by: Ian Swaby Staff Writer
Ground had yet to be broken Aug. 13 in Lakewood Ranch on the new Luxe Dream Garage complex, but auto lovers already were lined up with their shiny sports cars.
Bradenton’s Ben Bernheim said he arrived early on the site behind Gold Coast Eagle Distributing to meet other future users of the garage condos. He can see his friends able to hang out in an air conditioned garage, chatting about their favorite subject: cars.
The gathering was alongside a pond on Communications Parkway, just west of Systems Court. The land directly east of the pond will house the facility termed by the developers as Luxe One, which is expected to open in 2023 and to contain 65 units. A second facility, Luxe Two, will be built at the northwest corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Communications Parkway, and is expected to open in 2024 with 64 units.
Founders Mike McKinney and David Slone, and spokesperson Jon Astore, used three special shovels for the occasion to move a little dirt and get the construction part of the project officially underway. Slone said the group was excited as they have been discussing the project since January.
“You have no idea how long it takes to get a project like this off the ground,” he said.
With the region packed with car collectors who own multiple cars with nowhere to store them, the time has been right for Luxe Dream Garage.
Slone said the service offers more than simply a secure way to store vehicles.
“We're going to have a place where these people are going to be really excited to hang out,” he said. “We're going to do events at the clubhouse, and there's just going to be a nonstop camaraderie going on there.”
Attendees were already envisioning the future of the two garage sites.
“Everything they're doing is to (develop) camaraderie,” said Alan Davis, who came from Englewood to attend the event, along with his wife, Cindi Davis. “We like that a lot. It makes it like a little community, and that's important to us. We're going to know everybody, which is nice.”
The groundbreaking wasn’t the only chance for fans of the project to socialize that day. Attendees began their day by showing their sports cars at the Cars & Coffee event at The Mall at University Town Center before heading to the site of the future garage.