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Business Observer 02.11.10

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  • | 5:00 a.m. February 10, 2010
  • East County
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+ Ranch signs 24 home contracts in January
The year continues to show positive market signs for residential and commercial real estate in Lakewood Ranch. There were 24 new home contracts and reservations in Lakewood Ranch in January 2010, and 68 homes currently are under construction.

“This is the highest amount of construction activity we have seen on the ranch since 2006,” said LWR Communities President Milt Flinn. “We are excited and encouraged by the sales we have experienced in the first month of the year; in addition our traffic is up considerably compared to this time last year.”

Visitors to Lakewood Ranch models and information centers are up 35% from last year, with 997 people coming through, as compared to 741 people in January 2009. The number of return visitors has increased dramatically as well, with 387 in January 2010 as compared to 256 in 2009.

Several new businesses have also decided to call Lakewood Ranch home. Ad Relevancy and Smith & Dine law offices have both opened at the Energy Court Center and Sarasota architect Don Lawson has moved his offices to Lakewood Ranch.

As further evidence of a recovering market, several owners are expanding their businesses. Dr. Harvey Mishner opened recently a health and wellness center in a former bank building on State Road 70 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

“This location is what I call ground zero of Lakewood Ranch,” he said. “This is where all of the growth will be over the next few years, and as a resident and business owner on the Ranch, I know we are now poised for success with such a great location.”

+ Turner tree reports growth in late 2009
Things are looking better for Turner Tree and Landscape Company as the recession eases.

The number of new contracts, after dipping sharply in the economic downturn, climbed to 21 in December, compared with 22 contracts signed during the company’s next-best recession month, October 2008.

The contracts cover landscaping, irrigation and watering systems, and occasionally “hardscaping” — brick, stone, and concrete pavers. Turner provides most trees from its five tree farms in Manatee County.

Among projects currently under way are ones for Paradise Builders in Lakewood Ranch, Minto Communities in Lakewood Ranch, Katherine Harris Ebeson, the Sarasota Yacht Club, three new high-end homes in Lakewood Ranch and the Veterans Administration Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Turner, the largest tree and landscape company in the Manatee-Sarasota area, is headquartered at 2504 64th St. Court E.

For more information, call 745-2101.

+ Kenneth Jarvis announces new hire
Kenneth Jarvis hired recently Jeff Bergamo as a new member to the firm’s Lakewood Ranch public accounting team.

Bergamo graduated from The University of South Florida with the potential of an honors candidate. He possesses an overall 3.8 GPA and was granted many awards and a scholarship for his academic and extracurricular achievements at Manatee Community College and The University of South Florida.

Bergamo recently finished his education requirements and will take the certified public accounting examination during 2010. By this time next year, the firm hopes to add him to the list of Certified Public Accountants at Kenneth Jarvis, PLLC.

+ January home sales strong for Pat Neal
Numbers for East County homebuilder Neal Communities show contracts signed for new homes were 25% more than the company’s budgeted goal for January.

Twenty-four contracts were signed, including three in Greystone in Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club and others in River Sound, Mandalay, Wisteria Park, Edenmore and Silverwood.

“This kind of sales performance signals that the local economy continues to improve,” Neal Communities Pat Neal said. “We are seeing sales in Greystone and Silverwood, our most expensive neighborhoods. This indicates that consumers have re-gained confidence and are willing to invest in their futures.”

+ Keller Williams Realty adds agent to Ranch office
Keller Williams Realty announced the addition of David Rothermel as a sales associate with the Lakewood Ranch office.

Rothermel brings 30 years of real estate experience to his new position with the company. He has experience in the short sale market as well as traditional residential sales, new construction and commercial transactions. He and his wife, Susan, moved to Sarasota from Illinois five years ago and now reside in Laurel Lakes.

For more information , call 556-0500.


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