LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (WFLA) – It has been a record-breaking year for home sales in Lakewood Ranch. The growing community sprawls across Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
“I just looked at the forecast back home and right now in Minnesota the windchill is -34°,” said Dave Neiman, who is looking to buy a home in Florida.
Neiman and his wife Joni looked for years before setting their sights on Lakewood Ranch.
“I don’t want to just buy a house on a street somewhere. I want the community and downtown feel,” said Joni Neiman.
And the Neiman’s are not alone. At 50 square miles, Lakewood Ranch is now home to dozens of residential villages, and all of the amenities, with more under construction.
“This has been a record-breaking year. We are the number one multi-generational community in the nation. We had growth of about 12% over last year with growth every year,” Senior Vice President of Lakewood Ranch Laura Cole said.
But with all of the growth comes growing pains.
“It’s just overwhelming. The traffic is a lot, and you just can’t get into the restaurants and shops much. It’s very hard,” said Rebecca Hershberger, a local resident.
Hershberger said the problem is not just with Lakewood Ranch, but also other areas in Sarasota.
When asked how much more growth is expected for Lakewood Ranch, Cole said it depends on the economy and home sales.
“It could be another 10, 12, 15 years before we see if taper off,” Cole said.