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Casto Southeast hitting bulls’-eye with Center Point

Lakewood Ranch development will feature office, medical office and retail on 50 acres at completion.

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  • | 12:00 p.m. July 15, 2021
  • Commercial Real Estate
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Casto Southeast Realty Services has developed just a single project to date in its proverbial backyard of Lakewood Ranch, the master-planned community that straddles Sarasota and Manatee counties.

For its sophomore effort, a 50-acre collection of office, medical office, retail and restaurant space known as Center Point, the company is focusing on quality over quantity.

In addition to a fully-leased, three-story medical office building and new 42,000-square-foot quarters for Roper Technologies — one of the area’s most prominent companies with in excess of $5 billion in annual revenue — Center Point is expected to feature an array of upscale restaurants and much-needed service retail.

“This project works in this location because there’s just nothing like it nearby,” says Brett Hutchens, Casto Southeast’s president and managing partner. “Medical office space has been a desperate need, and Center Point will have restaurants and services that will be new to this area.”

COURTESY PHOTO — Casto Southeast Realty Services developed a medical office building within its 50-acre Center Point project in Lakewood Ranch.
COURTESY PHOTO — Casto Southeast Realty Services developed a medical office building within its 50-acre Center Point project in Lakewood Ranch.

Among the new restaurants will be the upscale and popular Owen’s Fish Camp, which originated in downtown Sarasota, and Olivia, an Italian restaurant in Tampa with a cult following.

In a reflection of how the 31,000-acre Lakewood Ranch has evolved into a more family-oriented community, Center Point also will contain a McDonald’s fast-food outlet.

“There’s no question that sit-down restaurants are a primary need in this community as so many people choose Lakewood Ranch as their place to live,” Hutchens says.

“Waterside, which is under development now, will contain some 5,200 homes at build out, and there are about 2,200 additional apartment units planned nearby.

The retail space will be led by Chamberlin’s, a largely organic specialty grocer founded in 1935. Today, the chain operates seven stores throughout Central Florida. In Center Point, it will occupy roughly 10,000 square feet.

“As a developer, part of our job is to observe what a community needs, and in this case, one of those needs is a high-quality specialty grocery store,” Hutchens adds.

 “Chamberlin’s will be an important component of the entire project, and really help this to become a place-making development.”

Center Point also will be home to service-oriented merchants such as a gas station and 7-Eleven, a Fifth Third Bank branch, a TD Bank and a Woodie’s Wash Shack car wash, among others.

Casto Southeast, which acquired the University Parkway and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard property from an affiliate of Lakewood Ranch master developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch for $2.2 million in early 2019, property records indicate, expects to complete Center Point in phases in the second half of next year.

COURTESY PHOTO — Woodies Wash Shack will open within Casto Southeast Realty Services' new Center Point project in Lakewood Ranch.
COURTESY PHOTO — Woodies Wash Shack will open within Casto Southeast Realty Services' new Center Point project in Lakewood Ranch.

In all, Center Point is slated to contain roughly 250,000 square feet of space upon completion. To facilitate the project, Casto Southeast uprooted, relocated and saved a series of of-growth trees that occupied the land — including one that weighed in at over 85,000 pounds.

Casto Southeast intentionally completed the $24 million, 73,522-square-foot medical office building as part of Center Point’s first phase, to meet yet another community need.

The Lakewood Ranch-based company recognized the same desire among residents when it partnered with Schroeder-Manatee in the early 2000s to develop the mixed-use Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.

That 158,000-square-foot project contains inline retail, sit-down restaurants, office space, event space, a movie theater and a miniature golf course. Schroeder-Manatee took full control of the project in 2010.

Although Center Point remains a primary focus, it’s hardly Casto Southeast’s only major ongoing project. The company also is developing new space in Winter Park and the Westshore section of Tampa, where it is responsible for the retail space within the $500 million Midtown Tampa.

REI Co-Op, Whole Foods Market, Shake Shack, True Food Kitchen, Ponte Restaurant Group, Ryde It and others comprise the 240,000 square feet of retail space within the 22-acre project.

In all, the ground-floor retail and restaurant space is 96% leased, Hutchens says.

The project also contains a 225-room dual-flagged hotel, a seven-story office building — the first of four planned in the project overall — and 390 apartment units.

In Winter Park, Casto Southeast is leading a major enhancement and expansion to its Winter Park Village, which debuted in late 1999.

Today, the mixed-use project is anchored by Publix Super Markets, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, The Cheesecake Factory, Whole Foods Market, Regal Cinemas and others.

Back in Lakewood Ranch, though, Hutchens says the two major roadways that intersect at the site of its project make the property a magnet for shoppers, workers and diners.

“Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and University Parkway make this project work,” he says. “It’s no accident that we’re calling this Center Point.”





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