SMR Firing from All Cylinders in Sarasota, Manatee


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, May 2nd, 2016 – Property development activity is revving up to the max for Lakewood Ranch (LWR) developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR) as it set in motion two major projects in April 2016: a multi-purpose community park in East Manatee and groundbreaking for its Waterside venture in Sarasota.

SMR in early April filed the plans for a 44.5-acre Lakewood Ranch Community Park bordered to the north by State Road 70 and to the east by Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. This multi-purpose park will complement various residential projects within LWR’s Development of Regional Impact (DRI) boundary between State Road 64 and State Road 70.

Expanded to 1,493 acres from 697 acres in 1984, this DRI is now a growth area with several residential developments projects underway or in the planning stage. These communities include Mallory Park of DiVosta Homes, Harmony of Mattamy Homes, and the Arbor Grande of Standard Pacific (merged last year with the Ryland Group resulting in CalAtlantic Homes as the surviving entity).

Road Extensions for Better Connectivity

SMR Firing from All Cylinders in Sarasota, Manatee

Besides the park project, which has a total cost of $1 million, SMR is likewise pursuing roadway construction at the nearby White Eagle Boulevard, Gatewood Drive, and Wood Fern Trail. When completed, these roadway extensions will provide park access to residents of existing communities Central Park, Harmony, Bridgewater, Esplanade, Indigo, and Savanna.

SMR said the first phase of the park is expected to open by end-2016, with additional phases up for completion by December 2018. Once complete, the park’s facilities will include a 1,456-square-foot pavilion, restrooms, and a multi-purpose field, outdoor play fields, walking trails a dog park, and tot lots. The Lakewood Ranch Stewardship District, a special taxing district covering SMR-owned land in Manatee and Sarasota counties the park, will own and operate the park.

Building a Waterside Lifestyle

For the Waterside in Sarasota, SMR disclosed during the project’s groundbreaking that it is set to begin construction of infrastructures related to this project sprawling over 5,500 acres in Sarasota County. The initial work includes the extension of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Lorraine Road south to Fruitville which is programmed for completion in 18 months.

SMR also projected that development of the Waterside’s 86-acre town center will start in January 2018. Its planned site is a peninsular area located on the northern side of the largest of the property’s seven lakes. Amid this lake, which is over a mile in length, is an eight-acre island that is ideal for recreational purposes. Besides commercial components, restaurants and other amenities, the town center is likewise envisioned to have multi-unit housing.

Overall, the project is planned for 5,144 residential units all centered on a waterfront lifestyle. Waterside also involves development of commercial space totaling 390,000 square feet and 90,000 square feet of civic space. Hundreds of acres of the wetland areas in the property and its native vegetation will be preserved, SMR said. These natural attractions include the 400-acre Long Swamp which will serve as a refreshing backdrop to the community housing and luxury apartments on the drawing boards for Waterside.