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The Founders Club located three miles east of Interstate 75 on Fruitville Road.
East County Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010 7 years ago

Business Observer 10.28.10


+ Founders Club names golf director
The Founders Club announced recently Jim Owen as its director of golf.

Owen, a PGA golf professional since 1965, has been an active participant with The Founders Club from its inception in 2003, when he served as chair of its membership advisory board until 2008. Now, in response to popular demand from members and an official request by the board of directors, he has signed on for the new position.

Owen had been director of golf at the Longboat Key Club, where he served from 1978 to 1991. He left to become part owner of Serenoa Golf Club, which he sold in 1998. Recognized as Teacher of the Year in 1987 by the North Florida Section of the PGA, he estimates that he has given at least 25,000 lessons since moving to Florida in 1978.

“When I retired, I thought playing golf five or six days a week would be great, but I’m very pleased to be back,” Owen said.

The Founders Club located three miles east of Interstate 75 on Fruitville Road. For more information, visit

+ Ranch reports steady growth
The residential and commercial real estate markets continue to improve in Lakewood Ranch, with both homes sales and the addition and success of several new businesses.

Of the 7,000 homes in Lakewood Ranch, only 200 are currently for sale.

“Of the 200 homes on the market currently in Lakewood Ranch, 31 are new home inventory homes or models,” said Milt Flinn, LWR Communities president. “This leaves only 169 re-sales, or just about two percent of all homes in Lakewood Ranch.

“This speaks volumes about the demand for new homes here on the Ranch, and we are thrilled with the steady improvement we are seeing month after month in this area,” he said.

Sales continue at Central Park, Lakewood Ranch’s newest neighborhood by Neal Communities, with close to 50 homes sold since July 17. Construction also began again at Miramar, a condominium and townhome neighborhood off University Parkway. Slab was poured for the first of the remaining 11 four-unit townhome buildings early this month, and the community is expected to sell out in early 2012. The sales office is expected to reopen in the clubhouse in the near future.

In commercial real estate, C&H Baseball is getting ready for its impending grand opening, and the owners have started moving into the new facility off Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

Pizza Mia, a new pizza and beer delivery restaurant is now open for business in the Lorraine Corners shopping center. Pizza Mia is take-out or delivery only and offers pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads and more. For more information, visit

On Main Street, the Farmers Market returns Nov. 13. Also, Biological Tree & Landscape Services is slated to open a retail store in the Good Earth shopping center on Main Street next month. Called Yard Rx, the store is open currently by appointment only. Yard Rx will offer organic and biological landscaping alternatives for builders, homeowners and developers.

Yard Rx will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration with a food and wine tasting from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Nov. 4.

“Having a location on Main Street is a dream come true,” said Tammy Kovar, BTLS founder & president. “We could not be more excited to be a resource for Lakewood Ranch homeowners, helping educate people about soil, sod and landscaping health and plan to also offer training sessions upstairs and workshops on different topics in conjunction with national manufacturers.”

+ Rotary accepting grant applications
The Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch has announced grant applications are available for eligible 501(c)(3) organizations.

Annual grants are made possible by funds raised at the Annual Suncoast Food & Wine Fest, the largest fundraising activity held by the group. Each year charities selected through the grant application process are selected to be recipients of the net proceeds from the event.

The Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch has funded nearly $700,00 in requests to more than 35 organizations during the first eight years of the festival.

To download an application, visit

+ Manatee Healthcare improves exchange
Manatee Healthcare System recently joined the Gulf Coast Health Information Exchange in a community-wide effort to develop a HIPPA-compliant exchange for the timely and secure sharing of data.

Providers now will be able to access admittance, discharge and transfer summaries for each patient that enters the hospital.

“The Gulf Coat Health Information Exchange is all about improving the quality of care for patients,” said Kevin DiLallo, CEO of Manatee Memorial Hospital. “The ability for healthcare providers to access patient records instantly from one location will give them time-sensitive information needed to better serve their patients.”

Manatee Healthcare System, a subsidiary of Universal Healthcare System, owns the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Manatee Memorial Hospital, and is the largest hospital in Manatee County with more than 400 physicians.

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