LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Family Eye Care, a private practice owned and operated by Dr. Troy Bedinghaus, a board-certified optometrist, has built a successful business in the Spring Forest Office Park, along State Road 70 just before the well-traveled Lakewood Walk Shopping Center.
But poor visibility and the high cost of leasing have convinced Bedinghaus to become a property owner rather than a tenant.
Bedinghaus is the owner of just over two acres of vacant, commercially-zoned property next to the Publix-anchored shopping center and near 111th Street East and the Manatee County Tax Collector's office. He intends to use a one-acre portion to build a brand new, 5,158-square-foot eye center and relocate his current practice. The property was purchased from Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc., the developers of the Lakewood Ranch master-planned community.
Construction is anticipated to begin in mid May as soon as the final site plan and the building permit are approved by Manatee County, which could be announced in the next few weeks, according to Bob Gause, a civil engineer assigned to the project and co-owner of Allison-Gause, Inc. in Bradenton. Gause says the basic infrastructure for the building, including water and sewer systems are already in place, and the Southwest Water Management District has given its approval.
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Steller Development, Inc., a general contractor in Lakewood Ranch, has been selected to oversee construction of the new eye care facility. The company was recognized as one of the fastest-growing general contractors in Florida, and one of the top growth companies in
the nation, according to the "Inc. 500" List, published by Inc. Magazine. Stellar Development was previously selected to construct Coastal Animal Medical Center, a 5,000-square-foot veterinary clinic on SR 70, as well as several other large commercial and retail spaces in Lakewood Ranch.
In addition to Publix, the adjacent shopping center includes several restaurants, a gas station and a variety of lifestyle retailers.
Just north of the shopping center, Intercoastal Medical Group recently opened a new $6.5 million dollar medical office building at Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Rangeland Parkway, where SMR Inc. plans to introduce Lakewood Centre, a 697-acre mixed-use development comprised of thousands of new homes and apartments, along with one million square feet of commercial and office space, and even a 300-room hotel, potentially as tall as 12 stories, according to the developers.
Lakewood Family Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations, children's vision care, treatment of eye diseases, infections and injuries, Glaucoma treatment, and full-service optical care for the fitting of contact lens and eyeglasses.
Dr. Bedinghaus was the first eye doctor in Manatee County to transform his practice into a computerized "paperless" office and he utilizes a new technology called "wave-front" to diagnose and treat unusual vision problems, according to his Web site. He also writes a blog about vision care for the New York Time's Web site, about.com.
Bedinghaus declined comment until construction is underway.
Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.