LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – There’s a new business moving into Main Street at Lakewood Ranch, and this latest establishment will make the street 100-percent occupied for the first time since its start in 2005.
Making the dream of full occupancy a reality is In Focus Family Eyecare, and the owner tells ABC 7 that he can't wait to set up his first office in the community.
"It's very exciting to be a part of that whole area down there, it's a nice growing area," said In Focus owner Brad Masuga, OD.
In fact, In Focus is moving in right next to one of the original businesses, Macallister’s Grill & Tavern.
"We saw the kind of vision back then as to what the street was going to be like. It's not been easy, but it's been well worth it," said Macallister’s owner Karen Ronney. Ronney still has the original shovel used to break ground for Main Street back in 2004 -- and she says it’s encouraging to see their vision of the street finally come to fruition.
"Just now having the whole street work together, you know, proving that we are here. There's a reason why Main Street was constructed all these years ago and it's just like a proper downtown main street now," she says.
Healthy Living Organic and Natural Market, located at the entrance of Main, has only been open about 4 months. Owner Maria Rosabal says setting up shop in Lakewood Ranch was the best decision she made.
"It's been great to be part of a growing community,” Rosabal said. “The community had a wonderful response to our store."
Serendipity owner Jaime Utz describes Lakewood Ranch Main Street as unique compared to other shopping centers on the Suncoast.
"There's a lot of diversity,” Utz says. “Now our store is a destination shop; several of them in here are like that."
Loyal customers like Ron Pisoni, who enjoys a cup of coffee daily at the local coffee shop, says the atmosphere and growth are big reasons he moved to Lakewood Ranch five years ago.
"I really like the atmosphere down here,” he says. “The people are very active. There's a mixture of young and old; it's a family community."
Lakewood Ranch continues to show promise, and major development continues with the hospital and new condos in construction across the street from Main.
The community and businesses alike foresee continued success for Lakewood Ranch -- or, as they call it, their “little village.”