An Earth Fare organic supermarket would anchor a proposed 525,000-square-foot project that promises to remake the undeveloped northeast corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and State Road 70.
Tavistock Development Company of Orlando envisions that its project on 42 acres would include two dozen businesses with 150,000 square feet of retail, office and restaurant spaces, and 304 luxury four-story rental residences. Site work would begin in spring 2017, and the shopping center tentatively would open in the first quarter 2018.
In addition to a supermarket, a fitness center and a restaurant, Tavistock is looking for other leasing opportunities for its The Green at Lakewood Ranch project.
“We are looking for other cool concepts for morning, noon and night,” said Skipper Peek, vice president of Tavistock Development Company.
Earth Fare opened its first store in 1975 in Asheville, North Carolina, as Dinner for the Earth with the mission of offering “real food to enable people to regain control of their own health.”
The company did not open its second store until 1997 in Charleston, South Carolina, but has grown rapidly since then with stores in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.
We are looking for other cool concepts for morning, noon and night.
Skipper Peek, vice president of Tavistock Development Company
The Lakewood Ranch store marks Earth Fare’s entry into the Bradenton-Sarasota market. It has Florida stores located in Seminole, Tallahassee, Ocala and Jacksonville.
Earth Fare expanded to become a full-service supermarket in 1994.
“We’ve grown over the years but our commitment to clean, healthy foods has never wavered. In fact, our pioneering food philosophy ensures that you can shop with confidence in every aisle of our store, without ever needing to read a label,” Earth Fare says on its website.
The company banned hydrogenated oils in 1993, artificial sweeteners and sucralose in 2001, and high fructose corn syrup in 2008.
Manatee County is treating Tavistock’s plan as a rapid response-special project.
We’ve grown over the years but our committment to clean, healthy foods has never wavered. In fact, our pioneering food philosophy ensures that you can shop with confidence in every aisle of our store, without ever needing to read a label.
Earth Fare, in a statement on its website
Comments on the project are due by county staff by Wednesday, and the project hasn’t encountered any issues, said Jim Rigo, principal planner for Manatee County.
The Green would have access from State Road 70, Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Rangeland Parkway.
“We were so impressed with the team at Schroder-Manatee Ranch and the one-of-a-kind opportunity to collaborate with them on this innovative district,” Peek said. “Our team brings a pioneering and thoughtful approach to each of our award-winning developments and we believe The Green will set new standards for Lakewood Ranch.”
Tavistock is a diversified real estate firm whose properties include Lake Nona in Orlando.
“Their developments are all of the highest design standards and include all of the details that make for successful and sought after projects for the tenants as well as the surrounding community,” said Kirk G. Boylston, president of Lakewood Ranch Commercial.