LAKEWOOD RANCH Manatee County is planning to make improvements to Lakewood Ranch Park that will include the expansion of a storm water pond, playground area, four parking areas and an add-a-brick gathering plaza with a gazebo and flag pole.
The overall improvements, which are pending review by local government officials, will total 15,207 square feet.
The park, located on 150 acres bordering Lakewood Ranch High School, already features tennis, basketball and racquetball courts, as well as softball, baseball, soccer and football fields.
The site plan for improvements will add rest rooms, a concession building, a 6,000-square-foot locker room, sidewalks, security lights, handicap accessibility in the parking lot and exercise trails.
The improvement plan will also include a 1,200-square-foot expansion for the Braden River Soccer Club, which has 1,300 youths between ages 4-18 participating in its program. The expansion will be broken into two parts: a 600-square-foot interior facility that will serve as a meeting room and a 600-square-foot under roof, outdoor facility. The club received approval for the expansion from county commission last week, said president Brenden Moriarty.
“We’re paying for it all,” Moriarty said. “We have budgeted an amount of money and have been saving for it. We’re expecting the overall cost to be between $50,000 to $100,000.”
The club submitted a request for expansion in September.
Last year, the county ap
proved a 5,000-square-foot building for the East Manatee Bulldogs youth football team.
“As the leagues continue to grow, the park will continue to add infrastructure,” said Mike Whelan, the programs and policy coordinator for county parks and recreation.
Lakewood Ranch also uses some of the athletic fields at the park, Whelan said.
In an unrelated project at Lakewood Ranch, Stirling Equity Group has requested approval to build on 33 lots in the Belleisle subdivision,
Stirling Equity Group, LLC, is a subsidiary of Neal Communities.
The request is for the second phase of a construction plan. At build out, the company is expecting 181 total lots. Two-thirds have already been released for sale, according to Leisa Weintraub, vice president of marketing for Neal Communities.
The lots, which will vary between 8,300 and 13,000 square feet, will be for homes measuring 1,389 to 2,641 square feet, designed to appeal to empty-nest retirees, Weintraub said.
Forty-six lots owned by Neal Communities have been sold inside Belleisle since they were put on the market last February, Weintraub said.
“The homes are very appealing to the buyers,” she said.
Nick Williams, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Tweet: @_1NickWilliams