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Business Observer Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 2 weeks ago

Local developer sees surge of new home starts

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Metro Development Group operates five of the fastest-growing communities in the Tampa Bay region.

TAMPA — Metro Development Group, a Tampa-based residential real estate developer, is responsible for five of the 20 fastest-growing communities in the Tampa Bay region, according to a new study by housing research firm Zonda, formerly known as Metrostudy.

Courtesy. Vaike O’Grady, pictured here at Epperson in Wesley Chapel, recently joined Metro Development Group as its vice president of marketing and communications.

Epperson, in Wesley Chapel, ranked No. 1 on Zonda’s list of most new home starts between September 2020 and September 2021. Also appearing in the rankings are Mirada, Southshore Bay, Union Park and Cypress Creek. Epperson and Southshore Bay both feature Metro Lagoon amenities — expansive artificial lakes made with technology licensed from Miami-based Crystal Lagoons. A 15-acre Metro Lagoon is being developed at Mirada, located in San Antonio, a small town in Pasco County.

“Homebuyer interest in our Metro Places communities continues to be extremely strong, thanks to the convenient locations, the quality of our builder team and the extensive and unique amenities we offer,” states Vaike O’Grady, Metro Development Group’s vice president of marketing and communications, in a news release. “Our communities are simply a great value for homebuyers.”

Epperson, the release states, saw 705 new home starts and 493 closings in the 12-month period studied by Zonda. Nationwide, it ranks 21st in home starts.

Mirada, ranked No. 8 on the Tampa Bay list, had 333 home starts and 308 closings, while Union Park, at No. 14 in the region, reported 258 home starts and 206 closings.

Cypress Creek, with 222 home starts and 265 closings, was just behind Union Park at No. 15; Southshore Bay, meanwhile, tallied 301 home starts and 237 closings, good for No. 11 in Zonda’s Tampa Bay rankings.

“Demand in the suburban areas of Pasco and Hillsborough counties is coming from homebuyers moving to Florida from other areas of the country, from renters deciding to buy and from people who simply want a new home,” states Tony Polito, Zonda’s regional director for Tampa and Central Florida, in the release. “We see this strong demand continuing into 2022.” 

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