Road Extensions Drive North Venice Developments


North Venice looms as a hotspot for real estate developments in Sarasota County as public works projects either in the pipeline or recently completed are providing strong growth catalysts particularly in the area around Pinebrook and Laurel Road off Interstate 75. 

This year, Honore Avenue is scheduled to punch its 19-mile north-to-south extension through Pinebrook Road, thus providing added stimulus for property developers in the locality. The Honore Avenue project dovetails perfectly with the 1.2-mile extension of the Jacaranda Boulevard which opened in October last year. This extension traversing Border Road to Laurel Road has created a new north–south access route east of Interstate 75.

New commercial hubs

Road Extensions Drive North Venice Developments

A commercial-residential development, Portofino, is one of the projects shaping up in this locality. Approved recently by the Venice City Council, this project aims to develop 50 acres at the northeast corner intersection of Laurel Road and Knights Trail. The northwest corner of this intersection has already been developed as The Shoppes at Laurel Square, which has some 33,000 square feet of retail space.

Many residential developers are keen on this area which is adjacent to two industrial/business parks having more than 80 commercial establishments with nearly 3,000 employees. PGT Industries, the largest manufacturing employer in Sarasota County, is one of the business locators here. This North Venice location is also the site for the planned Sarasota Memorial Healthcare campus.

Toscana Isles shaping up

The Portofino project could include a maximum of 650 homes, depending on how the commercial component of the development eventually pans out. A larger residential project, the 428-acre Toscana Isles north of the Portofino, has also been approved by the Venice City Council in October last year, and development for this 1,700-home community is expected to commence this year. Initially approved was a 154-acre plat for 296 single family homes at Toscana Isles.

The new Jacaranda Road extension was likewise a primer for the development of Pat Neal’s proposed Villages of Milano. This community is programmed for 700 homes in neighborhoods flanking this road’s extension. Neal is also submitting to the city council plans for The Woods at Venice for a proposed 263-home development at Border and Jackson Roads, a short distance east of Portofino.

This North Venice locality is also the site of the mothballed “The Bridges,” envisioned as a national model for workers’ housing. Some 600 homes are planned for this proposed walkable community in a 145-acre site between Laurel and Border Roads. Shortage of affordable housing and the resurgence of the home market could spark a revival of this project.

Where build-out nears

Notably, existing communities around the North Venice area, like Willow Chase and Venetian Golf and River Club are already close to build out. At Willow Chase, only a few properties are currently listed in the MLS of Sarasota homes for sale, with their price points between the $200s and the $300s. These residences have two to three bedrooms in their floor areas of about 2,000 square feet.

The choices are more plentiful at Venetian Golf and River Club wherein there are about 50 sales-listed residences.