There’s a real likelihood that Carrollwood suffers a bit from an identity crisis. It’s understandable when you consider that the census-designated place (CDP) was listed in the 2000 census as “Greater Carrollwood.” Yet, in both the 1970 and 1980 census statistics, an eerily similar CDP area was listed as “Lake Carroll.” After toying with that for, oh, 20 years, the powers-that-be apparently decided that the residents of Lake Carroll weren’t confused enough or were getting too comfortable, so the brain trust of the Census Bureau decided to split the CDP in the 1990 census in favor of the smaller “Carrollwood” and “Carrollwood Village.” Then the 2010 census was released and—lo and behold—the community was reunited as “Carrollwood.” Whew. On top of all that name-changing is the fact that Carrollwood is in the middle of one of Florida’s largest metropolitan areas. So, if there’s an identity crisis hiding in the tree-lined shadows of Carrollwood, it’s definitely warranted.
Carrollwood—well, at least that’s what it will be known as for the next few years, anyway—is an unincorporated CDP located in northwestern Hillsborough County, and boasts tree-lined streets, large lots, and tropical landscapes to give its nearly 33,400 residents a true suburban feel, despite being in the midst of a large metro area. It consists of predominantly upper middle class homes, most of which are single-family with three-to-four bedrooms. Other options include apartments, townhomes, and condominiums. The community is essentially self-contained with shopping, dining, and entertainment in close proximity. Carrollwood, itself, is host to a cultural center, and shares its pride of place with several annual community organized events for both the young and young-at-heart.
And, speaking of the young, Carrollwood schools are part of the Hillsborough County Public School District and include Cannella, Carrollwood, and Essrig elementary schools; Hill Middle School; and, Chamberlain, Gaither, and Leto high schools. For those interested in private education, Corbett Preparatory School of IDS and Carrollwood Day School provide an inspiring and dynamic learning environment.
The community has over 40 individual housing developments from which to select your next home. These developments are tucked within the cozy comfort that is Carrollwood, leaving its residents with a sense of tranquility that belies its metropolitan location. The centerpiece of the Carrollwood Village area, for example, is a 27-hole golf and country club that opened in 1970 as the Carrollwood Village Golf and Country Club. In the 1980s, it served as a stop along the Senior PGA tournament schedule. Of course (pun intended), this being the Carrollwood community, the club changed names—apparently, in a futile effort to keep up with the area’s decadal identity changes—three times. First, it became the Country Club of Carrollwood in 2001, which lasted a couple of years, then the name was changed to Emerald Greens Golf Resort and Country Club in 2003. It was during this time that a comprehensive renovation was undertaken that included all the holes on the course being improved or redesigned, and a new clubhouse and recreation center being built. New condominiums and vacation villas were added, along with a new pool area, and resurfacing of the existing tennis courts. But, alas, no improvement could keep the luster of the name safe. In 2013, the name of the course was changed to Carrollwood Country Club, as much to preserve the original history of the club as for any other reason.
If its tree-lined streets, professional golf course and premier country club, its sense of tranquility amidst the chaos of metropolitan living, and its convenient location aren’t necessarily persuasive, perhaps consider this: it is just a short drive to major attractions such as Disney World, Busch Gardens, Legoland, and the white sandy beaches of the Gulf coast.
All of which brings this conclusion: Carrollwood by any other name is still just as great!