New-home tour at Lakewood Ranch


When Lakewood Ranch rose out of eastern Manatee County’s pastureland in 1995, 5,500 acres of the 28,000-acre Schroeder-Manatee Ranch were set aside for residential and commercial development.

Now Lakewood Ranch comprises 17,500 acres and has more than 18,000 residents, with schools, golf courses, parks, churches, a hospital, the Sarasota Polo Club, the Premier Sports Campus, the Ancient Oak Gun Club, and its Main Street shopping and dining district. There are also 4 million square feet of commercial space.

The ranch has, in fact, become a real estate market unto its own, which might explain why it also has its own Tour of Homes.

Getting a jump on the Sarasota-Manatee Building Industry Association’s annual Parade of Homes in February, LWR’s 16th Tour of Homes began Friday and will continue through Nov. 17. Besides 41 models, from 15 building companies, open for touring, other activities included a beer fest Saturday.

The market is “rebounding,” said Jimmy Stewart, LWR Communities’ vice president of sales. “If our sales traffic, year-to-date, is any indication, we should experience an unprecedented turnout.

“Through October, we have sold 458 new homes, and had more than 23,000 people visit our information centers and builder models.”

Through August, Lakewood Ranch had closed on 418 new-home sales in 2013, a 5.3 percent increase as compared to the same time in 2012.

Lakewood Ranch has 339 houses under construction, 26 of them in The Lake Club community.

Of all residential units sold in Lakewood Ranch, 55 percent of them are new construction, said Stewart.

Models are open in Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, Country Club East, The Lake Club, Central Park, Greenbrook, Esplanade and Bridgewater.

Tour-goers may get a copy of the tour guidebook at the Lakewood Ranch Information Centers, at 6220 University Parkway and in Summerfield Park at 6310 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

The Lake Club has its own information center at the main gate. Information centers and models are open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Online information: An events schedule is at


Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: October 26, 2013
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