LAKEWOOD RANCH -- A bevy of new businesses have blossomed at Lakewood Ranch, everything from an all-service pool store to a fancy consignment shop stocking designer duds.
Business owners credited an improving economy and Lakewood Ranch’s excellent demographics as reasons for their choice of location.
After researching the area, Mike Perry and his brother, Steve Perry, along with brother-in-law Jeff Carberry opened Blue Water Pools at 11161 S.R. 70 E.
They discovered 10,000 swimming pools are within a five-mile radius of the store, said Mike Perry.
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“That’s why I put my store here,” he explained.
The store opened March 18, and the three have never looked back.
“Our business has definitely picked up,” Steve Perry said this week. The store sells all sorts of pool supplies, plus service and repair.
It stocks everything from toys and floating lounges, to pumps, filters, chemicals and cleaning supplies.
Another store that has recently opened in the same Lakewood Walk shopping center is The Rustic Rose Home Accents & Gifts.
The shop stocks everything from elegant handbags to picture frames, jewelry, candles, scents, and rustic home accessories.
Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street is showing renewed retail vigor, too, with Urban Accents, a home goods store, to open sometime this summer, as well as a Viking Cooking School on its north end, said Candice McElyea, a spokeswoman for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, developer of Lakewood Ranch.
“The Viking Cooking School will be the only one in the whole region, and it will have cooking classes, demonstrations, it will sell appliances, have parties; it will be a really neat addition to the street,” she said.
Also coming to the area where the Good Earth Natural Foods store recently closed, at 8140 Main St., will be a casual restaurant, yet to be announced, McElyea said.
The Premier Sports Campus of Lakewood Ranch will take a portion of the former Good Earth space, turning it into a multi- use sports performance and training center for use by athletes visiting the campus, Lakewood Ranch officials have said previously.
The center will also be open to the public via memberships, they said. Construction of both new businesses is scheduled to begin in July for openings in November, officials have said.
“Commercial real estate seems to definitely be picking up in Lakewood Ranch,” McElyea said. “It’s an indication of our location -- we’re so centrally located. As our real estate sales pick up, business owners want to live here and work here and play here.
“You get the whole package here.”
Nearby at San Marco Plaza, 8215 Nature’s Way, a new consignment store called “2nd Ann Rose” opened April 8.
Its specialty is women’s designer clothing, shoes, purses, accessories, jewelry, semi-precious stones, furniture, artwork from local artists, rugs and glassware, according to marketer Barbara Smith.
Among the items she had on hand this week were pieces from Escada, Chico’s and BCBG, Smith said.
Asked why she chose Lakewood Ranch, Smith replied, “I love San Marco, love the people in Lakewood Ranch; they’re just a lot of fun.”