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East County Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 10 months ago

Summerhouse project on horizon in Lakewood Ranch

Commercial, apartments in the future for S.R. 64 corridor.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

A Lakewood Ranch-based developer is working to bring a mix of retail and multifamily housing to the State Road 64 corridor.

Manatee County staff members are reviewing plans from Casto Southeast Realty Services for a retail destination fronting S.R. 64 at its southeast intersection with 117th Street East. Plans also include 257 apartments on the southern portion of the property.

Aaron Ruben, vice president of development for Casto Southeast, said the site plan reflects Casto’s efforts to steward the land well and be considerate of neighbors to the west in Woodleaf Hammock and to the south in Eagle Trace.

This rendering shows Casto Southeast's design for its future 257-unit, four-story apartment complex off 117th Street East, just south of State Road 64. Courtesy rendering. Apartments will be market rate.

“We felt that the transition from retail on the northern boundary to multifamily on the southern portion created the best feel and cohesiveness to the single-family residents,” Ruben said.

Ruben said the commercial piece includes five outparcels and likely will be occupied by a gas station, restaurants or similar uses. Casto is in negotiations with a fuel convenience and another undisclosed prospective tenant, but users have not yet been identified for the other three buildings. He said if smaller businesses seek the spaces, the three outparcels could be combined to create a multitenant building.

Ruben said the design puts commercial uses closest to S.R. 64 because businesses want visibility and road frontage. The southern portion of the site lacks both those features, which makes it better suited for apartment housing. Additionally, Casto did not want to have business dumpsters and loading areas adjacent to homes to the south in the Eagle Trace neighborhood.

“We wanted to give more buffer and a more cohesive feel for those neighbors,” Ruben said. “We didn’t put any buildings adjacent to single-family homes.”

He said the apartment complex is designed in such a way as to provide as much distance as possible between apartment buildings and homes in Eagle Trace. Ruben said Casto placed retention ponds behind buildings adjacent to Eagle Trace homes and a parking lot across from an Eagle Trace lake. Such design considerations are meant to minimize visual impacts of the project and make it “conformed” to the neighborhood.

Ruben said the five-building apartment complex will be typical for the Lakewood Ranch market in terms of pricing and offerings. It will have a clubhouse, pool and other amenities, but specifics on apartment sizes and pricing have not yet been determined.

As designed, the apartments will have a main entrance off 117th Street East and a secondary access from a road internal to the project.

The apartments will be called Summerhouse, and the commercial area will be called the Shops at Summerhouse.

Ruben said Manatee County staff members still must approve the plans administratively, but Casto hopes groundwork can begin before the end of the year. He anticipates vertical construction could begin by early in the second quarter of 2020, after building permits are in hand. The retail buildings likely will take about eight months to build, and the apartments should take 12 to 18 months to complete.

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