SPECIAL TO OCALA STYLE
Majestic, mature trees filter dappled sunlight over the quiet streets. The rustle of wings rises from a nearby pond as a large heron takes flight. Wooded surroundings and noticeable changes in topography offer an irresistible invitation to explore shaded paths and spacious park areas.
To the first-time visitor, the discovery of such a welcoming sanctuary nestled within the city limits seems indeed remarkable, yet these natural delights are no surprise to those who have already chosen to call Bellechase home.
Flanked by massive, stacked stone pillars, an impressive stone gatehouse stands at the entrance to Bellechase, a private, gated community encompassing nearly 600 tranquil acres close to the heart of Ocala. Although Bellechase is located mere minutes from US 441 and 17th Street, its remarkably lush and sheltered setting belies the fact that all the conveniences of city living can be found among these peaceful lanes with their charming gas streetlights.
Nature set the scene for Bellechase and, fortunately, Boyd Development, the community’s exclusive developer, closely followed that lead. Throughout development of the community, care was taken to disturb habitat as little as possible, as well as to maintain native vegetation. A 75-foot wooded buffer area shelters the community from bordering roads. By working hand in hand with nature and choosing building materials and designs that complement the surroundings, Bellechase has literally created a paradise within the city.
Today, Phase I of the community is nearing completion. One-acre and half-acre home sites in The Woodlands and The Laurels comprise a total of 137 lots, with 78 lots located in The Laurels and 59 in The Woodlands. A number of families have already taken up residence and many homes are currently under construction. Only a few homesites remain available in these sections.
“Phase I has been a great success and we are ready to move on to Phase II,” says Thad Boyd of Boyd Development.
Phase II will consist of 80 villa lots, 106 one-third acre lots in The Willows, and 56 half-acre lots in The Cedars. These homesites will be made available beginning in late 2005. Also in the fall of 2005, a welcome center will be built near the gatehouse that marks the entrance to Bellechase.
Bellechase has five exclusive builders: Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Irvin Construction Company, Inc., Ivey Custom Homes, Podia Construx, and Round Hill Development Group.
“All of our exclusive builders have outstanding reputations locally and have been very well received by the community,” says Boyd.
This year’s Parade of Homes, which will be held April 9-24, provides an ideal opportunity to see all that Bellechase has to offer and to walk through the several homes in the community that are part of the Parade.
“We’ve been building quite a few homes in Bellechase,” notes Paul Irvin of Irvin Construction Company, Inc., which has one model in this year’s Parade of Homes. “Bellechase has been a smashing success and has probably exceeded everyone’s expectations.
“It is the perfect community located in the perfect section of town,” Irvin adds. “It’s close to all the conveniences, yet when you live there, you’re surrounded by nature. We make it a point to keep the integrity and respect of nature as we build so that the homes appear to be part of their natural surroundings. We look forward to future growth inside this community as we continue building beautiful homes for the wonderful people there.”
“Bellechase presented an excellent opportunity for our building company to be in a community that is close in town with city amenities, such as city water, sewer, cable, and more,” says Mike Ferrentino, president and franchisee, building under the Arthur Rutenberg Homes brand. “It puts us in a market where our product shows and sells very well. We have eight homes completed in Bellechase now, including the Biscayne II model, which was one of the ‘Best Homes’ in the 2004 Parade of Homes.”
Ferrentino notes that the 34-acre walled villa community within Bellechase will consist of 80 detached villas exclusively built by Arthur Rutenberg Homes. The Villas at Bellechase will offer a maintenance-free lifestyle with 1,800 to 2,500-square foot villas in the $350,000 to $450,000 price range. This project is part of Phase II, with the first villa purchases available in late 2005.
Upon completion, Bellechase will contain approximately 585 homes. But residents will never have to leave the community to take advantage of numerous opportunities for outdoor relaxation. Ten miles of scenic, winding lanes meander through the various sections of Bellechase. Five miles of wood trails beckon and reward the explorer around every turn. Ponds and waterways are enhanced with aquatic plants that attract a great variety of wild fowl. The lush greenery and hushed surroundings are a welcome respite at the end of a busy day.
Development continues on Overlook Park at Bellechase, a spacious and nearly 15-acre oasis strategically located within the community just off main Bellechase Boulevard near The Laurels and The Woodlands. Walking trails and barbeque pavilions make the park ideal for family recreation and the large, open expanse provides the perfect spot to fly a kite, picnic, run with the family dog, or play Frisbee with the kids. A sweeping, dramatic hill provides a remarkable view of the entire park and surrounding area.
From up-and-coming professionals and growing families to empty nesters looking to downsize, Bellechase has become a welcome haven for residents in many phases of life. The conveniences of city water, sewer, and police protection are complemented by the community’s easy access to schools, hospitals, shopping, churches, offices, and entertainment.
Ask anyone who has made the move. Bellechase is Ocala’s most pristine gated, private community. It’s a marriage with nature that succeeds in every aspect and each fortunate homeowner reaps those rewards on a daily basis.
SPECIAL TO OCALA STYLE