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Business Observer Thursday, May 25, 2017 4 years ago

Church buys, swaps land for growth

The Diocese of Venice plans a new campus in south Sarasota County.

WEST VILLAGES — The Catholic Diocese of Venice swapped vacant land and purchased additional land for a total of 46 acres along River Road in south Sarasota County.

The land, just south of the River Road intersection with Tamiami Trail in the West Villages, a master-planned community, will be for a new church campus, according to a statement. The land the Diocese previously owned was not sufficient for the future parish site, the release adds. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

“This location in West Villages is an ideal location for the Diocese to expand, to meet existing and future pastoral needs due to rapid growth in the area,” said Most Rev. Frank Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida, in the statement. “This is all part of the strategic planning by the Diocese of Venice.”

The Diocese sold 20 acres it had owned in West Villages toward the new property. “This benefits both the Diocese and the residents of West Villages,” says West Villages General Manager Martin Black in the release. “We feel the property the Diocese had owned here is well suited for our commercial development.”

John Burns Real Estate Consulting recently named the West Villages the fourth fastest selling master-planned community nationwide. The developers are a partnership that includes Mattamy Homes and Vanguard Land

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