After a year of investigation, study, and argument, it looks like Lakewood Ranch district supervisors won't be buying the Summerfield visitor information center after all.
Town Hall Executive Director Anne Ross is briefing each of the district boards this week that an ad hoc committee studying acquisition of the building on 2.31acres at 6310 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. has recommended taking no further action.
Among objections to buying the building was cost and lack of parking. Arguments for acquiring the building, where districts supervisors met before the construction of town hall, included providing more meeting space for clubs and organizations. A shortage of meeting space for Lakewood Ranch’s many citizen groups has become a chronic problem.
In a Sept. 5 memo to supervisors, Ross wrote that she had met with Rex Jensen, CEO and president of Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, to request that the building be donated.
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“Mr. Jensen was fully supportive of the potenial uses of the building that the Ad Hoc Committee has discussed. However, Mr. Jensen again confirmed that a full donation is not possible. They are willing to entertain a purchase proposal from the CDDS,” Ross wrote.
The committee studying purchase of the Summerfield building voted 3-2 recommending no further action be taken.
“No level of assessment increase justifies the potential uses as a community center,” Ross wrote of the committee’s sentiment