Neal Communities extends Lakewood Ranch north; Indigo to become 500-home development
BY MATT M. JOHNSON via Bradenton Herald
LAKEWOOD RANCH — A record-breaking land purchase that extends the northern reach of the Lakewood Ranch community is expected to give Neal Communities a bit of extra cache when it puts its latest subdivision on the market early next year.
Last week, Lakewood Ranch-based Neal purchased about 111 acres from Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. for $8.29 million, according to Manatee County records. Located at the eastern terminus of 44th Avenue, the rural land will be combined with an earlier purchase to become Indigo, an approximately 500-home development. The deal, which was partially financed by SMR to the tune of $4.14 million according to records, is the largest amount Neal has ever paid in a single land deal in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Neal Communities President Pat Neal said his company has already started infrastructure construction on 39 acres of pasture he purchased for the development in June for $3.2 million from Loraine B. Riker. The work is timed to bring the first Indigo homes to the market just as Neal Communities sells the last of 80 homes it still has for sale in the company’s 826-home Central Park subdivision on the south side of 44th Avenue. Neal said his company is selling those homes at a rate of about 12 per month.
The entire Indigo community will be included within the borders of Lakewood Ranch, a master-planned development controlled by Schroeder-Manatee. Indigo marks the farthest north Lakewood Ranch has ever extended, according to the community’s official map.
“The Lakewood Ranch address adds great panache,” Neal said. “It certainly enhances the value.”