Lakewood Ranch is poised to grow again in a very big way with the introduction of its newest village, Waterside, which will have an eventual 5,144 homes set on 5,490 acres—nearly 4,100 acres of it made up of seven large lakes with more than 20 miles of shoreline—south of University Parkway. Real estate agents and prospective buyers got a sneak peek in late May.
Waterside will be Lakewood Ranch’s first village in Sarasota County, and will have a Sarasota address. Laura Cole, vice president of marketing, told the 30-plus potential buyers who’d registered on an interest list and were attending the first of several planned information sessions, many of them already Lakewood Ranch residents, that the proximity “extends the Cultural Coast into Lakewood Ranch” with “the cachet of Sarasota.”
In large part, that will be achieved when The Players Centre for Performing Arts builds its new complex at Waterside Place, Waterside’s village center. The nonprofit community theater plans a 480-seat mainstage auditorium, a 125-seat black box theater, a 100-seat cabaret and an educational wing. It will be built in phases; when completed, Cole says, 600 events a year are anticipated to be presented there. Already this summer, The Players Centre has introduced STAR: Storytelling Theatre at the Ranch, with monthly performances of plays aimed at young children, held at the Sarasota Polo Club clubhouse. (Visit theplayers.org for times and dates.)
The Waterside Place village center also will have about 100,000 square feet of offices, shops and restaurants, apartments and an eight-acre park on a small lake accessed by a pedestrian bridge. A farmer’s market and other community-building events will take place there. Cole said the look will be distinct from other Lakewood Ranch villages: “destination architecture, West Indies with a Curacao bent.” Walking trails will link Waterside Place to surrounding neighborhoods.
Two home builders are already turning earth on their Waterside communities:
Pulte Homes on June 1 began pre-sales of its Shoreview single-family residences, priced from the low $500,000s to $1 million. Its two model homes will be ready for touring July 1 and a grand opening is planned for July 29. Pulte plans 246 homes in Shoreview, most of them lakefront, as well as a resort-style pool, outdoor barefoot bar and fire pit, kayak launch, tennis and pickleball courts and a multipurpose lawn.
And Homes by Towne is developing Lakehouse Cove in conjunction with Lee Wetherington Homes and Arthur Rutenberg Homes, with an eventual 391 residences set around a lake and amenity center. Pre-sales begin in July, and models from all three builders will open by the end of 2017.
Grand opening events for Waterside will take place on Oct. 21 and Nov. 18 during the annual Lakewood Ranch Tour of Homes, which is scheduled for Oct. 20-Nov. 19.