Wellen Park (West Villages) of North Port
Twelve thousand acres of wetland, nature preserves, lakes, and build-able lots, located between Venice and North Port, will house a new city named Wellen Park (formerly West Villages) of North Port. North Port always wanted to expand further to the west, to the other side of the Myakka River, where the grass is greener. As the West Villages grow, it is now only a district, and the name of the entire Development is now Wellen Park.
Once completed, Wellen Park will be bigger than Sarasota and Venice combined. 5,000 – 6,000 homes are already in place, while another batch of 11,000 homes is already on the drawing board. Eventually, there will be more than 20,000 homes in the area. Read more about it here,
Downtown Wellen will be a vibrant destination for fun, dining, and entertainment, including the Banyan House, a lakefront restaurant, and a rooftop bar. Commercial activities will also be included in the center of Downtown Wellen with department stores, grocery stores like Publix, and offices planned along US-41. Residents of Wellen Park don’t have to drive long distances to shop and have fun. Sarasota Memorial has planned a medical facility for the near future. A new Cosco just started clearing the site across Oasis. However, Venice, North Port, or Port Charlotte are not too far away. Even Sarasota is easy to reach within a 40-minute drive.
Some Communities are already established – others are growing fast.
Some of the communities have already been in place for a while. Island Walk, Grand Palm, Gran Paradiso, and Sarasota National are no newcomers. Some were launched more than ten years ago. However, because they hit a dry spot in 2008, they had to pause for a while to regroup. Other communities, like Renaissance and Oasis, are the new kids on the block. They missed the dry spot and could expand right away. Grand Palm was also already in place. There are many more communities coming soon.
Wellen Park will add a significant Number of Homes.
Mattamy Homes, a very successful home builder from Canada, bought the stretch of land south of US-41 down to Englewood. They paid „only“ $87 Million for that „little piece“ of land, which is about 75% of the former Thomas Ranch. Their project is so vast that at least two generations of home builders will have a job. This is not daydreaming; it will probably take 20 – 30 years to get the infrastructure and all the homes in place.
At least 70,000 people will live in Wellen Park. Two-thirds will stay within the city limit of North Port, and the other third of the population will be „proud residents“ of Sarasota County. Will it make a difference where their home is? Probably not.
Mother Nature will play an important role again.
Condominiums, townhouses, villas, and single-family homes will be embedded in lush sub-tropical landscaping. Nature will play an important role, and even the Myakka River is an essential part of the concept. The „River Club“ is designed to give residents access to the Myakka River, where non-motorized boating will be permitted. That scenic river with abundant wildlife is awesome, and the residents will love that part of their new village. There will be a boat launch where residents can get their kayaks and canoes in and out of the water.
The former Thomas Ranch already had a 30-acre sparkling lake in a place, and, fortunately, that lake will stay. The developer decided that the lake was a perfect „eye-catcher“ and would make everyone happy, including the alligators. Also, nature preserves, parks, and smaller lakes will remain.
The area Beaches are a few minutes away.
Water freaks who want to soak up the sun on the beach have options, too. The four beaches on Manasota Key (Manasota Beach, Middle Beach, Englewood Beach, and Stump Pass Beach State Park) and the four beaches on the Isle of Venice (Venice Beach, Brohard Dog Beach and Paw Park, and Caspersen Beach) are only a short trip away from the new West Villages. Manasota Key Road, the village’s southern end street, will get the Sun-seekers within minutes to the beach.