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A few years ago, Sage Communities began developing options for those age 55 and older who were lacking ground-floor rental living options in Southwest Florida.  

On Saturday, the first of at least three such communities celebrated its grand opening at Seneca at Oak Creek, located off Bayshore Road a mile west of Interstate 75 in North Fort Myers. 

The $70 million project began with a $2.28 million land purchase three years ago as Randy Thibaut, a land broker with LSI Companies, started building his team. Stevens Construction, which frequently builds medical facilities, shifted to building its first multifamily project.  

“It’s amazing to see this whole thing culminate to the pinnacle here,” Thibaut said. “Three years’ worth of work, and here we are, and this is our grand opening at Seneca at Oak Creek. We’re excited about it.”  

With 188 units ranging from just less than 900 square feet to just less than 1,600 square feet, Seneca at Oak Creek already is almost half full. Rents start at about $1,800 per month and range to about $2,700.  

Amenities at the community, 7621 Green Sage Circle, include a clubhouse, a resort-style pool with lap lanes, a dog park, a library, a fitness center and a retention pond with a fountain.  

“Sage Communities is a unique, niche opportunity we saw in the market for active adults,” Thibaut said. “Age 55-plus who don’t want to take care of a home anymore. They don’t need or want to live in assisted living. They want a carefree lifestyle living in one-story apartments. They come with garages and a great deal of amenities. We saw a niche in the market. We said let’s go after it. This will be the first of many we will be developing.”  

Next year, Sage Communities hopes to break ground on similar projects in Cape Coral off Del Prado Boulevard and in Punta Gorda off Taylor Road, Thibaut said.  

“And then from there, who knows?” he said. “The sky’s the limit. We have a lot of things on our minds and our drawing boards.” 

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