Lakewood Ranch Growth Sizzles


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 28th, 2013 – Close to 30 years since its establishment, Lakewood Ranch still remains strongly headed for growth, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports.  Two major projects on the horizon in this master-planned development put it in a position to further elevate its status among the fastest growing and fastest selling mega-communities in the U.S., the full service realty company notes.

One of these undertakings is the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South, a mixed business and residential development which has been mothballed for three years. The Sarasota County Commission set this project moving anew with its decision this October to allow construction of some residences before its developer, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, fully completes roadway improvements.

Walkable community

This mixed development is planned in a 5,500-acre site south of University Parkway and east of Interstate 75. It is programmed for about 5,000 homes and close to 400,000 square feet of office and retail spaces. Its plan is in conformance with the Sarasota 2050 development guidelines aimed at preventing urban sprawl by creating walkable and self-contained communities.

The Villages of Lakewood Ranch South will open growth to a vast undeveloped land between University Parkway and Fruitville Road east of Interstate75. With all hurdles cleared, the project is expected to begin in late 2014 at the earliest.

Building out at Country Club East

Country Club

A more immediate project, on the other hand, has been pushed forward at the gated community of Country Club East developed around the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club. Some 475 acres remaining vacant in this community will be developed by a joint partnership of SMR and Starwood Land Ventures under a $45-million deal signed recently.

This transaction also involves the construction of over 600 homes and a new 10,000+-square-foot clubhouse, as well as a new driving range in the golf community’s Royal Lakes links. These added amenities on the drawing boards dovetail with planned improvements in the Royal Lakes golf course.

A resurgence in club membership prompted these country club enhancements which likewise included a casual restaurant, a pro shop, paved parking lot and expansion of the fitness center.

Choices from existing homes

Some 480 homes have already been sold at Country Club East which is a popular destination for prospective buyers of golf community properties. Only about a dozen properties in this community are currently in the current MLS of Sarasota homes for sale, with most of them already under contract.

It has a newly listed property priced in the $800s, featuring four bedrooms in its floor area of 3,500+ square feet. At Belleisle, Country Club East’s maintenance-free neighborhood, a two-bedroom home with a floor plan of 1,594 square feet is also offered in the market at slightly under $300,000.

For a luxury choice, this community has an available property priced slightly above the $1-million level. It is a new two-story build designed with four bedrooms and three baths within its floor area of 3,325 square feet. All homes in Country Club East are built in compliance with green building standards.