In July, Lakewood Ranch, as the 31,000-plus acre property is
now commonly known, became the country’s third-best selling
master-planned community a;er recording 622 new home sales
through the ;rst six months of the year. And that’s on the heels of
ranking among the country’s top- 10 selling communities for ;ve
years running, leading to an overall development that totals some
30,000-plus residents in 19 villages and 22 regional and national
homebuilders showcasing more than 70 model homes as of July.
On a recent visit to Lakewood Ranch, which is located just
one highway exit from the heart of Sarasota and 50 miles south of
Tampa, there are no signs of the thriving community slowing
down as the Main Street shops and restaurants buzzed with activity
and dozens of o;ce parks and health care facilities were ;lled
with working professionals, many of whom are residents of
“;e Ranch” as locals like to call it.
So what makes ;e Ranch so popular today and destined for
real estate sales success for years to come? First, credit lies with
the stable and trusted landowner who has been committed to the
property’s sustainability ever since it was purchased nearly 100
years ago. Of course, the masterful planning behind the project,
where nearly 50 percent of the property will be reserved for natural
habitat, outdoor recreation, and environmental stewardship, is
equally as attractive as it gives the community a sense of peace and
open space even with the tremendous growth.
Lastly, some good fortune didn’t hurt, which came in the form
of Interstate 75, completing Sarasota and Manatee counties in the
mid-1980s and creating a new “Main Street” literally at the front
steps of Lakewood Ranch. If one were to sum up the ingredients
fueling Lakewood Ranch’s growth, it’s all about three things:
Location, lifestyle, and the land.
Sense of Community
According to Maryland-based real estate consulting ;rm
RCLCO, Lakewood Ranch’s 73 percent gain in mid-year sales in
2016 compared with the previous year is partially attributable to its
unique amenities and opportunities for community engagement.
“With a 140-acre sports campus—one of the largest in the
country—a community polo club, and a multitude of community
clubs, Lakewood Ranch o;ers members of all generations the
opportunity to engage and interact,” RCLCO o;cials cited in a
Laura Cole, vice president of marketing for LRW Communities,
LLC, says the continued growth in sales is not attributable to any
one thing. Rather it’s a “myriad of elements, all of which complement each other and in turn create a community,” Cole adds.
For instance, Lakewood Ranch features vibrant shopping
districts, numerous top-rated public and private schools from
offers members of
all generations the
opportunity to engage