The CORE development takes shape as businesses line up to be part of a booming Lakewood Ranch economy.
As River Club's Karen and Richard Medford discussed the possibility of buying three Sirius Day Spa franchises in the Manatee and Sarasota counties area, they put one ultimatum on the deal.
"We weren't going to do it if we couldn't get into The Green," Karen Medford said.
The Green is the Tavistock 520,000-square-foot, mixed-use development that currently has anchor tenants Earth Fare and L.A. Fitness at the corner of State Road 70 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. On May 18, Tavistock announced several more new tenants, including Chipolte Mexican Grill, Verizon, Starbucks, Lavish Nails, Mattresses & More, Main Street Dentistry, Modern Gents and SoFresh. Panera Bread had previously announced its restaurant was coming to The Green.
Now add Sirius Day Spa to the list.
"This is the heart of Lakewood Ranch," Karen Medford said. "It's a health and wellness type of center and it has just the right mix of businesses."
Karen Medford said she loved the planned promenade and the landscaping that it incorporates. The Medford's 3,750-square-foot spa, which will have 11 treatment rooms, will be on the opposite side of the building that hosts Earth Fare. Their front door will be at "the back" of the building that faces north.
She said that will be an advantage because it will be quiet and peaceful, facing the planned 304 luxury apartments. She said the spa should open before Oct. 1.
"The excitement of The Green, and of Earth Fare, is drawing people," she said.
The Medfords also are looking at The Shoppes at UTC for their second location and a third most likely will find a home in Sarasota.
But it all starts with The Green.
Nick Amanatidis and Ruben Toledo, co-owners of Modern Gents Premier Barbershop & Bar at 8233 Cooper Creek Blvd, started their business at UTC, but now are headed for a shop at The Green as well.
"We both live in Lakewood Ranch and we've been hearing what they have been building for a long time," Amanatidis said. "We know how much Lakewood Ranch is expanding and how many more business professionals are moving there."
Amanatidis said he loves Tavistock's vision for a health and wellness focused campus at The Green and although his UTC Modern Gents is only a short drive from Lakewood Ranch, he believes the new business will be a huge draw.
"Being in Lakewood Ranch is a different animal," he said. "People act like Sarasota is a long, long way from here."
Both Amanatidis, who hopes to open his new Modern Gents in July, and Karen Medford said they weren't concerned that much of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch's planned Collaboration Opportunities for Research and Exploration (CORE) development won't be realized until the future. They believe The Green will have plenty of customers right now, and it will only expand as the CORE begins to book tenants.
Tavistock's Joanne Ling, a senior sales and leasing associate who handles booking The Green, said she has enjoyed the project since it broke ground in May 2017.
"People can visually see what we are doing there," she said. "There has been an energy feeding off Earth Fare's opening and with the announcements of the new tenants coming to the table."
She said Tavistock has been very selective with its tenants because they want to maintain a health and wellness focus as well as offering locally developed businesses such as Modern Gents.
"We fell in love what they are doing at Modern Gents," Ling said. "It is a phenomenal example of taking something you would find in a shopping center and elevating it."
When the center is 100% leased, it will have more than 20 businesses. The exact number depends on how each business selects the amount of square footage needed. Many of the units are 1,400 square feet but can be combined for offer 2,800 square feet or more.
Two "end cap" full service restaurants are planned for the center and those will fill 3,500- and 5,200-square foot spaces. Ling said she is negotiating for those spaces but can't release the names of the restaurants yet.
Chipotle, which will take over a 2,500-square-foot space, will join a 2,500-square-foot Verizon and a 2,200-square-foot Starbucks in a separate building alongside State Road 70. Panera Bread is constructing its own building. Five other separate buildings will be constructed as part of The Green.
The shells of the main two buildings in the center are finished. As the spaces are leased, the exteriors and interiors will be finished quickly. The main parking area in front of Earth Fare and L.A. Fitness is complete but other parking will be added around the complex.
“This wave of tenant announcements represents the robust options we anticipated when first beginning this project,” said Skipper Peek, senior vice president of Commercial Development for Tavistock Development, in a release. “Having a mix of recognized brands with local businesses was important to us.”
Construction on the luxury apartments has yet to go vertical but the ground has been cleared. Those apartments are expected to be ready for tenants late in 2019.