LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – Groundbreaking for the much-anticipated Waterside Place took place Oct. 4. The future lakefront town center, located south of University Parkway and east of I-75, will feature shops, restaurants, office space, The Players Centre for Performing Arts and Waterside Park, an eight-acre peninsular park.
Waterside Place will be the centerpiece of Lakewood Ranch Waterside, the Ranch’s first residential development in Sarasota County. Completion of the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch project is expected in mid-2020. Construction is not being phased; Willis Smith will build the entire commercial portion at one time.
Although the specific businesses cannot be named at this point, letters of intent have been signed by such businesses as nail and hair salons, a yoga studio, gym, travel agency, a women’s boutique, and both in-line and free-standing restaurants, according to Kirk Boylston, president of LWR Commercial.
“Waterside Place presented a unique opportunity to create a mixed-use project that has a significant amount of waterfront restaurants, shops and office space,” Boylston said “We have spent almost two years in planning and design to make this a special place for our residents and expect it to be a regional destination. There will be a number of open gathering spaces, parks, and a marina located directly on the waterfront, which will make Waterside Place a setting unlike any other retail area in the region. It isn’t just a place to go shop or dine, but a place to hang out, relax and enjoy the surroundings.” Another exciting component of Waterside Place will be the Waterside Place Apartments by Davis Development. Scheduled to break ground at the end of 2018, Davis will deliver more than 800 units to the town center (including 22 rental townhomes). This will enhance the vitality of the town center with day shoppers and diners.
Home sales at Lakewood Ranch Waterside are brisk; more than 100 homes have been sold since the first builder opened its doors just over a year ago. There are currently four home builders in two villages in Waterside: Homes by Towne, Arthur Rutenberg, and Lee Wethington in LakeHouse Cove, and Pulte in Shoreview. Many residents cited Waterside Place and its offerings as an incentive to buy in the village.
“Living in a brand-new community within the well-established amenities of Lakewood Ranch is ideal,” said Lakewood Ranch Waterside resident Mike Collins. “We are particularly excited about lakeside “wining and dining” in the new Waterside Place.”
When Waterside is finished, it will feature 12 compact, walkable neighborhoods connected to each other and to Waterside Place via trails and waterway. Built around seven lakes, the community has more than 20 miles of shoreline and acres of nature preserves. Waterside Place will also feature a marina and water taxi.
“We want this to be a place where fun and entertainment are embraced,” Boylston said. “Our leasing efforts are focused on bringing in great food, craft beer and cocktails, music, entertainment and other elements that create a place that is fun to be at, where people will want to return to frequently. We want this to be the place in our region where everyone goes to hang out with friends and family.”
The construction of Lakewood Ranch Waterside included the added benefit of much-needed regional infrastructure, including the extension of Lorraine Road as a four-lane thoroughfare to Fruitville Road, which was complete in September of 2017, updates to Deer Drive, and the extension of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to Fruitville Road, which began in July of this year. For more information, visit lwrwaterside.com.
Lakewood Ranch is the 31,000-acre award-winning master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee counties on the West Coast of Florida. Just minutes from the Gulf Coast beaches and cultural assets in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch is already home to more than 30,000 residents and features A-rated schools, the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, the Sarasota Polo Club, the 75-acre Premier Sports Campus, its own Main Street with theaters, shopping and dining, and more than four million square feet of commercial property. For more information visit www.lakewoodranch.com.