LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Venue at Lakewood Ranch is going through a flurry of construction to finish the entire 237-unit apartment community by year's end, even as the leasing office opened last week.
Jessica Rachko, one of three leasing consultants for the property, said she's seen a lot of walk-in traffic so far and several apartments in the first of three, four-story buildings have already been leased.
"All of the walk-ins are local drive-byes who already live in the area and are stopping in to look for their family members or friends that are moving to the area," Rachko said. "They're coming in to get some information."
Davis Development Group, the Atlanta-based developer and manager of the newest smoke-free apartment community in Lakewood Ranch, owns and manages another Florida development, the Venue at Emerald Coast in Destin. The Venue in Lakewood Ranch is offering one, two, and three bedroom apartments ranging from 661 square feet to more than 1,400 square feet with one and two bathrooms
Dozens of construction workers and contractors managed by TX-Morrow Construction have been working seven days a week
to complete the buildings. The complex includes an activity center that will house a two-story fitness center, clubhouse and an outdoor saltwater pool.
"We are on schedule and there are no issues," Allen Stearns, project superintendent, said last month.
Rental prices in the gated community vary from $1,009 a month to nearly $3,000 a month, depending on size, location, and whether the renter has pets. The apartment has breed restrictions, Rachko said.
Leases are available for 12 or 14 months. Rachko says no short-term apartments will be available. Apartments still under construction can be preleased. All construction is expected to be complete by the middle of December.
The model apartment next to the leasing office features gourmet granite-topped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, wood cabinets, Plantation blinds, 9-foot ceilings with crown molding, ceiling fans with lighting in the bedroom and living room, two-tone paint color schemes, a full-size washer and dryer and a private patio.
Just to the north of the Venue on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, the 256-unit Creekside Apartments, owned by PAC Land Development of Orlando, has begun leasing. The complex is close to Manatee Technical Institute's East Campus and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. According to leasing specialist Julie Wilcox,
The first of five Creekside buildings are 100 percent occupied, according to Julie Wilcox, a leasing specialist with the complex. Preleasing is available while construction continues. The grand opening is set for February.
"Because we're so close to LECOM, we get a lot of students, however, we're not going to fill it all up with students. We have a diverse and wonderful group of people here so far," Wilcox said. "It's very exiting to see Lakewood Ranch booming and growing and we're happy to be a part of it."
Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.