Pulte Homes has bought 332-acres in Pasco County belonging to a long-established local cattle ranching family and plans to build more than 700 homes on the property.
The homebuilder paid $16 million for the land, according to county records.
The acreage is a fraction of the 1,800 acres the DePue family has owned since the late 1800s and that it has operated as a family-run cattle ranch. The company and the family have been speaking about the sale of the land for about three years.
According to a statement announcing the sale, family member Michael Nutt says developers have been reaching out for years “but we were impressed with the extensive time and effort the Pulte team took to learn about and understand our rich family history.”
As a way to mark that history, Pulte says in the statement that the community will be named Vida’s Way in honor of family matriarch Vida Claire Barnes DePue who died in 2010 at 88. She managed the ranch through the 1900s and built it into what it is today.
While Pulte has only bought the 332 acres, the statement says that it is working with Tampa-based Walker Brands “to develop the overall concept for the entire 1,800-acre tract of land, with branding that will be incorporated into the initial housing community and position the area with a comprehensive theme for future residential and commercial development.”
The homebuilder also refers to the construction of the 700 homes as a "first phase."
The statement says the family was “involved throughout the process and have responded enthusiastically.”
Current plans call for a 50-foot windmill at the entrance to the development and a 6,895-square-foot clubhouse. There will also be pickleball courts, a community garden for residents to plant their own fruits and vegetables and walking trails.
The property is about 5 miles from State Road 54 and State Road 56 near Wesley Chapel, one of the fastest growing communities along the west coast of Florida. According to a spokesperson, the property is already being developed and Vida's Way could open late next year.