600 new homes coming to Country Club East in Lakewood Ranch

jbartolone@bradenton.comOctober 2, 2013 

Lakewood Ranch Country Club. FILE PHOTO.

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- More than 600 home sites in Country Club East will be developed by Starwood Land Ventures LLC in a joint partnership with Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc., the companies announced Monday.

The $45 million deal encompasses about 475 acres remaining in Country Club East, a private, gated community built around the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.

SMR spokesperson Lisa Barnott called the deal a "seamless transition."

"We're going to continue to sell and the builders are going to continue to build," Barnott said.

To date, 481 homes have been sold in Country Club East.

Starwood, a Lakewood Ranch-based residential real estate firm, will also develop a new driving range and clubhouse at the golf club's Royal Lakes golf course under the terms of the deal.

SMR had previously announced the golf course improvements in response to growing membership. Plans include the addition of a 10,000- to 12,000-square foot clubhouse with a golf shop, casual restaurant and paved parking lot; the driving range, designed by golf architect Rick Robbins; and a 6,900-square-foot expansion of the fitness center.

No significant changes in the project are anticipated

following the partnership with Starwood, according to SMR President and CEO Rex Jensen.

"If anything, it's likely to speed development," Jensen said in a release.

The golf course itself is not part of the sale and will remain wholly owned by SMR.

LWR Communities LLC, will continue to be the ongoing project manager.

Jensen said Starwood's presence in Lakewood Ranch is one of the reasons it was chosen for the partnership.

"SLV has been headquartered here for years and is familiar with SMR's ideals and Lakewood Ranch as a community," Jensen said. "They understand our commitment to quality."

Jason Bartolone, East Manatee Editor, can be reached at 941-745-7011. Follow him on Twitter @JasonBartolone.

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