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Final homes in Tampa Palms begin going up

Ashington Estates will have about 100 homes, and developers expect it to be completed within two years.

By JANET ZINK
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 10, 2002


TAMPA PALMS -- If you dream of buying a brand new home in Tampa Palms, the snooze button is no longer an option.

Lennar Development is making way for Ashington Estates, signaling the home stretch of residential development in the master-planned community.

U.S. Homes began selling houses in Ashington Estates in late February and Lennar Homes began in late March.

When the community is completed in about two years, it will include nearly 100 homes. Lennar offers 10 different floor plans starting at $245,000. U.S. Homes selections include more than a dozen floor plans starting at about $240,000. Both builders are selling from model centers in the Ashington Reserve neighborhood while awaiting construction of models in Ashington Estates.

Business, they say, has been brisk.

Bonnie Popescu, sales representative for Lennar Homes, says she sold eight homes in the first two weeks of April. Lennar's "everything's included" homes range in size from 2,500 square feet to 3,200 square feet and include such features as 18-by-18-inch stone tiles in the kitchens and bathrooms, built-in kitchen desks topped with glass-fronted cabinets, brick driveways and walkways, and surround-sound wiring in the family rooms.

Ashington Estates is in Tampa Palms North, which consists of Tampa Palms Area 4 and Tampa Palms Area 8. So far, about 270 homes in the areas are occupied. Ultimately, there will be about 575 homes in eight villages in Tampa Palms North.

All the homes in the villages of Ashington and Windsor are occupied, says Betty Valenti, community manager for Lennar Development.

Homes in Ashington Reserve are still under construction, but they've all been sold. A handful of homes remain to be sold in Mayfair and Remington.

The village of Whitehall is about less than half sold out, and about a half dozen of the 80-plus homes on line for Lancaster have been sold.

"I think we're going to see Ashington Estates go really fast," Valenti says.

"If you want a newer style home in Tampa Palms and you want it below $350,000, this is the place to be," says Tony Beeny, a real estate agent for Florida Executive Realty.

In addition to the new construction, the area is attractive to families, Beeny says, because Liberty Middle School and Freedom High School, which will fill with students this fall, are within bicycling distance.

Plus, the schools will be adjacent to a 60-acre park.

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