Property Market Perks Up Around the Mall at UTC


Residential development is picking up significantly around the Mall at University Town Center (UTC) which opened in October 2014, a trend that also raises the possibility of lifting the values of Sarasota homes for sale in this locality.

In November 2014, the Manatee County Commission approved the request of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc.(SMR) to allow multifamily housing of up to seven stories, instead of the maximum five, on the 4,100-acre University Lakes area. This Lakewood Ranch parcel overlooks the Town Center and the 160-acre Lake Uihlein. Homes By Towne, a specialist in constructing condominiums and single family homes, will undertake this project located northeast of University Parkway, south of SR 70 and some six miles east of I-75.

New neighbors to Watercrest

Property Market Perks Up Around the Mall at UTC

As proposed, Homes By Towne will develop a complex consisting of three buildings, one with seven floors and two with six floors. The Milwaukee-based Homes By Towne is also the developer of the upscale Watercrest condominium, which consists of 19 four-story buildings just across the new University Lakes project. Units at Watercrest listed among Sarasota homes for sale are priced from the $300s up to the $500s, featuring three bedrooms within floor plans ranging from 1,700 up to about 2,500 square feet.

The Muirfield Village at Honore is another new development near the University Town Center mall. A project of M/I Homes, a company listed at the New York Stock Exchange and with market presence in 16 U.S. markets, this new community is programmed for 62 townhomes close to 20 of which are already available.

A gated community, the Muirfield Village features Energy Star Certified homes which can save up to 30% in energy costs. The floor plans of these energy-efficient residences range from 1,500 up to about 2,150 square feet with one-car or two-car garages. Their price range falls in the $200s and the $300s, and each home is covered by a 30-year transferable structural warranty.

Active leasing and listings

Rental projects in the works near the Mall at UTC are adding further excitement to the property market in the area. One is The Venue at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, an upscale 237-unit apartment complex the first phase of which is already open for leasing. The Venue offers one- to three-bedroom apartments with floor plans ranging from 661 to more than 1,400 square feet with one or two bathrooms. The planned amenities in this complex include an activity center designed with a clubhouse, a two-story fitness center and an outdoor saltwater pool.

On Lakewood Ranch Boulevard just north of the Venue, the Creekside Apartments is set for a grand opening in February next year. Consisting of 256 units, Creekside’s first five buildings are already fully occupied and preleasing continues while construction is continuing.

Besides the uptick in interest on these new property developments near the Mall at UTC, the October opening of the new retail hub also appears to have encouraged new listings of Sarasota homes for sale in older, more established communities nearby. At the University Park Country Club north of the mall, for instance, several properties were sales-listed this November.

A pair of these new additions to Sarasota homes for sale carries asking prices in the $300s, and both features two bedrooms within floor plans in the 1,550–1,750-square-foot range. A luxury four-bedroom home with a floor space of 5,720 square feet and an asking price of close to $1.3 million has also been added to the newly available properties in this golf community near the mall at the UTC.