Twenty years ago, the Uihlein family broke ground on a 17,500-acre tract of land in vast Schroeder-Manatee Ranch that eventually became Lakewood Ranch. Once contemplated as the perfect place for a county landfill or an airport, Lakewood Ranch in 1994 was so far from Sarasota and Manatee’s centers of commerce and population that most locals didn’t understand the eventual size and impact of the ambitious development. But the meticulously planned community, with street after street of new homes, walking trails, lakes and green space, grew into one of the best-selling master-planned communities in the U.S. With more than 18,000 residents today, the community has emerged as a center of affluence, sports and business. And it’s still growing.
Homes on the Ranch
Coming in 2014: 5,500-acre Villages of Lakewood Ranch South
Lakewood Ranch's first residential neighborhood in Sarasota County, with 5,144 homes approved at build-out.
No. of million dollar homes in The Lake Club: 146
Average new home price in LWR: $417,000
Most popular home style: Med-Rev
Most prolific builder: Pat Neal
Open for Business
Annual business sales volume: $1.5 billion
Businesses in Lakewood Ranch: 1,200
Commercial Vacancy Rate: Bradenton (29%), City of Sarasota (12%), Lakewood Ranch (7%)
Meet the Ranchers
The Uihlein family owns Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, the developer of Lakewood Ranch.
The Uihleins were a leading family in Milwaukee.
Longtime owners of the now defunct Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.
[The family] purchased the 48 square miles that would become Schroeder-Manatee Ranch in 1922.
[And] helped found and support the Sarasota Polo Club.
Lakewood Ranch: 45
Sarasota County: 53
Manatee County: 46
Lakewood Ranch: 18,000
North Port: 58,378
Sarasota (city): 53,811
Where Residents Come From
Lakewood Ranch: White (92%) - African American (2%) - Hispanic (5%)
Bradenton: White (64%) - African American (16%) - Hispanic (17%)
Sarasota (city): White (65%) - African American (16%) - Hispanic (17%)
Venice: White (95%) - African American (1%) - Hispanic (3%)
North Port: White (82%) - African American (7%) - Hispanic (9%)
Lakewood Ranch: $89,707
Longboat Key: $94,800
Most famous rancher
Dick Vitale, America's basketball sportscaster
The Sporting Life
Where to play
Premier sports campus: 22 fields, 140 acres
Sarasota Polo Club: 9 fields, 130 acres
Sarasota International Cricket: year-round games
Ancient Oak Gun Club: 24 shooting stations, 2 separate courses
Trails: 150 miles for walking, hiking, biking
Golf Club Holes
Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club: 54
Legacy Golf & Country Club East: 18
Where the Kids Are
Public high schools: 2
Public middle schools: 2
Public elementary schools: 5
Private or charter schools: 5
Technical institute: 1