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Sun City Center land acquisition opens up possibility of new amenities

SUN CITY CENTER — After months of negotiation, the Sun City Center Community Association has signed an agreement to acquire over 5 acres of land from a nearby golf course.

Community association president Ed Barnes announced Tuesday that a deal has been signed with ClubLink Corp., a Canadian company that has donated over 5 acres of land to Sun City Center to expand and grow its campus.

The property, worth an estimated $100,000 is adjacent to the north end of the community on land that is currently part of the North Lakes Golf Course and its ninth hole.

Calling it almost a year in the making, Barnes says the deal will pave the way for a now-landlocked campus to grow and expand with more space and amenities to entertain the 11,000 residents who call Sun City Center home.

He conceptualizes the expansion may entail a new entertainment center, additional clubhouse facilities, and more parking.

Approximately $1.3 million has been set aside for a capitol building fund subsidized by a one-time fee for new Sun City Center home owners.

"This is a real step forward for Sun City Center to accommodate the needs of our people and pave the way for new opportunities," Barnes says.

To allow each resident the opportunity to voice their opinion as to the type of strategic plan they envision for the future of Sun City Center, a comprehensive survey is being conducted by Erika Matulich, an independent researcher from the University of Tampa who recently completed a survey for Kings Point.

Mailed to all residents, the survey focuses on priorities for recreational amenities, funding for the amenities, communication of plans and a demographic profile of Sun City Center members, who must meet a 55-and-over age requirement.

The combined results of the survey will be used by the board to decide on short-term budget expenditures and a long-term strategic plan that incorporates ideas for Sun City Center over the next 15 years. All Sun City Center residents will have an opportunity to hear and vote on the results of the survey at a Town Hall Meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Community Hall.

"We would really like to see a huge turnout," said Robert Black, spokesman for the association and a former member of the board of directors.

The immediate plan calls for development to begin within six to nine months, taking two to three years to complete. The association will put the plan out to competitive bidding, and Barnes says the new buildings, unlike the current ones on the Sun City Center campus, which have been around for over 30 years, will incorporate energy efficient and sustainable features.

Barnes also notes that a potential West Campus exists in the Master Plan for Sun City Center residents. More than 35 acres of land, situated just west of Del Webb Boulevard, includes a lake that could be turned into an area for fishing, picnicking, and archery. The community association needs a deed in the form of an easement from Hillsborough County to get access to the land, since a 20-foot county drainage ditch separates the community from the property.

Kathryn Moschella can be reached at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

Sun City Center land acquisition opens up possibility of new amenities 08/23/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 23, 2012 9:12am]
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