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Light's green for new facility

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  • | 5:00 a.m. December 5, 2012
  • East County
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — The wait is over.

Last week, Lakewood Ranch officials signed off on all documents necessary for moving forward with the construction of a new maintenance facility for Lakewood Ranch Town Hall’s operations department.

Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority board officials Nov. 18 closed on a five-acre parcel of land off 59th Avenue East. The site, which was purchased from Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, will be home to Town Hall’s operations offices and will include a roughly 6,675-square-foot, one-story building with extra storage and a covered parking area for maintenance equipment once finished.
Operations Director Ryan Heise said construction bids are due by Dec. 13 and will be evaluated before going to the IDA for consideration, likely in late December or early January. Construction should begin mid-January, he said.

“It solidifies the fact we’re going to have a new operations facility,” Heise said. “With our construction plans out to bid and the closing of the property, everything seems to be heading in the direction we want it to be. It’s exciting for all of us.”

On Nov. 29 representatives of Lakewood Ranch CDD 2, which is handling financing for the maintenance facility on behalf of the IDA, also formalized a $2.46 million financing deal, which funds the project with a 12-year loan and also refinances Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.

“This means we’ll be able to proceed with plans for the facility,” attorney Andy Cohen said of the financing deal.

Town Hall Finance Director Steve Zielinski said the Town Hall re-financing will result in an overall savings of $39 per equivalent dwelling unit, or EDU, compared to costs previously associated with Town Hall’s financing.

Lakewood Ranch Town Hall’s operations department currently operates out of portables adjacent to Pinnacle Academy.

Heise said the IDA is on track to having its permanent maintenance facility up and running in November 2013.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].



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