The Ocala/Marion County Building Department has noted that housing growth in the city and county as well has remained strong, ,and like most of central and south Florida, is being driven by the influx of new families and retirees, who are relocating from harsher and colder northern climates, as well as for the area’s growing employment opportunities. From traditional neighborhoods, gated subdivisions to sprawling retirement communities, those in search of a home hopefully can find it all in Ocala, as well as throughout Marion County. Shopping Center Space For Lease In Ocala. The new Market Street at Heath Brook mall is scheduled to open early next year, bringing new options to shoppers, including Dillards and Talbots.
Districts like Silver Springs Shores and Marion Oaks, are older, more established residential communities, and are still experiencing robust growth. Other areas like Fore Ranch and Heath Brook are newer subdivisions. The southern portion of Marion County is also home to a selection of massive retirement villages, as well as other other gated communities and villages. Ocala’s high-tech industries are expanding too. Aircraft and tech firm Lockheed Martin continues to build missile control systems in its Ocala facility, and Intellon is expanding its line of integrated circuits into new products.
The Indicators For Robust Growth Are In Ocala
According to local housing experts, most indicators that would enable a healthy local new home sale market are reflected in Ocala. These factors, such as low interest rates, lower cost of construction products and services, strong commercial construction activity, and baby boomers reaching retirement age. Overall, the housing sector is optimistic that the new home market in Marion County will be healthy over the next 12 to 24 months. Paddock Mall, the county’s first mall, is slated for a renovation and expansion in 2008, and newer centers are being developed nearby. A new shopping center, Berkshire Oaks, will add major retailers Kohl’s and H.H. Gregg to the fold.
– Availability Of Affordable Housing
Ocala, as well as Marion County, offers many affordable housing programs for income eligible households, and these include the State Housing Initiative Partnership or SHIP and the Community Development Block Grant or CDBG for home purchase or rehabilitation outside of the city limits of Ocala. In Ocala, the CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Program, which uses federal funds, is among the programs offered to income eligible residents within the city limits. The slowdown in the housing, credit and construction sector has led to higher unemployment in recent months, with the jobless rate rising to 4.8 percent. However employment in the manufacturing and service sector has risen, and the result is an availability of job options.
Of the county’s largest private-sector employers, two are in health care, three in retail sales, three in manufacturing, one in finance and one in support services. The Munroe Regional Medical Center is the county’s largest single employer, with 2,427 employees, followed closely by Wal-Mart with 2,385. The proximity of the county health facilities to the city offers residents better, and convenient access to medical care.