LAKEWOOD RANCH -- A Town Hall meeting of residents from all community development districts in Lakewood Ranch will be held to gauge interest in the possible sale of the Summerfield Information Center.
The meeting is expected to take place after the Nov. 4 general election.
Although no public announcement has been made, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc., the developers of the master-planned community, may be interested in selling the 19-year-old building, 6310 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., adjacent to Summerfield Park in the heart of the Summerfield Community Development district 1.
The center has special significance to Summerfield residents because it was the original Town Hall when Lakewood Ranch was being built. SMR leases office space in Summerfield to several developers who are building in its northern stewardship, Lakewood Centre, and it also rents space to Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Inc., planners of communitywide events.
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"Get community conversation going and get people from all districts interested. Give them the opportunity to provide feedback and then you'll have some solid information to form a plan," Inter-District Authority Executive Director Eva Rey told District 1 supervisors following a Tuesday presentation of the center's interior floor plan.
District 1 Supervisor June
Stroop urged attendees to keep it "top of mind" when out in the community because the intent is to be ready when the building does become available.
"Encourage everyone to keep talking to their neighbors and friends to see what they think, as well," she said.
Stroop also told district supervisors a suggestion had been made to turn the information center into a substation for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, which patrols county roads in Lakewood Ranch. The Lakewood Centre reportedly has been asked by SMR to stay in the building.
"I've heard that people don't want something commercial going in there since they use the park area, and it could change how they feel," Stroop said.
Supervisor Alan Roth agreed.
"I got the same feedback. Just having an official Manatee County Sheriff's sign there is worth more than our security sign, and having one or two cars in the parking lot."
The safety committee of the Summerfield/Riverwalk Village Homeowners Association reportedly has dealt with resident complaints about drug paraphernalia found in the park adjacent to the center.
"But we are one of the lowest-crime areas, which is good," association President Bob Swiatek said.
The 3,964-square-foot center was last appraised in 2013 at $437,546 by Manatee County property appraisers, the Bradenton Herald reported in February. Along with the Summerfield Information Center, SMR also owns a large information center on University Parkway and one in the exclusive Lake Club on Lake Club Boulevard.
Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.