LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Schroeder-Manatee Ranch is investing more than $20 million to construct Country Club East, renovate Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club and double the size of the fitness center.
All are scheduled for grand openings in 2016.
"Next year is not going to be a normal year," general manager Wayne Piazza said Wednesday during a sneak peek at Country Club East. "Three grand openings in one year."
Country Club East, a new 25,000-square-foot facility with vaulted ceilings and a casual, ranch feeling, is set to open in March.
Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, an older facility double the size of the new one, is getting some attention as well. The kitchen and dining room will close in January and reopen in November with new equipment and furniture. During the renovation, everything else at the country club will remain open, including the library, bar, wine room and lounge, Piazza said.
The enlarged fitness center will reopen in February, and will include all new exercise machines.
Piazza has been conducting tours of the Country Club East construction site for residents this week and sharing the plans and the intricate coordination of events and activities necessary to pull it off.
"This building doesn't have a bad side. All sides have good views," Piazza said, pointing to the manicured links outside.
At the conclusion of the tour, Piazza asked residents what they thought.
"Awesome," they answered.
Residents were particularly interested in coordination of event schedules, and available amenities. One resident told Piazza he didn't care when Country Club East opened so long as it was in time to watch March Madness, the collegiate basketball playoffs, on the club's big TVs.
"We will try to make the transition as smooth and easy as possible," Piazza told residents.
One resident, Susan Ellis, said Country Club East will be beautiful.
"I think it will be a great thing for members and residents," she said.
Another resident, Anne Leavey, told Piazza she thought it would be "lovely."
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter@jajones1.