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Casto Southeast Planning New Projects
Thursday, July 10, 2003
Sarasota, Florida — Casto Southeast of Sarasota, Florida plans to develop more entertainment/lifestyle themed projects. Lakeland Village is in the planning stage and is scheduled for completion in mid-2004. The 500,000 square foot entertainment/lifestyle project will be located in southern Lakeland, Florida and will be comprised of office, residential and hospitality components. Lakeland Village follows the company?s successful Winter Park Village development, a 525,000 mixed-use project with 350,000 square feet of retail, 115,000 square feet of office and 60,000 square feet of residential (58 loft apartment units). In addition to Lakeland Village, other new retail projects underway include Lakewood Ranch, a new mixed-use town center in the heart of Lakewood Ranch featuring 120,000 square feet of retail, 75 condominiums and 58,000 square feet of retail, 75 condominiums and 58,000 square feet of office that is expected to open by mid-2003. A new grocery-anchored retail project (as yet unnamed) is being planned for a fall, 2003 opening in downtown Sarasota. An additional 15,000 square feet of retail shop space and 70,000 square feet of retail are included in the project. Casto Southeast is also entering the industrial development arena with a new 480,000 square foot, state-of-the-art distribution facility being built in Jacksonville for BJ?s Wholesale Club. The project will be completed by April 2003. The company is also looking at additional industrial opportunities in central and northeast Florida. Brett Hutchens, President of Casto Southeast, feels optimistic about retail development in Florida. Hutchens said, ?Our successful experience in our Winter Park project taught us a lot about the advantages of mixed-use projects and we feel very positive about their long term viability. The challenge is to preserve the traditional shopping experience and, at the same time, offer the consumer something new and different in the overall shopping occastion.? Casto Southeast, based in Sarasota, Florida, currently owns and manages over 1.3 million square feet of retail space in seven shopping centers located in Florida, including recently completed new projects in Cape Coral (Pine Island Crossing), Punta Gorda (Seminole Lakes Plaza) and Clermont, Florida (Clermont Crossing). Casto Southeast was established in 1995 and is part of the Don M. Casto Organization of Columbus, Ohio, a full-service real estate company committed to excellence in developing, managing and leasing shopping centers, multi-family residences, office buildings and corporate parks. The organization?s portfolio includes more than 19,000,000 square feet in 82 shopping centers located throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Alabama.

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