Wellen Park Breaks Ground on Downtown

Todays News

Rendering courtesy Wellen Park

Developers broke ground on a new  downtown for Wellen Park in South Sarasota County. Dirt moved on the project at a ceremony on Friday as leadership in the master-planned community discussed how the central commercial hub would change the community.

“It will be the heart and soul of Wellen Park,” said Rick Severance, president of Wellen Park. “There are just a lot of really thoughtful elements that will be interesting, fun and definitely Instagram-worthy.”

Formerly called West Villages, which is still the name of a portion of the development, Wellen Park covers several thousand acres in the Venice-North Port area. The downtown will feature retail and waterfront dining on an 80-acre lake. Artistically decorated shovels used in the groundbreaking will go on permanent display in the downtown area. A food truck park will increase culinary offerings, and a town hall and great lawn will serve as venues for events, including concerts.

The master plan for the community includes pedestrian-focused walkways as well as a 2.8-mile trail for biking, walking and running around the lake.

“It’s a healthy place, and there are many ways to be healthy” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing for Wellen Park. “It might mean taking your kayak or paddleboard out or fishing the 80-acre lake. It might mean hiking, biking or walking around our pathway.  It might be a sunset happy hour toast with friends, or simply sitting under the big oak and relaxing.”

The groundbreaking also included public activities like the making of floral bouquets and having a vintage horse trailer retooled as a bar, all part of an effort to show the amenities expected to come to the downtown area when it opens in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The entire event was curated to reflect the vibe of Downtown Wellen,” Severance said. “We don’t want to wait until next year to start celebrating and enjoying the Downtown Wellen experience.” ‘Countdown to Downtown’ events will be announced over the coming year

The community is already garnering national interest, with high-profile real estate rankings from RCLCO showing Wellen Park as the No. 5 top-selling master-planned community in the country in the first six months of the year. Lakewood Ranch came in at No. 1 on that list. Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County came in at No. 25. 

Rendering courtesy Wellen Park

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