In 1922, the Uihlein family, founders of the Schlitz Brewing Company, purchased more than 48 square miles of land located on the border of southern Manatee and northern Sarasota counties. The Uihlein family expanded the use of the land to include cattle ranching, the farming of vegetables, citrus, timber, and turf as well as shell mining. In 1994, the development of the largest master planned community began – Lakewood Ranch. It is one of the fastest growing communities on the Gulf Coast.
With 17,500 acres, Lakewood Ranch is home to ten villages offering lifestyles from townhomes to custom estates. Since 2005, all new construction has been built “green” by using building products and techniques that result in a healthier, more energy efficient and environmentally responsible homes. Lakewood Ranch is one of the largest green master planned communities in the country.
Lakewood Ranch has something for everyone. On Mainstreet, residents will find gourmet and family-friendly restaurants, unique shops and boutiques. There are 3,500 acres of preserved land and waterways with over 150 miles of walking paths and nature trails. For the outdoor enthusiast there are beautifully designed golf courses, athletic centers with fitness, aquatics and lighted tennis courts. The Ranch even has Polo and Cricket clubs. Just a few miles away is Nathan Benderson Park, a 600-acre world class scull, rowing and aquatic sports center. Adjacent to the park is University Town Center Mall, a premiere shopping destination.
The successful management of Lakewood Ranch has created a strong sense of community for its residents.