Schroeder-Manatee Ranch on Friday confirmed it is in the process of selling its Sarasota Polo Club to developer David Meunier.
The sale of the approximately 160-acre property is currently in its "90-day due diligence" phase according to Lisa Barnott, SMR's director of marketing and communications. Details of the sale were not available.
Meunier, who lives near Coral Gables, said on Friday he wasn't sure if it was appropriate yet to announce the sales price. He added he was trying to shorten the 90-day due diligence period so he could begin work at the facility. He said he wants to build a second arena at the facility that could be used for equine sports such as dressage or jumping.
"I want to take this to the next level," said Meunier, who noted the operation wasn't economically feasible in its current form.
Meunier, a former professional race car driver, is known for rehabilitating run-down properties in the Miami area, turning apartments into condominiums.
"He is an experienced polo player and a businessman who can take the Sarasota Polo Club to a higher level," Barnott said of Meunier.
A stipulation of the sale is that Meunier keeps the site as an equine facility.
The Sarasota Polo Club was founded in 1991 and was the first development in Lakewood Ranch. The club, itself, consists now of nine polo fields after starting with two in 1991.
Meunier said part of the process for making the facility financially successful will be evaluating the current staff.
Eventually, he said he wants to make polo an entire weekend attraction for fans while also doing whatever he can to upgrade the facility so it attracts "high-class" equine competitions. He said using the site for other events during the off-season for polo would be key.
At 51, Meunier has taken up playing polo again after a 25-year absence. He has taken lessons at the Sarasota Polo Club and fell in love with the facility.
He said he will be a hands-on owner as he invests in improvements.