+ Dairy Queen to celebrate grand opening on S.R. 70
The new Dairy Queen Grill and Chill, located at 7155 State Road 70, will celebrate its grand opening Feb. 5 to Feb. 7, with special appearances by monster truck Stone Crusher and Tookles the Clown.
A portion of the proceeds from the grand opening will benefit All Children’s Hospital, in St. Petersburg.
Tracy Hirschauer and her husband, Mike, along with partners John and Cathy Iadovito, will serve as the new owners and managers. The Hirschauers also own the Dairy Queen on 14th Street, in Bradenton, and one on Clark Road, in Sarasota.
“When we saw this store close two years ago, we were very sad,” Tracy Hirschauer said. “We believe in this community and feel the out-east area wants the DQ back. We are so excited to be a part of this great community.”
Dairy Queen will begin featuring several community benefits, including kids eating for free on Wednesdays, celebrating seniors seven days a week and fundraising nights for local schools and youth groups. In addition, all local sports teams will get free ice-cream cones on game nights.
+ Builders Association honors Neal Communities
The Home Builders Association Manatee-Sarasota recently recognized Lakewood Ranch-based homebuilder Neal Communities as a Special Patron member.
“Neal Communities is extremely honored to have been named a Special Patron member,” said Pat Neal, president of Neal Communities. “This important local organization strives to provide safe and affordable housing in our community, which is also a benchmark goal at Neal Communities. Together, we have had a real effect in Southwest Florida home building, and I look forward to continuing to expand upon this successful partnership.”
Neal was presented with the honor for his continued support and contributions to the local chapter.
+ Lakewood Ranch Real Estate off to solid start
The new year is off to a solid start for residential and commercial real estate in Lakewood Ranch.
With only 206 homes on the market in Lakewood Ranch, there is now a shortage of available homes to purchase. In December 2009, Lakewood Ranch sold 21 home sites for homes to be built in 2010. In addition, Lakewood Ranch builders purchased nine sites for models and inventory homes to be built in 2010. The Lake Club, Lakewood Ranch’s high-end community, sold eight homes in 2009, totaling $16.5 million in sales. Additionally, Miramar sold its entire inventory in the second week of 2010, with construction on an additional 60 homes slated for this year.
Finally, Neal Communities will open Central Park in July 2010, with smaller homes starting in the $100,000 range.
“As we celebrate our 15-year anniversary of the first home sold on the Ranch, we are reminiscent of a time when homes were more affordable here,” said Rex Jensen, CEO and president of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. “Our goal is to provide workforce housing so that everyone who works in Lakewood Ranch can afford to live and play here as well. While we will never abandon the country-club lifestyle and amenities that Lakewood Ranch is known for, we are anxious to get back to providing affordable home options like we did back in the beginning, 15 years ago, when our first home sold for $89,000.”
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20 Cooking Class With California Cabernets
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Coats for kids
Knights of Columbus Councils are helping children in need by providing coats to children in their communities through the order’s Coats for Kids program.
Santa and his elf made a surprise stop Dec. 13, at WineStyles, in San Marco Plaza, by Harley-Davidson motorcycle, during the store’s weekly Friday night wine-tasting event.
Members and guests of the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club ventured Dec. 4 to Orlando, to view holiday decorations at the Grand Floridian and to have lunch at Downtown Disney.