When the Lakewood Ranch Post Office opened in 2008, it was located, well, in the middle of nowhere.
Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, developer of Lakewood Ranch, recently filed documents with Manatee County Government for approval to add 3,262 homes north of State Road 70 and east of Lorraine Road.
That’s territory north of the Lakewood Ranch Post Office and Premier Sports Campus, which has historically been used for pastures and other agricultural purposes.
Manatee County recently purchased the sports campus for $5.3 million for use as a county park.
Two builders, Taylor Morrison and Lennar Homes, have signed on to develop the property.
Progress is progress. Our major concern is the impact on our roads.
Francois X. Brun-Wibaux, president of Mariposa Nursery and Retail Garden Center
Taylor Morrison would develop 1,750 homes on 991.8 acres just south of State Road 64 East. The project also would include a golf course and retain 25 percent of the acreage as open space.
Access would be via Uihlein Road on the east and along an extension of 44th Avenue to the south.
Meanwhile, Lennar Homes proposes to develop 1,500 homes south of the 44th Avenue extension on 545 acres. The project, named The Woodlands at Lakewood Ranch, would be served by 44th Avenue East, Uihlein Road and an extended Rangeland Parkway, and would be developed in two phases.
The Woodlands would be located due north of Premier Sports Campus and the Lakewood Ranch Post Office at 5910 Post Blvd.
Proposed for the two properties are single-family attached and detached housing and multifamily housing.
“Progress is progress. Our major concern is the impact on our roads,” said Francois X. Brun-Wibaux, president of Mariposa Nursery and Retail Garden Center, 5020 Lorraine Road.
Long-time Lorraine Road resident Mike Picchietti said the booming growth in his neighborhood is bittersweet.
“I have more questions than answers. All this stuff is coming and we are trying to understand,” Picchietti said.
“For those of us who have lived on this road 20 or 30 years, will it be habitable in the future?” he said.
At the same time that growth brings challenges, it also brings new amenities, he said.
“We used to have to drive 10 miles to buy milk,” Picchietti said.
There are no known foundations, middens or mounds of historic significance on the SMR property, which is now zoned for agricultural uses, according to documents filed with the county.
With communities such as Del Webb, Lakewood National and Polo Run being developed miles to the east of the Post Office, and north and south of State Road 70, the Ranch population center keeps shifting.
Taylor Morrison declined comment on its proposed project at Lakewood Ranch. Lennar Homes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.