Is connectivity to south of SR44 slipping again?

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  #16  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by graciegirl View Post
Do you think the Morse organization is financially over extended? The tax thing made me wonder.
No I don't think financially they are over extended. I think the construction resources resources are being stretched to their limits. In the past they focused on one or two large areas in CDDs that were in the 1000-1500 acre ranges. Now there are at least 6 major construction areas in CDDs that are pushing 2500 acres, this spreads things quite thin for equipment and manpower for the contractors.

Don't forget that 3 years ago at this time they got a $350 Million cash infusion when the amenities north of SR44 were sold and they are about to get another $200 Million cash out from the sale of the utilities north of SR44. None of this is a bad thing as these were all built and invested in by the developer to support the community development and homes sales, but it's not their core business.

Taxes aren't really an issue, businesses don't pay taxes, never have, never will, they collect taxes and pass them along to the appropriate government body. Taxes are no different than labor and material, just another cost of the project that is rolled into the final price. We, the customer and end user, pay the taxes not the businesses, not The Villages, not Walmart, not McDonalds, just us in the end.
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2019, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TommyT View Post
Things today are NOT the same since Gary Morse left us. He built ALL the connections, GC paths, rec centers, etc... before the first home was constructed. You knew what was there before you purchased.
Today, the family is ONLY interested in building and selling homes.

The Villages is not what is used to be and I for one see the downfall beginning...
What we are seeing in the amenity-home gap is the result of a) the disconnected construction process, b) the Wildwood Springs acquisition, and c) the increase in green-space and amenities being included in the newer areas.

A & B are directly related. When Wildwood Springs was acquired it was already established as a CDD and development plans had been through the initial process of approvals. They were able to start construction work almost immediately. This was unlike the Cresswind property that appears to have been the next logical step that still needed to have a development plan and CDD formation approved. Because Wildwood Springs was disconnected from the rest of The Villages there was no natural progression and sharing of the amenity resources that had occurred in the past that made things seem seamless and already in place. Instead all new amenities had to be built at the same time as homes were being built which makes things appear backwards from the previous trends in The Villages. Basically they've been playing catch up for the last 3 years. With the Low Lands course and Water Lilly rec centers they appear to be back on track.

Wildwood Springs is now knows as the villages of Fenney and DeSoto. Cresswind is the areas south of Brownwood and adjacent to Lake Okahumpka that is currently under construction.

C is a contributing factor to the time it has taken to catch up with the amenity construction, there is more green-spaces/park like areas and the amenities are much larger and more elaborate that before and anywhere else in The Villages. Maintaining the natural areas that they have also has required longer roads to connect the more spread out areas.

Again, they've been playing catch up for a while now but they appear to be back ahead of the game now.

I completely disagree with your comment about the "family"'s interest. If you look at the approach they have been using the last few years you see a big shift towards both being more environmentally friendly and preserving of the natural areas you will see that this has come at a great cost of time, effort, and the number of homes being built. Hogeye Sink could have easily been backfilled and Hogeye creek been established in its place and many dozens of new homes built in its place. Instead this natural area as well as others have been preserved. This all comes at a cost. It also creates a more desirable community long term, they are actually investing in their and our futures with this greener approach to building. It's a different mindset than in the past and more in line with the values of those now and in the future retiring. This isn't the beginning of the end of The Villages, it is the beginning of a new era of The Villages.
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2019, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by graciegirl View Post
I don't agree with that. The scale of building has increased enormously but building and selling houses is what the Morse family does. Let's not start denigrating people for profitable business. Our nations economic health is based on that, not someone spending government money. (that ultimately comes out of all of our pockets)

I don't think the Morse family is without fault but neither are they malicious scammers. They years ago passed the standard of great wealth and own anything they might aspire to. They don't need more money. I just hope they are still all working together. Last years State of The Villages presentation at the Sharon didn't seem like all three were still as involved as they once were. Granted, even the Morse family keeps getting older, just like we do, and people have a right to retire.

So far it has been a wonderful success. I am hoping it will continue. I am rooting for that.
Gracie I agree with you on all but one point, the scale of the building, in so far as the number of homes goes, has remained relatively constant over the last decade, the scale as far as acreage and number of sites has however definitely increased. As I stated in a previous post this scale increase in size and number of locations appears to have put a strain on the local construction resources.

It is amazing to see how short some people's memories can be. It was okay for them to work hard and be successful in their endeavors, this wasn't greed or arrogance, but when someone else does it (the developer) it is. This quickly translates to "I got mine, you can stop building now because you're being greedy". Capitalism is a wonderful system and is the reason we are all able to live here.
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  #19  
Old 12-03-2019, 01:59 PM
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Hey folks the whole world has changed. As some so-called politician recently said "Get Used To It." Used to be 40cent gas and people who cleaned your car windows with a smile, 24c/pack cigarettes (I never smoked but I remember getting them for my dad in a machine with a quarter and having a penny stuck inside the wrapper). What is gained by telling new people how it was 30-40 years ago during the George Washington administration. You want things to be like they were 30-40 years ago? It's either ALL or NOTHING not just the things that you like. For the "oldies" I understand your reminiscence but for new people what do they care how it was 30-40 years ago (or whatever the "old days" here were). Sounds like a bunch of old folks wanting to go back to the 1920's because newspapers were only a penny.
  #20  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rustyp View Post
Since Gary ? How about when Harold left us. Just today we were reminded of Budweiser Clydesdales and real snow making machines at the Christmas Tree lightings when Harold was alive. They were in front of Katie Bells - remember that exclusive for members only club we considered our flagship. Free golf and Katie Bell's was the sales pitch. The early lifestyle visits included Katie Bell's dollars. People on here think we are so negative but they forget most are new here and have not experienced the changes. In 2003 when Harold passed population was around 30000. Today TV is approaching 140000. Like the old story goes I didn't know we were poor growing up until the government told me. Thus many of you are comparing the past to your hometowns, not here because you were not here. Harold was about the people. Sure he was a businessman and was in it to make money. However he loved the people, He did not live as an isolationist. Harold donated 1 million dollars of his own money to the then Villages corporation to build Spanish Springs Town Square because the corporation did not have the funds to do it as he saw what it deserved to be.

We are on the third generation of a family business. There's an old adage about that . Now I still haven't found a better place but seen many changes and each change seems to be more business oriented. Slogan was live like a millionaire on a retirement budget. I see signs of the class system raising it's ugly head. That won't be good for a "Friendly Hometown".

I have my own barometer of when to bail (I hope never). Watch the flower beds. When they stop changing them 3X per year it will be time to take the profits and run.

Again please don't tell me you are free to leave. I am fully aware of that and will when my barometer pegs. However I try to point out to newbies there is a history here and you should make a little effort to understand this new place you now call home.
The they in this case is us.....aren't the flowers part of or maintenance charge? Not that greedy Developer.
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  #21  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Goldwingnut View Post

Instead all new amenities had to be built at the same time as homes were being built which makes things appear backwards from the previous trends in The Villages. Basically they've been playing catch up for the last 3 years. With the Low Lands course and Water Lilly rec centers they appear to be back on track.

Again, they've been playing catch up for a while now but they appear to be back ahead of the game now.

.
They are nowhere close to being back on track, no less ahead of the game if you are someone who values Championship Golf as an important amenity.
  #22  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Goldwingnut View Post

Taxes aren't really an issue, businesses don't pay taxes, never have, never will, they collect taxes and pass them along to the appropriate government body. Taxes are no different than labor and material, just another cost of the project that is rolled into the final price.
Goldwingnut, your above statement needs to be modified. As recently proven, taxes can either be rolled into the final price of the project, or they can be jamed down the throats of existing homeowners.
  #23  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rustyp View Post
Since Gary ? How about when Harold left us. Just today we were reminded of Budweiser Clydesdales and real snow making machines at the Christmas Tree lightings when Harold was alive. They were in front of Katie Bells - remember that exclusive for members only club we considered our flagship. Free golf and Katie Bell's was the sales pitch. The early lifestyle visits included Katie Bell's dollars. People on here think we are so negative but they forget most are new here and have not experienced the changes. In 2003 when Harold passed population was around 30000. Today TV is approaching 140000. Like the old story goes I didn't know we were poor growing up until the government told me. Thus many of you are comparing the past to your hometowns, not here because you were not here. Harold was about the people. Sure he was a businessman and was in it to make money. However he loved the people, He did not live as an isolationist. Harold donated 1 million dollars of his own money to the then Villages corporation to build Spanish Springs Town Square because the corporation did not have the funds to do it as he saw what it deserved to be.

We are on the third generation of a family business. There's an old adage about that . Now I still haven't found a better place but seen many changes and each change seems to be more business oriented. Slogan was live like a millionaire on a retirement budget. I see signs of the class system raising it's ugly head. That won't be good for a "Friendly Hometown".

I have my own barometer of when to bail (I hope never). Watch the flower beds. When they stop changing them 3X per year it will be time to take the profits and run.

Again please don't tell me you are free to leave. I am fully aware of that and will when my barometer pegs. However I try to point out to newbies there is a history here and you should make a little effort to understand this new place you now call home.
Yes, The Villages has grown quit a bit in the last 16 years since HS left us, but don't think this wasn't all a part of his plans. Watch this video The Building of Brownwood - Exciting Construction Plans - YouTube and they talk about the Brownwood location being known before any home was build south of CR466 (not CR466A). This significantly predates HS's death and without a doubt is clear that the current growth was greatly influenced by both HS and GM. They well knew in the late 90's that The Villages would grow beyond SR44 and farther south as we see it today. You don't invest $100+ million in a premier commercial district only to put it on the fringe of your target customers, you put it right smack in the middle of your customer base (as we are now seeing this to be true). If SR44 was to be the end of The Villages then Brownwood would have been built were the Truman and Roosevelt golf courses are located today.

Unfortunately, most good things usually come to an end, normally the demise is due to abuse. Katie Belles is a prime example of this, it wasn't a private and free attraction, it was a business and businesses have to make money to continue to be viable. The few times I went there for dinner there were a large number of people camping out there having an ice tea or water and taking up a table for hours on end, not spending any money and enjoying the free entertainment that was anything but free to the proprietor. They can't make money with this type of entitled abuse and they can't stay in business. Hence the change in business model. The country clubs suffer for the same syndrome, one has already closed its doors for the same reason, how many more will follow?

By the way, in the business world, it's called a $1 million investment not a donation.
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  #24  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:37 PM
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Goldwingnut, your above statement needs to be modified. As recently proven, taxes can either be rolled into the final price of the project, or they can be jamed down the throats of existing homeowners.
One is a cost of doing business the other is poor government planning. The developer didn't do it, the county government did it. I'm not taking sides with the developer, I'm pointing out the fault where it belongs. Do you honestly think another $1000 added to the price of a house would have deterred any sales over the last decade?

Yes, we all got screwed because some in county government wanted to put a feather in their own hats and say "look at us, no tax increase for 14 years", now we all see that there were short sighted fool that didn't bother to look at their 5 year forecasts that are required every year. Repaving of roads just snuck up on them and the development they approved had cost to the county they chose to ignore until it was too late.
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  #25  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tophcfa View Post
They are nowhere close to being back on track, no less ahead of the game if you are someone who values Championship Golf as an important amenity.
A Championship golf courses are NOT an amenity, they are a private business. They receive $0 from the amenity budget, they have to survive on their customer base alone. If you look at the numbers, it takes about 6500-7200 homes to support a championship course here in The Villages. Less than 3000 homes have been sold south of SR44. A championship course cannot survive without an adequate customer base, which still doesn't exist.
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  #26  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Bogie Shooter View Post
The they in this case is us.....aren't the flowers part of or maintenance charge? Not that greedy Developer.
Most of the flowers costs are from the maintenance assessments, some come from the amenity fee, and some come from the commercial area maintenance fees, it just depends on the location.

The budgets show that the cost of the flowers and other plant change outs that happen 4 times a year is less than 25 cents per month per home of the average $500 annual maintenance fee that is paid by each.
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  #27  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Goldwingnut View Post
A Championship golf courses are NOT an amenity, they are a private business. They receive $0 from the amenity budget, they have to survive on their customer base alone. If you look at the numbers, it takes about 6500-7200 homes to support a championship course here in The Villages. Less than 3000 homes have been sold south of SR44. A championship course cannot survive without an adequate customer base, which still doesn't exist.
I understand the courses are private businesses, but I consider the availability of Championship golf to be one of the most important draws of moving to the Villages. Harold built the golf first and then sold the homes around the golf course. The last course opened was Belle Glade, which was opened several years and several thousand new homes ago. The ratio of Championship golf courses to homes has been significantly diluted since then.
  #28  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:53 PM
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I have my own barometer of when to bail (I hope never). Watch the flower beds. When they stop changing them 3X per year it will be time to take the profits and run.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogie Shooter View Post
The they in this case is us.....aren't the flowers part of or maintenance charge? Not that greedy Developer.
If I recall from the resident college course The Developer is responsible for maintenance and landscaping in the business districts. That would include all the common areas around each town square and all commercial areas like shopping centers, medical facilities, Waterfront Hotel, etc. That's still a lot of flowers. Been a long time since I took the course - how about you ?
  #29  
Old 12-03-2019, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tophcfa View Post
They are nowhere close to being back on track, no less ahead of the game if you are someone who values Championship Golf as an important amenity.
They have started work on the Championship course.
  #30  
Old 12-03-2019, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by vintageogauge View Post
They have started work on the Championship course.
Probably to boost the values of the houses being built with "golf course views". Who designs these layouts? Even the Lowlands executive course was designed to provide more lots with "golf course views". Boring course design for the sale of lots with "golf course views". Play 3 holes, then walk down to the next neighborhood. Play 3 more, then walk back to another neighborhood. Yes, things have changed, but still a great place to escape the snow and ice.
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