LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance is moving its headquarters from the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch building on Covenant Way to a more visible location in the MGA Insurance building at 8430 Enterprise Circle.
"The business alliance has been growing and maturing. Our needs have changed and we want to meet the needs of alliance members going forward. One way of doing that is with our physical location," said Leann Spofford, LWRBA spokeswoman.
The organization, established in 2005, has been in donated space in SMR headquarters since it opened. In the last eight years, LWRBA has grown to nearly 500 businesses and 2,000 members, said board member Allan Shaivitz.
"We really needed to have our own space," he said, adding that LWRBA has been grateful for the space SMR has donated over the years.
The board unanimously approved the decision to move, saying the timing was right.
The new space will border Manatee and Sarasota counties -- just where the board wants to be.
"We really want to ... be the gateway of business in Lakewood Ranch ... to be right on the border of Sarasota-Manatee. That's the gap we're trying to bridge," Spofford said.
The 2,500-square-foot space will feature a reception area, staff workspaces, flat-screen televisions and a 26-seat conference room.
"We'll have a place to meet with potential new members and to promote activities of the alliance," said Shaivitz, also the project manager. "We'll also have space for businesses to meet with clients."
The move is expected to begin in April.
Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@sabrinarocco.