LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Ranch is exploding with residential development, and multifamily apartment communities are fast becoming an important part of the mix.
A temporary leasing office for the 256-unit Creekside Apartments officially opened on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard across the street from Manatee Technical Institute's East Campus and near Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Creekside is on 24 acres surrounded by several creeks, which most apartments will face. Developer PAC Land Development of Orlando opened the Lost Creek Apartments next door in 2011. The complex sold out within six months before it was sold last year to a real estate group for nearly $40 million.
Ashley Stewart, regional
manager for Pegasus Residential, the third-party leasing company representing PAC Land Development, set up shop in a trailer at the entrance to Creekside Apartments, which is scheduled to open its first phase of apartments July 1. She is hiring a property manager, several assistants and sales people before the move-in rush.
"In the short time we've been here, leasing has been going well. People are ready to move and they're actively looking," Stewart said. "We're getting a mixed group of people from all over the country from families to the students across the street at LECOM."
Many inquiries come from online marketing sites such as Craigslist and Facebook. Stewart said she also plans to reach out to organizations in the Lakewood Ranch community such as the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.
Creekside apartments will be spread among six buildings, housing one-, two- and three-bedroom units on four floors, with elevators dedicated to each building. Several sections will have unattached garages.
The gated community enclosed by a fenced perimeter will offer a range of amenities from an outdoor kitchen and barbecue area to an Olympic-size pool with a spa, health club and aerobics room, volleyball court and dog park.
Each apartment will feature 9-foot ceilings, faux wood flooring and a full-size washer and dryer.
"PAC Land is noted for its amenities, and they always do it up in a big way," Stewart said.
Taking a break from studies at the nearby LECOM dental school, Rebecca Schott stopped by the Creekside Apartments trailer Tuesday to look at floor plans.
"They seem really nice and they're so close by. This is perfect for the new students that are coming to the school in July and perfect for me because my lease will be up by then," she said.
Schott, a first-year dental student from Tennessee, said she wants to lease a two-bedroom apartment for her and a roommate.
Down the boulevard just north of University Parkway, a luxury urban apartment community called The Venue is being built for a July opening date as well. Davis Development of Atlanta is overseeing construction of the 237-unit apartment community across the street from Lakewood Ranch Main Street and adjacent to the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. The builder has yet to set up a trailer on the construction site, and is forwarding inquiries to thevenueatlr.com.
Last November, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc., the Lakewood Ranch developer, sold an 18-acre parcel of land on State Road 70 and White Eagle Boulevard, formerly Pope Road, to a subsidiary of Davis Development, DD Sarasota II LLC, for about $3.8 million.
The developer has to submit a site plan for permitting to Manatee County before construction can begin on the unnamed 280-apartment community, county building officials said.
Information about the Creekside Apartments is available at apartfromordinary.com.
Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.