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East County Thursday, May 23, 2019 6 months ago

Sandy shores come to Lakewood Ranch

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Construction within the Waterside community rumbles along, hitting a milestone with the opening of the first residential amenity center – part of the Shoreview neighborhood.

Imagine a dip in the crystal blue pool before retreating to a nearby lounge chair nestled in the sand. A breeze drifts off the water while tropical music plays in the background. It could be a scene set at a resort in Mexico, or maybe even Siesta or Lido Beach. But this particular beach is different. It’s located on Middle Teal Lake in Lakewood Ranch and is part of the decked-out amenity center in the Shoreview neighborhood.

Yes. There is now a white-sand beach 15 miles east of the two-time winner of America’s No. 1 beach designation. The beach might be manmade, but its presence is a clear sign that progress in Schroeder-Manatee Ranch’s latest innovative development — Waterside, located solely in Sarasota County — is well under way and that Lakewood Ranch, as planned, is expanding its borders south. 

Shoreview is located two miles from Main Street Lakewood Ranch, just south of the Polo Club surrounding two, 70-acre lakes. It is one of 12 compact, walkable neighborhoods slated to give rise to a new dimension of living that has even current Lakewood Ranch residents flocking to the south side for urbanist, waterfront living. 

Along with the amenity center, which includes a full kitchen and gathering space, Shoreview residents have access to a white sand beach and view of Middle Teal Lake. (Randi Donahue)

Lakewood Ranch residents William and Sue Parry started their Lakewood Ranch living in the Country Club neighborhood 10 years ago. Then they moved to Country Club East, but after purchasing home in Shoreview, the Parrys have settled in for the long haul. 

“We feel like every part of Lakewood Ranch has beauty, but this location really was the best,” says William Parry. “[Shoreview] offered a view that was reminiscent of the low country in the Carolinas. It’s the only place in Lakewood Ranch to get a view.”

The Waterside community concept is the development of narrow tracts of land surrounding seven large lakes —making use of the byproduct of SMR’s shell-mining operation and offering 20 miles of shoreline. Once built out, the community will feature more than 5,000 residences, including single-family homes, apartments, condos and townhomes, all of which are brought together with a vibrant town center located on a peninsula of Kingfisher Lake. 

As the first residential neighborhood to break ground in Waterside, Shoreview is set up for 246 single-family homes built by Pulte. As of mid-April, 71 homes had been sold and lead Shoreview Sales Agent Andrew Basco predicted they’d sell 75 or more before the end the month. 

Basco says he has sold to a range of buyers from those making a move from within the Lakewood Ranch borders, like the like the Parrys, to those who have historically flocked to Longboat and Lido keys but are ready for something different. 

“People seem to be tired of the traffic, and there are concerns for rising sea levels,” says Basco. 

Seventy-percent of the Shoreview neighborhood homes offer a lake view; 68 of those lots have easements for docks. Residents can use those lakes for recreation, including boats up to 18 feet long with no more than 4-horsepower electric motors (Sorry folks, they are keeping it classy as there are no pontoons allowed.)

Along with the beach, the Shoreview amenity center boasts a fitness center, tennis courts, a gathering room with a full kitchen, a large outdoor bar, and a lakeside recreation lawn with gas grills.

“People that have a vision and want water views are getting in quick,” says Basco. The vision he is referring to is the much-anticipated completion of Waterside’s town center Waterside Place, which is merely a half-mile from the Shoreview entrance and is intended to be easily accessible via trails.

“Everybody on Lido can walk to St. Armands, everybody in Waterside will be able to walk to Waterside Place,” says Basco. 

SMR is laying the groundwork for Waterside Place, with the vertical portion of the project expected to begin in August. During an April “State of the Ranch” speech, Rex Jensen, president and CEO of SMR, estimated the building cycle will take about 24 months. The community hub, which will be open to the public, is slated to include the new home for The Players Centre for Performing Arts, in addition to 800 urban-style apartments and townhomes; 120,000 square feet of commercial, retail and office space; plenty of dining options; an 8-acre park, nature trails and water recreation.

“It will be good for dinner, drinks and to see a show,” says Parry. “We just really feel like we saved the best for last.”

 

 

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