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East County Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 7 months ago

2022 construction projects take shape in Lakewood Ranch

Another big year on tap for East County's formation.
by: Scott Lockwood Staff Writer

With the calendar flipped to 2022, the landscape of Lakewood Ranch continues to change. Here’s a look at some of the projects that you can expect to see develop over the course of the year ahead.

Center Point at Lakewood Ranch

CASTO's Center Point at Lakewood Ranch project, which features a medical building, grocery store, restaurants and retail shops was originally scheduled to be ready for business by early 2022.

But supply chain shortages and rain delays have held up the project. CASTO Principal Brett Hutchens has said previously those issues have put construction months behind schedule.

“We'll have certain aspects of it open by the end of 2022,” he said. "But I think the first quarter of 2023 is likely for most of the project to be up.”

Vertical construction began in November. Owens Fish Camp, a popular Sarasota restaurant that is set to expand into Lakewood Ranch, broke ground for construction on Dec. 10. It joins Olivia’s as one of the main restaurants in the project.

Tenants coming to Center Point include McDonald’s, 7-11 and Fifth-Third Bank. Others include TD Bank, PAC Dental, International Diamond Center, Med Spa, Yoga Six, Cryo XL and Club Pilates. More retailers and restaurants are expected to commit to the project in the next couple of months.

A new Publix on State Road 64 and Pope Road begins to take shape in late December. The store is expected to open in the third quarter of 2022.

Publix on S.R. 64 and Pope Road

A new Publix grocery store highlights a retail construction project on the southeast corner of S.R. 64 and Pope Road.

Plans call for a 38,400 square foot Publix along with additional retail space and three out-parcels. Publix spokesman Brian West said the store is on schedule to open in the third quarter of 2022.

Pope Road is also undergoing extensive renovations ahead of the store’s opening. Improvements include an eastbound left-turn lane from White Eagle Boulevard to Pope Road, a longer westbound right-turn lane from White Eagle Boulevard to Pope Road and southbound left- and right-turn lanes from Pope Road to White Eagle Boulevard.

Publix-related construction includes a median on the northern end of Pope Road and an access road into the parking lot, which is available to drivers turning right off northbound Pope Road. 

In addition to the Publix, plans filed with Manatee County include a Culver’s restaurant that will be built on the southwest corner of the intersection across Pope Road.

Pope Road is scheduled to open on March 1, 2022 according to Mark Turner from North American Properties.

Gavin and Franciska Bray stand outside the future home of their Perspire Sauna Studio at University Town Center. The studio, which features infrared technology and comes with several important health benefits, will open in March.

Businesses at UTC

Business at University Town Center continues to expand as Perspire Sauna Studio, 3Natives and a Tiger Woods’ PopStroke are among the new attractions that will be coming in 2022.

Gavin and Franciska Bray are set to open a Perspire Sauna Studio franchise in the Southwest corner of UTC next to the Homewood Suites hotel. Perspire Sauna Studio features an infrared sauna that heats the body from the inside instead of a traditional sauna. The studio, which will feature 10 infrared saunas and a retail shop, is scheduled to open in March 2022.

3Natives is a healthy lifestyle cafe offering acai bowls, cold pressed juices, smoothies, salads, wraps and bagel sandwiches. Patrick and Lindsey McCarthy opened their first 3Natives location in The Green shopping plaza on State Road 70 in Lakewood Ranch in 2020 and will open their second location in May or June.

Ground was broken on the Tiger Woods’ PopStroke in August. PopStroke is a technology-infused golf and entertainment concept featuring professionally designed putting greens, along with food and beverage and other activities, such as cornhole and Foosball. The venue will be built on the shore of a small lake on the north end of Nathan Benderson Park and will have views of the incoming Mote Science and Education Aquarium and the finish tower. 

Mark Stevens, the president of Stevens Construction, previously told The Observer he expects February or March to be likely target dates for completion.

This four-way stop at the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Clubhouse Drive will be replaced by a traffic light later this year.

Traffic signals on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard

Traffic signals are on their way to a couple of busy intersections for the stretch of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard between University Parkway and State Road 70.

With the approval Oct. 19 of a small donation of land from the Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 1 to Manatee County, intersection improvements at Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Clubhouse Drive are now clear to begin.

The busy four-way stop along Lakewood Ranch Boulevard adjacent to the Braden River is set to become a signalized intersection. Plans call for the installation of a traffic signal with mast arm supports, construction of northbound and southbound right turn lanes on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, eastbound and westbound turn lanes on Clubhouse Drive, and Advance Traffic Management System devices.

Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority Interim Executive Director Steve Zielinski said the traffic light will likely be operational at the intersection in late summer or early fall 2022. Documents show the cost of the project is estimated at $1.147 million.

Another signal light is planned for the corner of Balmoral Woods Boulevard and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. Cost is estimated at $1.3 million. An estimated $800,000 will be used to install fiber optic cables from University Parkway to Summerfield Parkway, which will sync both sets of traffic lights with signals located on State Road 70 and University Parkway.

Waterside continues to grow

Waterside at Lakewood Ranch continues to grow with both residential and commercial development.

The popular Ranch Night Wednesdays moved to Waterside in November and has become a weekly neighborhood staple with food trucks, music, shops and cornhole. It is also the new home of the Market at Lakewood Ranch, which is held on Sundays. 

Kirk Boylston, the president of Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty, said Waterside Place has only two ground-floor spaces remaining at Waterside Place. Those two eventually will be filled with "sit-down" restaurants. Boylston also said there is only a "little bit" of office space remaining.

Good Liquid Brewing Co. opened its restaurant and pub in December. Several other restaurants have targeted the first quarter of 2022 to open.

Construction has also begun on more apartments on the east side of the property.


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