Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

New Plan to Double Lakewood Centre Site

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

New Plan to Double Lakewood Centre Site

Article excerpt

MANATEE: But number of homes planned for new development won't change

LAKEWOOD RANCH

A major phase of development in the master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch will be redesigned to encompass more land without adding more than the already approved amount of homes, offices and commercial uses.

Lakewood Centre will span 1,493 acres between state roads 64 and 70.

In 2008, the county approved a development order for 697 acres, including the area where the 272-unit Lost Creek Resort Apartments and 256-unit Creekside Ranch Apartments have already been built on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard across from the technical institute and high school.

On Thursday, the County Commission unanimously approved developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch's request to more than double the geographic size of Lakewood Centre to include 796 acres north of 44th Avenue.

"Because DRIs (developments of regional impact) are 20- to 30- year projects, you need to update them periodically," Caleb Grimes, attorney for SMR, told commissioners. "...We're expanding its territory and spreading its entitlements."

Lakewood Centre will retain its original approvals for:

3,239 multi-family homes and 1,444 single-family homes (including the already built apartments).

1.67 million square feet of commercial.

1.46 million square feet of offices.

300 hotel rooms.

The additional land will result in lower overall densities and enable SMR to include about 568 acres of open space (about 38 percent of the property) and 76.6 acres of recreational space.

The built areas, however, will have a more urban -- rather than suburban -- character, planners said.

Lakewood Centre is to include a mix of housing types, retail, professional jobs and shopping opportunities to limit future residents' need to leave the area to get on S.R. 64 or 70 to commute to work or perform errands. …

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