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Shopping destinations on the horizon

Two commercial projects will bring fast food, retail and other neighborhood commercial uses to the East County community.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. August 5, 2015
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Plans for two commercial projects are moving through Manatee County’s review process.

Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch has submitted a preliminary application to rezone a 17-acre parcel at Lorraine Road/State Road 70 to build a shopping center that includes a potential grocery store. Farther north, Sarasota-based Starling Group has submitted plans for a 12,500-square-foot commercial center within Heritage Harbour.

Plans for SMR’s Lorraine project show three multitenant outparcels ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet apiece, two of which will have drive-thrus along Lorraine Road. A fourth outparcel located farther east is designated for a 5,000-square-foot bank. The plaza will be anchored by a 45,600-square-foot tenant, likely a grocery store, with five adjacent businesses, each at about 1,400 square feet.

Kirk Boylston, president of SMR subsidiary Lakewood Ranch Commercial, said the whole property is under contract, but declined to disclose details until the sale is finalized.

“We don’t expect to close until the end of the year,” he said. “Construction might not start right away. That’s totally up to the purchaser.”

Manatee County planner Rossina Leider said she didn’t have major concerns based on the pre-application for the project. The proposed use is consistent with the property’s future land-use designation.

In Heritage Harbour, the Starling Group is proceeding with plans to build a neighborhood commercial center on five acres at the northeast corner of State Road 64 and Heritage Green Way.

Starling Group COO Brian Kennelly said the commercial center likely will include a restaurant on one end and six other units, each at about 1,500 square feet.

“We certainly think that with the traffic on State Road 64 and the continued success of Heritage Harbour that a neighborhood project will do very well,” he said. “A family restaurant/sports bar use would be ideal, as well as services — a nail salon, dry cleaner, hair salon — those types of things.”

Starling Group has owned the property for several years, but Kennelly said time for development finally is right. The parcel’s proximity to Interstate 75 and continued growth at the north end of Lakewood Ranch and along State Road 64 will make it a prime location for the project.

The Starling Group owns a nine-acre parcel immediately north of the site, but Kennelly said the company has no immediate plans for the property.

“I think it would be ideal for a day care on a portion of that land,” he said.

Medical uses also might be appropriate, he said.


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