Just a cursory glance at the map of Florida can tell why properties at Lakewood Ranch count among the hottest selling despite tight and competitive real estate market conditions. “The Ranch,” as local folks now fondly call it, is located in the virtually unspoiled west coast of Florida, straddling the counties of Manatee and Sarasota. Access to and from this sprawling community is easy as it has easy access to state roads and interstate highways that are connected to major airports in Sarasota/Bradenton, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Naples, and Orlando.
The development of Lakewood Ranch started during the mid-1990s, and today more than 7000 homes have been constructed and residents immensely benefit from this strategic and unspoiled locale. As the community marked its fifteenth year in 2010, some 15,000 souls have already chosen to make the Ranch their home.
Lakewood Ranch is composed of seven existing communities: Lakewood Ranch Country Club, Summerfield, Country Club East, Riverwalk, Lake Club, Greenbrook, and Edgewater. There is an eighth community that has recently opened at the far north of the development known as Central Park. Residences available at the Lakewood Ranch villages include villas, single-family homes, and condominium units. Prices of homes are as varied with some around the $200,000 range and others at the $5 million level. Condos can be found from $60,000 to more than $500,000.
All of the villages, residences, and the various structures and amenities at Lakewood Ranch express a green lifestyle upon which the community was purposely built. Only environment-friendly building materials and construction techniques were used in the development of Lakewood Ranch. Consequently, every home in all the seven communities comply with the Green Home Standard set by the Florida Green Building Coalition.
At the same time, style and elegance went into the design of these homes. The residences are not only environment-friendly, energy-efficient, and healthier places to live in. House model choices include those of French, Mediterranean, West Indies and neo-classical designs. Home builders to be accredited for projects in the Ranch must comply with rigorous standards to ensure quality construction and superior customer service.
True to its mission of being a good steward of the land, Lakewood Ranch seamlessly integrated the real estate development with the tranquility and unspoiled natural beauty of its Florida environment. The Ranch incorporates more than 150 miles of trails winding though 3500 acres that were purposely reserved as parks and nature reserves that include several lakes. All these are places for recreation and relaxation that reinforce the green lifestyle generously offered at Lakewood Ranch.
The passion for sports, particularly golf, has also been woven in the development of this 30,000 acre Florida property. Within its enclave is the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club offering three membership-only courses: King’s Dunes, Cypress Links, and Country Club East. And then there’s the non-membership Legacy Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer signature course, and the Ritz Carlton’s Members Club likewise offering challenge for every golfer’s level of play.
For more sports venues, Lakewood Ranch’s 150-acre District Park has fields and courts for basketball, tennis, soccer, racquetball, softball, baseball and football. More can be found at the Country Club Community Park which has an area for sand pit volleyball as well as a family picnic ground and kids’ playground.
Over the years, the Ranch has also developed into a self-contained community. The opportunities engendered by the master planning that went to its seven communities have already drawn 1200 business establishments. The result is a diversity of amenities offered within Lakewood Ranch. Within its confines is a commercial park where there are numerous shops, boutiques, and fine dining and entertainment places.
As a strong echo to the community’s active lifestyle, physical fitness and health care facilities, including a modern medical center, have also risen at Lakewood Ranch. Excellent schools and day care centers are also now part of this daily community living founded on a most ideal locale.