Monday, August 15, 2011

The History of On Top of the World Communities, Ocala, FL

“One of the nation’s 50 best active-adult communities” according to Where to Retire magazine (2011), On Top of the World Communities has become an acknowledged leader in active-adult residential design, as well as a pioneer in building energy-efficient homes.

A comprehensive mix of innovation and value is part of a multi-generational family tradition started by company founder, Sidney Colen, in the 1940s. It was the way Mr. Sidney, as he was called, had operated since 1947, when he began building single-family homes in the St. Petersburg, FL area.

By 1957, he developed Florida’s first community for active-adult buyers and created the first modern condominium community – Clearview Oaks in Clearwater, FL. A decade later, the company began building its next community, On Top of the World, also in Clearwater. Close to 5,000 condominium homes in all were built in that area.

In 1975, Sidney Colen turned his attention to north central Florida and purchased a 12,972-acre cattle ranch established by James Norris in the 1940s – Circle Square Ranch. Colen had a vision to develop this land in a way that combines an innovative, superior lifestyle with friendly and inviting neighborhoods; a vision of preserving the environment and natural beauty together with establishing a tradition of excellence. With the development of a master-planned community at Circle Square Ranch, portions of the land continue to be a working ranch while the remainder of the property moved into a new, carefully thought out phase, maximizing the full potential of the spectacular location and surroundings.

Since the start of construction at On Top of the World Communities in Ocala in the early 1980s, about 4,500 homes have been built in 14 neighborhoods. Development of the Ocala, FL property has been overseen by Colen’s son, Kenneth Colen, who inherited his father’s eye for detail and concern for the environment.


  1. It is a great place to live.
    I had my home there (Crescent Ridge II) for several year, until I got back to Brazil.
    I loved the place.

  2. Went to visit and loved it! (Friendship Village) Plan on getting a place in the near future.