a townhouse 12 years ago, moving from Carrollwood, and then several years later sold it and bought a tucked-away villa that overlooks a conservation area and a large pond.
"It's so peaceful here," she says as she shows off the trail through the conservation area.
"It's so quiet here," she says as she stands in the front yard of one of the homes.
"There's a lot of traffic but there's also a lot of connection to nature," she said.
Contact Patti Ewald at firstname.lastname@example.org.