John Schroeder was a wealthy business owner who came to Manatee County from Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the early 1900´s. He began to purchase land in the area known today as Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. He was joined in 1922 by the Uihlein family, founders of the Schlitz Brewing Company. They helped to expand the farming operations still intact today; including cattle ranching, citrus farming and shell mining. In 1994, after 19 years of planning and approvals, real estate development was added into the mix with the introduction of Lakewood Ranch.
Located east of Sarasota and just off I-75, Lakewood Ranch is a master planned community on 5500 lush green acres. Lakewood Ranch is special in that nearly half of the community is set aside for as open space and recreation area, including lakes, nature preserves, parks, wetlands and trails. Residents can use canoes, kayaks or small water craft on the 160 acre Lake Uhlein, or on any of the 5 smaller lakes. There are approximately 100 miles of sidewalks and trails making biking, hiking and running a common pastime.
There are more than 25 active resident clubs for a myriad of activities; the Athletic Club offers two pools, tennis courts and a gym; while the Polo Club is right down the road. Lakewood Ranch offers Legacy Golf Club, an 18 hole championship course designed by Arnold Palmer, complete with clubhouse. There is so much to explore in the Lakewood Ranch area, such as Golf Courses, Fishing Charters, Cultural Activities, Theme Parks and Sports.
Lakewood Ranch was designed with the idea that residents would have everything they needed within its boundaries. It is made up of 4 villages, built by the area's top builders. Each village offers a wide variety of single family, maintenance free, and condo residences in a variety of price ranges. The Town Center is a 250 acre shopping extravaganza, with grocery shopping, retail stores, banking facilities, and restaurants. Lakewood Ranch also boasts its own medical facility. But even though residents may not have to leave often, when they do, its close proximity to I-75 and Sarasota-Bradenton International airports offers ultimate convenience.
Lakewood Ranch residents love the fact that the homes are new, yet the historic presence and natural comfort of the environment were carefully preserved. Lakewood Ranch is a great place to live and a welcome addition to the Sarasota real estate market.
Lakewood Ranch High School is a four-year comprehensive high school with an enrollment of 2170. Of the professional faculty of 109, over 40 percent have earned a masters degree or higher. Lakewood Ranch High School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Opened in August of 1998, Lakewood Ranch High School serves a community of primarily professional families. Nearby private schools such as the prestigious Out-Of-Door Academy offer quality education choices for all ages.
Lakewood Ranch, by design, offers something for everyone and in almost every price range. You can find 2 BR maintenance free town homes for $225,000; single family residences from $300,000- $1 million; and luxurious country club estates prices at $1 million +. If the idea of a diverse community, with its own facilities, shopping and amenities is appealing to you, chances are you will find the perfect home and lifestyle at Lakewood Ranch.
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