Impact of Venice Workforce Housing Weighed


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, May 24th, 2017 – Residents and developers of communities off East Laurel Road in Venice are keeping a close eye on a planned workforce housing on Knights Trail Road and its potential impact to local property values. This project cleared its first hurdle this May with the Venice Planning Commission approval of a rezoning of the housing site to allow construction of up to 18 units per acre.

If finally approved, it would create the John Nolen Gardens, an affordable rental housing community with 534 units on a site of nearly 30 acres. The Triple Diamond Commerce Park, which is host to some of Sarasota region’s major employers like PGT Industries and Tervis Tumbler, is only about a half-mile south of this proposed workforce community.

The 534 John Nolen Gardens homes are planned in a complex of six three-story buildings. Ranging from studios to one- and two-bedroom apartments, these residences would be rented out from $750 to $1,040 a month plus charges on utilities.

Guaranteed for Workers

Concept Drawn for New Anna Maria Span

The proponent of this project, Venice area developer Ed Pinto, hatched his plan after a series of meetings with the majors of Venice and North Port, and with representatives of PGT and Tervis Tumbler. Pinto plans to enter into master-use agreements with area businesses and other agencies to ensure that the homes would be rented to the local workforce and not to snowbirds.

The John Nolen Gardens developer is also planning to use the northern 4.5 acres of the community’s site as a park, a move which jibes with the plan for a city park near Knights Trail. Although local residents recognize the wisdom of Pinto’s project on affordable workforce housing, some of them are wary about its impact on local roads and how it will affect mobility as well as values of Venice homes for sale in their area.

Mixed-use Project

The same concerns are likely to be expressed in another plan to build market-rate apartments at the northeast corner of the Laurel Road–Knights Trail junction. Reported during a recent town hall meeting of the Venetian Golf & River Club Community Association, this proposed project calls for the construction of up to 275 apartments on a 20-acre section of the Portofino property.

This parcel consisting of a total of 50 acres was approved in 2014 as a commercial-residential development with at least five acres allotted for retail and office use.

Thoughts to Ponder for Residents

Local residents and developers have sound reasons to be wary of these new developments which could alter their current setting. The homes for sale at Venetian Golf & River Club, for instance, draw market strength from the tranquility of its environment, a feature that likewise largely characterizes the nearby Toscana Isles.

Venice homes for sale in the Venetian Golf & River Club are currently priced from the high $100s up to the $600s, featuring floor plans ranging from about 1,100 to 3,300 square feet designed with two to three bedrooms.

At Toscana Isles, which is a new development by national builder DR Horton, the sales listings include residences with floor areas of between 1,640 and 2,800 square feet featuring two to four bedrooms. These listings have price tags from the high $200s up to the $400s bundled with some of the best features and amenities available in the Venice home market.