The Ranch Lifestyle
According to ideal-living.com, at Lakewood Ranch, it's all about the good life. Health, family, and fun are the focus. And, there's an activity to fit every lifestyle. The community hosts 54 holes of golf, a country club with two clubhouses, and tennis and athletic centers. Additionally, it's home to the Sarasota Polo Club and seven world-class polo fields. Still, the list continues with a 75-acre premier sports campus, A-rated schools, performing arts center, and a hospital, as well as a preventive medical clinic. Lakewood Ranch also has its very own Main Street. Cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a daily reprieve and time to socialize. Also, Main Street's seasonal festivals and events promise year-round parties. On the more tranquil side, over 150 miles of trails and 10,000 acres of lakes, parks and nature preserves add pristine natural beauty to the community. And, beautiful barrier island beaches are just minutes away. With 60 active social clubs, downtown Sarasota at your fingertips, the UTC Mall and big shopping a few miles away, it is the ideal place to be.
Just like the rest of Southwest Florida, the city lies in the tropical climate zone, with drier warm winters and wet humid summers. It is a hotspot for year-round and part-time residents, and tourists alike, due to the inviting climate.
Lakewood Ranch’s first models opened in February 1995, but its creation really dates to around 1980. That’s when the Uihlein family, which owned the then-28,000 acres of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, looked around and realized their land had become a target. The airport authority wanted to build a new airport servicing Sarasota-Manatee counties, and after years of resistance by landowners and environmentalists, The Ranch was eventually turned into a master planned community and just keeps growing. Back in the early days, critics scoffed at them for creating a community east of I-75, but now it is a highly desired place to be.
Business Is Booming
With tremendous growth in the number of residential dwellings being built each year, and people flocking to live at The Ranch, naturally there needs to be enough businesses and services to support the growing population. New construction communities just keep popping up to the east, north and south of Lakewood Ranch, giving lots of opportunities for businesses to come into the area and find success. In fact, The Waterside, a brand-new community going in just south east of Lakewood Ranch proper boasts 5,000 new homes, and a commercial town center with shops, restaurants, and entertainment, similar to Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street. An established population, coupled with a growing footprint, the Lakewood Ranch area of Southwest Florida is an amazing opportunity for entrepreneurs.