A 275-acre bio-technical and medical park in Lakewood Ranch is beginning to take shape. Its first piece will be a retail-focused plaza at the northeast corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and State Road 70.
The Greene at Lakewood Ranch will be a non-medical commercial center serving the Collaboration Opportunities for Research and Exploration (CORE) project.
Preliminary site plans submitted to Manatee County show a request for 97,350 square feet of commercial and 4,300 square feet of office space. The 101,650-square-foot complex will include parking, new roadways and other infrastructure to accommodate the facilities.
The plaza will be anchored by two undisclosed tenants and has seven lots for stand-alone businesses.
In November 2015, Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch announced its vision for a biotech business campus, CORE.
The idea was to create a world-class research campus environment and tap into the life sciences and medical research sectors of the economy. The project also would include retail, office, hotel and conference space and housing to support the project and community.
“We went through a period of defining a plan, and we’ve been spending the last four or five months networking and marketing, and just working with people who could bring the types of projects we want, whether it’s education or life science,” said Kirk Boylston, president of SMR subsidiary Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty.
“This project is one of the nonlife sciences pieces that we had identified in the master plan, and it’s going in the location we intended,” Boylston said. “It’s an amenity piece that will provide retail, restaurant and other commercial uses.”
Boylston declined to provide many specifics, because the property is under contract, but said its facilities and tenants will be in keeping with the theme, look and feel of the overall CORE project.
“We believe the developer will deliver the product type and quality that is what we’re looking for and they typically build,” he said.
The preliminary site plan indicates there will be multifamily housing developed between the northern boundary of the commercial project and Rangeland Parkway, as well.
The site plan under county review is for the commercial portion of the application only. It will not go to public hearing because it conforms to development approvals from 2006.
“Future phases may require a hearing for any possible changes to the ordinance, but they are only conceptual at this time,” said Jim Rigo, the county planner assigned to the project.
Manatee County Building Department Director John Barnott said the county will review each component within the development application, including traffic, to ensure the project still complies with county requirements.
Boylston said the first tenant for CORE will be announced by the end of the year and another will follow soon after.