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East County Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2013 4 years ago



+ Main Street repainting nears conclusion
Lakewood Ranch Main Street’s repainting is in its final stages.

Part of routine maintenance, the painting of the exterior of businesses began April 1 and should conclude by mid-October, said Julia DeCastro, Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty director of leasing.

Three contractors contributed to the project: Myers Painting LLC, Scott Paint Co. and Fawley-Bryant Architects.

Final touch-up work includes the painting of dumpster doors.

“We have been extremely pleased with all the parties involved in this project,” said Brian Kennelly the outgoing president of Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty. “From the beginning, our team worked flawlessly together on the 156,000-square-foot project, picking the right product, the right color and the right application.”

Scott Paint, a Sarasota-based company, provided the paint — more than 10 colors, all earth tones — and coating to the project.

“The color design was intended to give each storefront its own identity,” said Eric Lawson, director of renovation systems for Scott Paint.

Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty is pleased with the result.

DeCastro said the logistics of the painting, which included alerting individual stores when their business would be repainted, went smoothly.

“We had absolutely no problems,” DeCastro said. “Oh, my gosh, it looks beautiful.”

+ Nonprofit starts works to house sex-trafficking victims
Selah Freedom, a Sarasota/Manatee nonprofit that brings awareness to sex trafficking and provides a place for victims to stay, is launching a residential recovery program.

Beginning Nov. 1, the yearlong program will provide women older than 18 with safe housing and coaching to get them back to living healthily.

The three-year-old nonprofit hired its first life coach, Sarasota native Melissa VanDyke, and bought residential property to house up to five women.

VanDyke survived sexual abuse and addiction.

“The sexual abuse I experienced as a child and my subsequent struggle with addiction robbed me of my freedom for many years,” VanDyke said. “I empathize with the victims Selah Freedom serves. Many of them are coerced into a life of sexual servitude at a young age; their childhood is stolen from them; and they lack basic skills, such as making a bed or preparing a meal. I am honored to use my past experience to help these women cope with their abuse and learn the necessary skills to successfully manage their new freedom.”

Selah Freedom, which has served 50 women this year, has partnered with the Sarasota and Bradenton police departments to bring victims into the non-profit’s care.

To learn more about Selah Freedom’s residential recovery program, call 941-487-1904 or visit

+ The Concession announces groundbreaking of new homes
The Concession, the luxury community at the eastern end of University Parkway, has announced the groundbreaking of five new custom model homes.

Construction also includes 10 additional custom homes.

All are expected to be completed by the spring.

A press release stated more home starts will begin in early 2014.

Builders for the project include: Anchor Builders, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, John Cannon Homes, John Neal Homes and Lee Wetherington Homes.

The new home starts come as the community has sold 30 lots in the last seven months.

“We hit the ground running in February during the Parade of Homes, and things kept going right through summer,” said Mark Bruce, The Concession real estate director of sales. “This new wave of models and new home starts will catapult the community into 2014 at full stride.”

+ John Neal begins construction on new Country Club East model
John Neal Homes recently broke ground on its Palmavera model in the Haddington section of Country Club East at Lakewood Ranch.

Palmavera is a new floorplan with 2,884-square-feet of living space, three bedrooms plus a den and an open great room.

“The Palmavera incorporates all of the elements of Florida living,” said Mark Sochar, building division president at John Neal Homes. “The views from this model will be stunning from the second you walk through the front door — with water seen from every bedroom and the great room. We’ll bring the outdoors in with the Palmavera’s open and airy single-floor design.”

Haddington features private roads, including its own transponder-controlled, residents-only gate.

Neighborhood amenities will include three gazebos — two with waterfront views — and a kayak launch. Homes will range from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, with home and home-site packages beginning in the high $400s.

The Palmavera model is expected to be complete in early 2014.

Meetings & agendas
• Council of Governments — 4 p.m. Oct. 1, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto
• Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Land-use Meeting — 9 a.m. Oct. 3, at the Manatee County Government Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

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