(Sarasota, FL) - LWR Communities is excited to announce the approval by the Sarasota County Commission for the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South. The new project is south of University Parkway, east of I-75 and will bring more than 5000 new homes and thousands of new jobs to Sarasota County. Lakewood Ranch South will incorporate several different housing styles, ranging from workforce and affordable housing to multi-family units and single family homes. The new community will also feature new retail and commercial space in a state of the art mixed used community. “This has been in the planning stages for more than 10 years,” said Rex Jensen, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch CEO and President. “The Villages of Lakewood Ranch South will be unlike any other community in Sarasota County and we will preserve more than 70% of the open space and wetlands in the area. Homes and businesses will be situated on huge lakes—some more than one mile in length, and we know this will be a huge spark for the economic development of the area.”

In current Manatee County construction, Lakewood Ranch continues to lead the recovery in the local real estate market with numerous home sales, commercial leases, and grand openings. Minto Communities will celebrate the grand opening of its new model and sales center in Country Club East this Saturday, May 15. “We could not be more excited about these new models,” said Milt Flinn, president of LWR Communities. “Minto is the perfect addition to our respected team of builders with their solid reputation for quality, financial stability, and craftsmanship. They’ve already sold a home before ever opening their doors and we know they will be successful on the Ranch.”

At The Lake Club, Lakewood Ranch’s exclusive and private, higher-priced gated community, 11 homes are either under contract or reservation already this year, as compared to eight sold all year in 2009. LWR Communities will soon release a new, lower priced section in The Lake Club, called the Vineyards, which will cater to buyers looking for homes in the 2,500- to 3,000-square-foot range. Builders have committed to starting five new models in the new section, starting in the next 90 days. The homes in the Vineyards will feature three different architectural styles and be on 84-foot-wide homesites.

Exciting things are happening on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch as well. The Main Street Bazaar is now open for business. The store, owned by future adventure golf course owner Jacob Spooner, offers novelty items and clothing. Spooner’s adventure golf course, The Fish Hole, is expected to open in July. In addition, two new restaurants are coming to the mixed use center—Italian and Mexican. The Main Street Trattoria and Eduardo’s Cantina are both slated to open this summer. “Our merchants choose this location for the same reasons that our residents do,” said Brian Kennelly, president of LWR Commercial Realty. “Lakewood Ranch is the perfect location to start a business due to our central location, our amenities and our events. The addition of two new restaurants to Main Street will be a great traffic driver for the rest of the street, and we are thrilled.”

About Lakewood Ranch
The largest green-certified community in the US, Lakewood Ranch encompasses all aspects of residential and commercial real estate on 8,500 acres of lush Florida land, convenient to Sarasota and the entire Tampa Bay region. The award-winning master planned community includes four golf courses, a first-class country club and extensive recreational amenities, with housing options ranging from maintenance-free condominiums, single-family homes and large estate-size properties. New home and lot packages begin in the low $200,000's to over $5 million.

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