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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 8, 2018 5 months ago

Plant construction marks milestone for community

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A new wastewater treatment plant signals forward momentum for West Villages.

The master-planned community of West Villages Florida in south Sarasota County recently broke ground on a wastewater treatment plant — a major milestone for the fast-growing project. 

The plant will provide water for residential and commercial properties in the community, being developed by a partnership that includes Mattamy Homes and Vanguard Land.

West Villages is funding 100% of the up-front costs to build the plant, a $45 million project expected to be completed in January 2020. Some of those costs will be recovered over time through impact fees, according to a statement. Kimley-Horn designed the plant, while Garney Construction will build it.

West Villages Florida President Paul Erhardt tells Coffee Talk the treatment plant is important for two main reasons. One is the plant represents critical infrastructure that will allow the continued development of West Villages. The other is the community is creating it in cooperation with the City of North Port.

When it’s finished, it will be turned over to the City of North Port, the Sarasota County city that's home to the West Villages. “The areas that the plant will serve ultimately will have close to 30,000 homes as well as all of the retail and commercial we have planned,” Erhardt says.

The plant will also generate reclaimed water, which will be used for irrigation by West Villages.

The plant, Erhardt says, is a reflection of the scale of the West Villages development. It’s necessary, he adds, given the scope and growth of the project so far. 

The plant is designed to be modular, to add capacity. Its initial capacity is 2 million gallons a day — that’s the amount of water volume the plant will be able to process. That capacity can be expanded to 6 million gallons as West Villages grows.

The project also cements the developers commitment to the community. Says Erhardt: “I think it reflects the owner’s long-term view on West Villages and willingness to fund long-term infrastructure because of the confidence in the market and confidence in West Villages in years — not weeks or months — but years to come.”

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