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Villa development planned in Oldsmar

(ran SE edition)

A Tampa developer plans to begin building as many as 218 villas off Curlew Road next month.

Pulte Homes is building the villa community, to be called Countryside Key, just west of the Woodlands Shopping Center. The first phase will include 62 town homes ranging in size from 1,003 to 1,075 square feet, with prices starting at about $60,000.

The development's recreation area will include a pool, tennis courts, a clubhouse, fishing dock, jogging trail and picnic areas. Greg Singleton, land development project manager for Pulte Homes, said models should be available by late August.

Singleton said he expects Countryside Key's location to be attractive to buyers. "It's an ideal location between Hillsborough and Pinellas County," he said.

Oldsmar has experienced a homebuilding boom lately, with projects slated for Forest Lakes, Cypress Lakes, Mobbly Bay and the Ed Rood Sr. property east of Harbor Palms. Community Development Director Nick Staszko attributed the boom to Oldsmar's location and especially its available land.

"That's not true of a lot of other parts of Pinellas County," Staszko said.

Mayor Jerry Beverland said Oldsmar has shed its ugly-duckling image and has come into its own.

"Oldsmar's just been that ugly caterpillar for all these years. One day you look out there and see that beautiful monarch," Beverland said.

"Oldsmar is the place where everybody wishes they were, he said. "There's a fantastic bright star over this town, and it's leading all the wise people here."