It started 30 years ago. That's when Rex Jensen first got a call to check out some land owned by the Uihlein family just off I-75 near Sarasota. That is all Jensen needed to see and he knew this land was going to be a success.
"One day he received a call from his predecessor John Clark, telling him they were getting ready to start thinking about developing this property," Jensen said.
"And just took one look at the property you could see signs on their tree farm that said 'Clean Air Begins Here,' I mean, there were things like that just spoke to the ethics of the company. The approach that they took, to a long-term view of things and it really appealed to me.
"You can’t look at a map and find a better piece of property from that standpoint."
Some have questioned Jensen on the location of Lakewood Ranch.
"But stop and think about a road that goes from Miami to Canada and if that is not an economic opportunity -- four interchanges on that road … I don’t know what is," Jensen said. "On its face at the time if you were a resident of that area, people uniformly thought we were insane."
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