South County Homebuilding Gains Momentum


Propelled by revised regulations more hospitable to real estate developments, South Sarasota appears girding to match stride for stride the upbeat home construction sector in the northern nodes of the county, such as those in Sarasota and Bradenton.

Indicative of this thrust, the North Port City Commission May 2015 unanimously approved on first reading an ordinance amending the city’s comprehensive plan to allow an increase in the density of “The Ranch,” a huge project by Canada-based homebuilder Mattamy Homes. In another move, Sarasota County commissioners unanimously passed early in June 2015 a rezoning to increase the home density of the new Villages of Manasota Beach abutting the West Villages of North Port.

Notably, some local political observers now see a more focused attention on South County’s needs and issues, as the majority of the current county commissioners are from Sarasota’s southern half. This new political alignment is the first in the county’s 93-year history.

Vying for 20,000+ Sarasota homes for sale

South County Homebuilding Gains Momentum

The proposed North Port ordinance, which is slated for state approval, would allow Mattamy to construct 16,000 units in the 9,650-acre Thomas Ranch it acquired in mid-2014. This is up from the 10,400 homes approved in North Port previously. Another 4,000 to 9,000 homes may be added with the development of the property’s acreage which falls under the unincorporated Sarasota County.

For the Villages of Manasota Beach, which covers 782 acres, the county commissioners increased the density for up to two units per acre or good for as many as 1,563 units added to the inventory of Sarasota homes for sale. About a third or some 260 acres of the property will be preserved open space.

Vibrant community settings

Both the Villages of Manasota Beach and the Mattamy Homes project are located within the immediate vicinity of several real estate projects in various stages of development. One is WCI Communities’ Sarasota National, a 2,400-acre golf community consisting of single family residences and carriage homes. Two other new projects are in the nearby West Villages—the upscale Gran Paradiso and IslandWalk—a pair of developments wooing prospective buyers of Sarasota homes for sale eying resort-style communities.

Plans outlined for the nearby Villages of Manasota Beach call for the development of three neighborhoods. Also in its blueprint are community centers with recreational and park facilities within walking distance from nearly all of the residences.

Choices from Mattamy

At the Mattamy Homes’ project, the appeal shall focus on prospective buyers of Sarasota homes for sale in the middle- and upper-middle-class levels. Planned residential styles include single family homes, stacked flats or paired villas and condos at preliminary price points from $250,000 to $500,000.

One of the initial steps in this development will involve the establishment of a 110-home neighborhood to be named The Preserve at the West Villages. It will feature exclusively designed home models with larger square footages and three-car garages. The first model is expected to be completed by February 2016.

As of mid-2015, Mattamy has lined up three neighborhoods for development, with two already in the process of site permitting and design work, and are expected to go on-stream by September or October. The Canadian developer also plans to offer two neighborhoods at The Ranch to other builders this year.