The Opening of Brownwood Paddock Square

After years of anticipation, thousands of hours of planning, development and construction, and no fewer than 10 “building of” videos, Brownwood opened on Friday October 12, 2012 for everyone to see.

Now, this was not really a “Grand Opening”, it was more of a “soft opening”, and most of the people that went and visited on opening day found out about it by word of mouth. A more celebratory Grand Opening will no doubt come later, as there is still a lot of work to do and many businesses yet to open, but it is “open enough” for folks to take a look and get a good feel for the new town square.

Below are several photos sent in by readers, mixed in with comments about Brownwood from a few of our readers and Facebook fans who have had the opportunity to check out the latest and greatest addition to The Villages.

The first few photos here were sent in by Glen Ottley. Here’s what he had to say about the “First Friday”:

I ran down after work just to see the finished product and was blown away! Reports from the golf car store were favorable as the showroom was jammed full of people all day and night, AND the first two sales in the new store were written.

The opening, though highly anticipated, was not officially announced; however, all the parking lots were full, the sidewalks were jammed, the eight theaters were showing, and the square was ALIVE.

Looking at the square I felt like I was at a high school football game with it’s unique bleacher seating. Everyone loved it.

Today will be another fun filled day as the Wildwood City Farmer’s Market will be set up at the square from 9 a.m. til 2 p.m., then more entertainment on the square in the evening, and every evening.

What a great place to live!

A band plays at Brownwood Paddock Square on Opening Night

One of the outdoor bars at Brownwood

The next several photos were sent in by Betty Friend. Comments are from some of our Facebook fans.

Front of the Barnstorm Theater

Just got back from touring Brownwood in the golf cart. Busy today! Looks great!

What great craftsmanship. The place is amazing. The sales office and the movie theater are awesome. Well done!!!!!

Went this morning and it is wonderful, like being back in time it’s the best.

A look inside the Barnstorm Theater

Just got back, pretty cool place. Still a lot of construction going on with the buildings. A few of The Villages buildings are open and there done beautiful.

What a place-imagination and money can make a dream place-cannot wait till it is fully completed-they have done a place to be proud of.

Took golf cart ride over; looks so good; so awesome to be living here.

Old truck in Brownwood

Nice!!! I was the 1st customer this morning at the new bank!!! Didn’t even get a prize..ha!!! But the staff was great!!!

Great job! Very nice crowd about an hour ago! Can’t wait to see what is going to fill the empty store fronts!

Beautiful! We are so happy to be living in this wonderful community. Can’t wait for the rest of the stores to open. The new sales office is amazing.

Cool Brownwood Manhole Cover

Loved the country music. Hope the entertainment department keeps the country music coming. Not enough of it on the Village Squares.

Very nice! Loved the twirlers, drums, and music. Good food at ‘City Fire’.

We had a great time. Paddock Square’s stage is awesome. It looks like the back porch of a log cabin. I love the stadium seating with shading overhead. I can’t wait for more stores and restaurants to open.

Welcome to Paddock Square

Everything is first class, as usual. Can’t wait to see what else will be there — restaurants, shopping, etc. The show tonight was great.

Attended the ceremonies tonight. Twirlers, cheerleaders did a wonderful job opening with a patriotic theme. Very inspiring to hear the crowd singing along and swaying to the songs. Villages style, we love it!

I love the entrance off Hwy. 44, the bronze statues are magnificent. Great job.

Another great job by The Villages design team, thanks for another beautiful town center!

The Villages Sales Office in Brownwood

“Build it and they will come” The foresight and vision of those who have developed this amazing place is incredible. My only concern is lack of traffic lights with pedestrian traffic. I truly reside in the “Disney for retired people”.

The new square is wonderful – saw a movie there on Friday – GREAT theatre – went to Farmers Market this morning – all the vendors were so polite and we love to support our local farmers…..

I was really quite touched at the Patriotism of this country last night. It was quite something special, well done The Villages.

Went yesterday and it was mobbed. The ride was great. All cart path so. of 466A. Long lovely ride. Lots of work yet to be done. The Village Logo store was doing a good business. Good to see something different. Next Sat. we’ll try the Farmers Mkt. No stop lights yet so it was every man for himself at one of main intersections but seemed to go smoothly.

Over to you. Have you checked out Brownwood yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. Jim thomasson says:

    Well done. Expect to see a lot of non-villagers there. Good for the resturants and shops I guess. I don’t know about security though even with a police substation.

  2. Ron @ Tall Trees says:

    My wife and I took a drive down last Saturday. We were generally impressed but I was a bit disappointed: the square seemed much smaller than I expected (perhaps the stadium seating distorted my perception); I know the theater was designed to simulate a barn, but I thought it was too much so.

    On the other hand, my wife was very impressed with Brownwood; especially, the sales office decor, and, unlike me, she loved the barn/theater and the stadium seating on the square.

    Afterwards, I did think that those seated at the upper levels of the stadium seating who wished to dance might have trouble negotiating the stairs, especially, if too much ‘adult beverages’ are involved.

    In the long run, residents south of 466A will be pleased that many of us will rarely venture into their realm: very long cart ride (especially, for electric) and to darn many round-abouts to drive. We are happy with Sumter Landing and Spanish Springs is a lot more approachable.

    Have fun Southies (almost feels like being back in the Boston area)

  3. Gary Duffenbach says:

    I will tell you again, exactly what I have told The Villages for years. They have always been adding thousands of people for years and years. You have been continually adding many, many new houses, and ammenities, like golf courses, restaurants, stores, theaters, and on and on, BUT how many HOSPITALS, and DOCTORS and etc. has been enlarged since you have been growing and growing and growing?

    What was the percent (%) of the Villages Hospital beds compared to the Villages homes and residents in 1990?

    What was the percent (%) of the Villages Hospital beds compared to the Villages homes and residents in 1995?

    What was the percent (%) of the Villages Hospital beds compared to the Villages homes and residents in 2000?

    What was the percent (%) of the Villages Hospital beds compared to the Villages homes and residents in 2005?

    What was the percent (%) of the Villages Hospital beds compared to the Villages homes and residents in 2010?

    What was the percent (%) of the Villages Hospital beds compared to the Villages homes and residents in 2010?

    What was the percent (%) of the Villages Hospital beds compared to the Villages homes and residents in 2012?

    The adding on of the Villages Hospital is “ridiculously inaddequate” compared to the number of residents, and homes. And the SAD part of this situation is, the Villages Management people doesn’t care about of the Hospital situation. All that the Villages Management wants to do is make the “big money”!

    Don’t get me wrong. I loved the Villages of Florida. I used to go there during the Winters. .

    And the Villages is a great place to live, or rent, or to vacation at, BUT the Villages is NOT A PLACE WHERE ANYONE SHOULD GO TO IF THEY HAVE ANY HEALTH PROBLEMS ~ PERIOD !!

  4. I think it looks good. Hope to see it first hand next year. I alway enjoy your blog and new letters.
    Thanks again George

  5. Pat Holman says:

    Maybe Gary should think positively that another hospital will be in the future plans for The Villages. People south of 466A have access to Leesburg Regional Hospital and those without major trauma can still request to be taken to Munroe or Ocala Hospitals in Ocalaif their doctors have privileges there.

  6. With all the growth going on I’m curious what the people are doing to not have to wait for hot water. Are the homes built with closed loop recirc systems? Are they having to wait for hot water much?

  7. LInda Gibb says:

    Hubby & I went down to Brownwood on Sun. & what was open was simply fantastic!
    Gary D. this site is about Brownwood not your petty gripes!
    You apparently do Not drive around the various areas in The Villages as there are more Dr.s,dentists, urgent cares & etc. then I can count!
    You don’t have to live here or visit here if you are so unhappy. Those of us living here full time love the place!

  8. Who wants to go to the hospital? No one, thats what I thought! The Villages is like America, love it or leave it!

  9. Would like vendor info at brownwood market on saturday.

  10. When are we getting more restaurant choices south of 466A i,e. Brownwood, or on 466A? Why aren’t corporations begging to get in? A Boston Market would be a good choice. The closest one I know of is in Ocala. That’s way too far. What happened to Bob Evans. I heard they ‘pulled out’ because it would cost too much for the property to make it worth their while. Any updates on who might be coming? what happened to C.C’s Pizza??

  11. Why are there no maps, directions etc to brownwood. Wanted to visit the theater but there is nothing, at least that I could find on the internet or any of your sites.
    Thanks if you can provide some help.

    I wonder how someone ( like me someday) would ever find you to buy a house.

  12. Gary Duffenbach says:

    On October 23, 1212 I wrote an article here (above #3) about how very FEW hospital beds that there were in The Villages Hospital then, Read this clip ( http://www.cfhalliance.org/PDF/10Year-Anniversary.pdf ). See how many new houses, restaurants, and golf courses have been built in The Villages since I wrote the original article above, compared to how many NEW Villages hospital rooms have been added since I wrote the original article on October 23, 1212.!!!!

    The Villages Hospital is a very poor size of a hospital compared to the population of everything else that is built there. I hope that new home buyers THINK about that when you consider living there!!

    Whenever people get sick, they NEED a hospital bed. Soon and later, you will find out that “The Villages Management” has inadequately cared about this issue, and they don’t care. READ ALL OF THIS INFORMATION !!!!!!

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