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New apartment complex planned for Lakewood Ranch

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  • | 5:00 a.m. December 4, 2013
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — A focus on bringing multifamily, affordable housing to Lakewood Ranch continues.

Atlanta-based Davis Development, which is already developing a luxury apartment complex called The Venue, across from Lakewood Ranch Main Street, plans to build 280 apartment units on 18 acres at State Road 70 and Pope Road.

Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Lakewood Ranch’s developer, sold the land to DD Sarasota II LLC, a subsidiary of Davis Development, Nov. 20.

“We have made a conscious effort to bring more apartments to the area,” said Julia DeCastro, director of leasing for Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty. “This particular property has great accessibility and visibility. It will be an important product for young families and full-time students who want to live here.”

The latest multifamily project in Lakewood Ranch follows a trend.

In December 2011, SMR sold 11.4 acres of land across from Main Street to Davis Development to build The Venue at Lakewood Ranch, a 237-unit apartment complex now under construction. That move represented a new jump into the area for Davis Development, which has a heavy presence in Texas and North Carolina.

Since January, Davis Development has been in talks with SMR about producing another multifamily product here.

“We’re excited about the growth that’s occurring in Lakewood Ranch, and we want to be a part of it,” said Gene Babb, a land acquisitions employee for Davis Development. “We’re trying to make our presence felt in the Lakewood Ranch market.”

Babb says the new product will be less urban than The Venue.

The Venue will feature three four-story buildings with elevators.

In comparison, Babb says the new development, which is unnamed, will have 11 to 12 two-story buildings — “a big house product,” as he calls them — that look like town homes.

Each building will have 10 units that come with their own access garage.

“You exit your garage and you are in your unit,” Babb said. “This is a more traditional suburban apartment community.”

Davis Development plans for three-story buildings to make up the rest of the community.

Babb said the new community lends itself to being less urban because the property is bigger than The Venue space.

Plans call for standard amenities such as a pool and fitness center. The apartments, which will maintain the luxury feel of The Venue, Babb says, come in one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

The developer now must secure site-plan approval from Manatee County and obtain permits.
Babb hopes those steps happen soon.

Until then, crews are finishing horizontal construction work at The Venue and will begin vertical construction in 30 to 60 days.

Both projects add to what’s become a competitive apartment market in East County.

Lost Creek Apartments, located off Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, reached 100% occupancy about six months after opening in January 2012.

Creekside Apartments will be a 256-unit apartment complex adjacent to Lost Creek.

Ranch Lake Apartments, a 336-unit complex on 48 acres along Ranch Lake Boulevard, behind the Walmart at State Road 70 and Interstate 75, has begun leasing.

“We think we have a superior product,” Babb said, noting he’s not worried about the competition. “We want to put the best product on the ground.”

Tale of the Tape
East County apartments on the way

The Venue at Lakewood Ranch
237-unit apartments
at Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Health Park Way
Construction has begun.

Creekside Apartments (Phase II of Lost Creek Apartments)
256-unit apartments
Construction has not yet begun.

Ranch Lake Apartments
336-unit complex
at Ranch Lake Boulevard, behind the Walmart at State Road 70 and Interstate 75
Leasing has begun.

Unnamed Davis Development project
280-unit apartments
at State Road 70 and Pope Road
Land is purchased.

Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].