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East County Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2020 1 month ago

S.R. 64 corridor near Lakewood Ranch gets more business

Convenience store comes to S.R. 64/Lorraine Road intersection with more development on the way.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

If he gets approval from the Manatee County commissioners, developer Chris Kiritsis plans to begin construction on a 7-Eleven gas station at the northwest corner of the intersection of State Road 64 and 145th Street East/Lorraine Road.

Manatee County Planning Commission members endorsed his plans for a 4,634-square-foot convenience store with eight gas pumps (16 fueling stations) there, as well as a 980-square-foot, free-standing car wash and associated infrastructure.

“If all goes well, construction could start 90 to 120 days post-commission approval,” said Kiritsis, who is buying the property.

He said construction would last about 150 days.

The project is expected to lead the way for more development in that area. Two other corners of the intersection remain available.

Commercial Realtor Brett Kaplan, who represents the 10-acre property opposite the 7-Eleven site (on the north side of the intersection), said he believes development of the 7-Eleven might help the intersection build out more quickly.

“Anytime an area starts to be developed, we will see an increase in interest for the surrounding parcels,” Kaplan said.

Dan Douglass represents the owner of the 3.97 acres just west of the southwest corner property. It is listed for $1.5 million. Douglass said there already has been ample interest in the property, including two cash offers in the past eight weeks. Many potential developers, he said, are looking to buy his customer’s piece, combined with neighboring land totaling 15 acres. That would give them a combined 20 acres.

Prospective buyers already have included a shopping center with a grocery store and retail spaces and a multifamily housing project. Ultimately, those deals did not work out, but interest has remained strong.

“You can’t find 20 acres anymore between Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Lorraine Road. There’s a couple, and everything else is under contract,” Douglass said.

Douglass said discussions by the Florida Department of Transportation about constructing a roundabout at the intersection have deterred some potential buyers. However, traffic counts show a steady flow of vehicles heading eastbound and turning south onto Lorraine Road, which makes it an attractive area for development.

Commercial Realtor and investor Howard Sadwin, who owns and represents a combined 15 acres at the southwest corner of the intersection — the same land that could be combined with Douglass’s listing, said he took the property off the market earlier this year because of uncertainty regarding roadway improvements.

Sadwin said he doesn’t like taking the property off the market but believes it will be better to have answers on road issues for the S.R. 64/Lorraine Road intersection, as well as improvements to Lorraine Road itself.

“I don’t like to hold it, but it’s not going to go down in value,” he said.

Realtors agreed the area was prime for commercial development because of the number of rooftops coming. Immediately east, 10,000 homes are approved for Lakewood Ranch alone on lands between Lorraine Road and the future Bourneside and state roads 64 and 70. 

Several residential projects are already under construction, including Taylor Morrison’s future 1,750-home Azario Lakewood Ranch and Kolter Homes’s 648-home Cresswind Lakewood Ranch project, which opened in October. South of University Parkway, Waterside at Lakewood Ranch will have another 5,500 homes at buildout.

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