Award American Living

Lakewood Ranch Honored as Best Community in American Living Awards

Lakewood Ranch, the master-planned community on the county line of Sarasota and Manatee was awarded the “Best in American Living” award (BALA) for Best Community, Over 150 Units, at a recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Convention in Dallas. Considered the Academy Awards of the New Home Building Industry, BALA is the nation’s foremost residential design award competition and is presented during the international show. The BALA program recognizes those developers across the United States whose communities illustrate design quality, success in the marketplace, and exemplify the “Best in American Living.” Lakewood Ranch was selected from over 500 entries and joins a very select group of communities around the country receiving one of the highest awards in the industry.

The design competition is sponsored by Professional Builder Magazine and the National Association of Home Builders. Judges for the competition included top architects, land planners, and home builders from across the country, many of whom are members of NAHB’s design committee.

“The BALA judges were impressed by the way Lakewood Ranch is architecturally themed to fit the historic, rustic character of the land,” says William Lurz, a senior editor from Professional Builder who hosted the awards breakfast, attended by over 500 builders and design professionals. “Of course, the scale of development adds to the impression. To fit a new town of 7,000 homes, along with retail, commercial, and office development, onto 5,500 acres of sensitive Florida land, while actually enhancing the delicate ecosystems of the whole area, sets a benchmark for community developers to shoot for all across the country.”

NAHB design committee past president Rick Puzzitiello, a home builder in the west suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and a BALA judge, said Lakewood Ranch is on the cutting edge of community design. “Today’s most successful developments appeal to nostalgia-conscious consumers by creating friendly, old-fashioned neighborhoods that have a relaxed, unhurried sense about them. Lakewood Ranch has that. It’s a real hometown in the making. New houses convert to homes very quickly in that kind of setting. And that’s what people are looking for today.”

Lakewood Ranch is a 5,500 acre master-planned community set on the 28,000-acre Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. Development includes five residential villages offering a variety of price ranges and lifestyles; a Town Center with shopping, dining, entertainment and medical facilities; schools; hotels; and a Corporate Park. Lakewood Ranch provides opportunities for its residents to live, work, learn and play within the community–a true master-planned hometown.