- July 31, 2015
Casto Southeast Realty Services has begun construction of a new $24 million medical office building on a key intersection in Lakewood Ranch, a project that is expected to kickstart a 50-acre, mixed-use commercial project in the master-planned community.
When completed by year end, as is anticipated, the 73,522-square-foot medical office building will anchor Center Point, which is also envisioned to ultimately contain retail shops, restaurants and a hotel at the intersection of University Parkway and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
“We feel strongly this project will do well in this location, given the tremendous population growth of the area combined with its proximity to the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center,” says Brett Hutchens, Casto Southeast’s president and managing partner.
Casto Southeast, a Lakewood Ranch-based firm that along the Gulf Coast is perhaps best known for developing the Whole Foods Market-anchored Shoppes at Sarasota Row in downtown Sarasota, has yet to identify the retailers or hotel flag it is pursuing. That’s because land seller Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc., the master developer of the 31,000-acre community, is in the midst of seeking a zoning overlay change to permit mixed-use developments.
“We’ve had tremendous interest even though we’re not formally marketing it because the amendment to the land use is only at the beginning of what could be an 18-month process now,” Hutchens says. “But that’s how desirable the property is, and having the medical office and its uses will only draw others.”
In addition to pure offices devoted to health care tenants, the three-story medical building being designed by FleischmanGarcia Architecture also is envisioned to contain a 13,000-square-foot surgery center and a state-of-the-art imaging center.
“This is going to be hands down, bar none, the most advanced medical facility in the state of Florida,” says Dr. Gerald E. Grubbs, founder and medical director of Sarasota Interventional Radiology, which has committed to lease 20,000 square feet in Casto Southeast’s medical project.
“It’s going to have the newest, most advanced technology, the kind typically only found in the largest academic hospitals and training facilities in the country.”
Grubbs adds that the radiology practice, which currently operates at 600 N. Cattlemen Road in Sarasota, will also be able to serve a larger population in Lakewood Ranch.
“The new office will be in or near two of the largest residential development growth corridors in the entire state, and in one of the fastest-growing master planned communities nationwide,” he says. “We also like very much that the expected anchor will be retail, because in that respect the medical offices are part of a larger one-stop shop, where people can receive treatment and dine and shop all in the same trip.”
At present, the balance of the building is available for lease, Hutchens says.
Aaron Ruben, a Casto Southeast vice president of development, says general contractor The Starling Group will use tilt-wall construction that will accelerate delivery of the building within the next 11 months.
Center Point will mark the second new medical office building being developed in Lakewood Ranch.
Late last year, St. Petersburg-based Optimal Outcomes LLC broke ground on a 46,000-square-foot medical office building in the ranch’s 265-acre C.O.R.E. health care and life sciences-oriented business park.
Sarasota Orthopedic Associates and Florida Cancer Specialists are scheduled to open in the Healthpark building when it debuts early in 2020.
Center Point will become Casto Southeast’s second Lakewood Ranch project with Schroeder-Manatee. More than a decade ago, the company developed the 158,000-square-foot Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. Schroeder-Manatee in 2010 assumed full control of the project.
“Casto is a large, capable developer that we have a history with and feel very comfortable with,” says Kirk Boylston, president of Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty, which oversees commercial real estate projects within the ranch.
“Center Point will be on one of the last, large commercial tracts available in the ranch that fronts existing, major streets,” he adds. “And we’re really short on medical office in Lakewood Ranch, so having two projects coming in simultaneously will be a big boost.”
In addition to Center Point, Casto has a half-dozen other major projects it is preparing to embark on in Florida and Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
In Sarasota, Casto Southeast and partners are working to redevelop the former Doctors Hospital site on Bahia Vista Street and Tuttle Avenue into a mix of apartments and retail space.
In Tampa, the company is the partner in charge of developing about 240,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space within a 22-acre, mixed-use project called Midtown Tampa that will be valued at roughly $500 million at build out.