LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Developers of senior living communities are quickly realizing that this master-planned community is a prime spot for the lucrative senior living industry.
Two more new senior lifestyle developments are in the works in the north and south portions of Lakewood Ranch. First, there are plans to build an assisted living, memory care, and independent living complex in two phases on almost 7 acres of vacant agricultural land adjacent to the new Intercoastal Medical Group building at Rangeland Parkway and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
Lakewood Ranch Commerce Park LLC, a division of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc., the developer of Lakewood Ranch and owner of the property, has applied for an environmental resource permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District that oversees wetlands management, one of the first phases of a lengthy process that ultimately requires oversight and approval by Manatee County Building and Development. The property is zoned within SMR's Lakewood Centre North project area.
According to the construction plans submitted by project manager, Stantec Consulting Services, in Sarasota, the project, called "Senior Lifestyle in Lakewood Ranch," will be developed and oper
ated by Senior Lifestyle Corporation, a privately-owned national developer of senior lifestyle communities, headquartered in Chicago. Among its properties is Heron East, 112-unit assisted living facility on Cattlemen Road in Sarasota.
The permit request does not indicate whether the company bought the property from SMR or how much they paid for it.
Phase I calls for the development of a four-story, combined assisted living/memory care center on more than 102,000 square feet of property surrounded by handicap ramps, a courtyard and private roads. Directly opposite this residence, Phase II designates the construction of a four-story, fully-equipped independent living residence.
Calls to the project manager and Senior Lifestyle Corporation were not returned in time publication. Senior Lifestyle Cor
Another senior living community will break ground soon in Lakewood Ranch. The Fountains of Hope, a 106-unit assisted living and memory care facility, is being built on 10 acres of the Church of Hope campus, located on Wendell Kent Road, just to the southeast of the I-75/University Parkway interchange.
This project is the result of an agreement between Omega Communities, a national senior housing development company that leases land from faith-based organizations in exchange for a percentage of the profits, and Church of Hope. All of Omega Communities' designs are based on purpose-driven features and amenities including dining areas, outdoor patios, outdoor courtyards and private residences. The company has engaged Life Care Services, an LCS company, to manage the residences.
Pastor Scott Young says the arrangement fits the church's master plan and its overall mission.
"We are an inter-generational faith community, growing in our senior ministry," he said.
Omega Communities' founder, Pat Trammell says it's a win-win for all involved.
"This creates an opportunity to convert some of their underutilized land into a much-needed resource for the community," Trammell said in a prepared statement.
The development of The Fountains of Hope is anticipated to create around 200 jobs during the construction phase and over 100 full-time staff when it opens in the summer of 2015.
The new facilities follow the recent news that an independent living residence called Cypress Springs will break ground off Natures Way near Lakewood Ranch Town Center, and its neighbor, Reflections Memory Care, part of the Windsor Assisted Living Residence, will build an extension to meet the demand for more skilled memory and nursing care.
Additionally, an upscale assisted-living and memory-care facility called InspiredLiving at Lakewood Ranch, is slated to be built in the Creekwood Development at the corner of Interstate 75 and State Road 70 in East Manatee by next summer.
Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.