Lakewood Ranch

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Lakewood Ranch

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Lakewood Ranch History

Lakewood Ranch is part of Manatee County, Florida which is located on Florida’s west central coast along Tampa Bay. The area was discovered in 1539 by the great Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto along with his crew of conquistadors. The area was home to the Tocobagan Indian tribe, until the group faded from existence. The Seminole Tribe claimed the area shortly thereafter.

Florida became an American territory in 1821, with the area south of Tampa Bay deemed Manatee County in 1855. The area's name is homage to the manatees that live in Florida waterways. Josiah Gates, along with Hector and Joseph Braden, settled the area in 1842 by purchasing large parcels of land. Manatee County became a major port shipping citrus and livestock on Tampa Bay to Sarasota, New Orleans and Key West.

In the early 1900s, John Schroeder of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an owner of furniture, turpentine, milling and lumber businesses, began acquiring the land in south-central Manatee County that is today Schroeder-Manatee Ranch.

In 1922, the Uihlein family, founders of the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, acquired the property and continued to expand the agricultural operations that are still active today: cattle ranching, vegetable, citrus, timber, and turf farming as well as shell mining. Today, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch consists of 30,000 acres supporting 2,000 head of beef cattle, 1,300 acres of citrus, 1,800 acres of vegetables, 600 acres of trees, and 1,200 acres of turf.

In 1994 residential and commercial development commenced on a portion of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch located just east of I-75, and bridging both Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Award-winning Lakewood Ranch is an 8,500 master-planned community encompassing all aspects of residential and commercial development. Since it’s inception, over 6,000 homes have been built providing homes for more than 14,000 people.

Lakewood Ranch has since grown to become the largest green-certified community in America- since 2005, every new village in Lakewood Ranch has been built "green," incorporating building products and techniques that result in a healthier, more energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible home.

Seven distinct villages offer a full spectrum of housing and lifestyle options - from single-family, maintenance-free, and luxurious private estates - surrounded by dramatic landscapes and wetland preserves harboring hundreds of species of native wildlife.

Recreational facilities include the acclaimed Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, 54 holes of championship golf, the Sarasota Cricket Club, Sarasota Polo Club and an extensive collection of community parks, nature areas and lakes. The development also features shopping, dining, excellent schools and health care on-site, and was recently voted "Best Neighborhood" by the readers of Sarasota Magazine.

Today, Lakewood Ranch’s history of successful land management and strong financial planning make it not only a sound investment but a great place to live, work and raise a family.

It is the legacy of a great American family, a lasting tribute to their success as good stewards of the land.

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About Lakewood Ranch

  • Acreage: 8,500 acres (3,440 hectares)
  • Gatehouse: The Lake Club, Country Club, Country Club East and Edgewater neighborhoods feature gated access.
  • Club Structure: Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club is a private, non-equity membership club with four levels of membership, including golf, athletic and dining/social memberships.
  • Golf: With two superb Arnold Palmer golf courses and the new Country Club East Course designed Rick Robins, the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club now offers three private championship courses along with state-of-the-art practice facilities. The separate Legacy Golf Club is a daily fee Arnold Palmer signature course with no membership required.
  • Clubhouse: Club members enjoy access to a magnificent 44,000-square-foot clubhouse designed in the style of a grand Italian villa, with deluxe athletic facilities, a choice of informal and fine dining options, a large ballroom and other elegant function rooms.
  • Tennis: The private tennis center features 18 lighted clay courts, all maintained to the highest standards, with a full-service pro shop and courtside deli. Additional lighted courts are available in a community park.
  • Recreation: Additional recreational amenities include the world-class Sarasota Polo Club, the Sarasota International Cricket Club, expansive community parks and nature reserves, miles of walking and biking trails and a wide range of resident social and activity clubs.
  • Swimming & Fitness: Club members have access to a fully equipped 11,000-square-foot fitness center, a junior Olympic pool with lap lanes, and a separate child-friendly resort pool.
  • Town Hall: The Lakewood Ranch Town Hall houses a variety of resident services and provides a nexus for community social and recreational activities, with meeting rooms, a board room, full kitchen and multi-purpose activity room. No membership required.
  • Shopping & Services: Quality shopping centers, specialty stores and unique boutiques are located within the development, with a complete range of major retailers and factory outlets nearby. Lakewood Ranch also offers excellent public and private schools, and class A office and professional space with cutting-edge technology and communications capabilities.
  • Dining: On and off the property, residents have easy access to almost any cuisine imaginable, from casual family restaurants to elegant upscale dining and international cuisines.
  • Area Attractions: A prime location several miles northeast of downtown Sarasota makes Lakewood Ranch convenient to all of Tampa Bay, only 45 minutes from St. Petersburg, an hour from Fort Myers and two hours from Orlando. In addition to miles of beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, residents have easy access to museums and performing arts venues, amusement parks, professional sporting events and the acclaimed Florida Aquarium.
  • Health Care: The Lakewood Ranch Medical Center provides a wide range of health care services, including a 120-bed acute-care hospital, on-site emergency care, outpatient services and a birthing center. Adjacent to the hospital is a 60,000 square-foot medical office building housing physician offices, diagnostic and laboratory facilities.
  • Homes & Homesites: Buyers at Lakewood Ranch can choose from a wide variety of residential options, including maintenance-free condominiums, single-family homes and large estate-size properties. New home and lot packages range from the low $200,000's to $3 million or more. Resale homes are also available.


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