Two Contrasting Takes on Golf Course Redevelopment


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, March 29th, 2016 – Bradenton-based Medallion Home and Canadian builder Mattamy Homes face contrasting scenarios as they separately seek to redevelop some golf courses in Sarasota into residential communities, recent developments indicate.

The sailing seems smoother for Mattamy which is poised for a quick follow-up to its successful launch of the Enclave at Forest Lakes. This new community of condo villas, developed on the fringes of the revived Palms Golf Club at Forest Lakes, was successfully launched in February 2016.

Soon after, the Canadian homebuilder in March wrapped up a $14.3 million deal for the purchase of the 115-acre Sunrise Golf Club at the southeast junction of Clark Road and Interstate 75. Mattamy’s plan for redeveloping this course is kept steady on its track through a partnership on the property it has entered with Vanguard Land Ventures, a Sarasota-based concern. Earlier in 2016, Vanguard convinced representatives of Sunrise Golf Club Estates’ homeowners associations to sign an easement and contract, paving the way for the redevelopment of this golf course closed in 2013 after 53 years of operations.

Kinks at Gulf Gate and Foxfire

Two Contrasting Takes on Golf Course Redevelopment

Medallion Home, on the other hand, is facing tougher challenges in its bid to redevelop the Gulf Gate executive golf course east of U.S. 41 on Bispham Road and the abandoned Foxfire Golf Club east of Interstate 75. To pave the way for redevelopment, Medallion seeks a rezoning prior to purchase of the Gulf Gate course which has been struggling financially since the Great Recession.

Gulf Gate residents, however, oppose Medallion’s plan geared at building 109 homes at the links’ 49-acre site. They are not only concerned about loss of privacy and the greenbelt that the course extends to their neighborhoods. These residents are also worried that the new housing is detrimental to their homes’ values, aside from straining their quiet community and overburdening local schools.

Medallion has gained some headway though in redeveloping the former Foxfire Golf Club at 7200 Proctor Road, a course closed in 2006 reportedly due to “environmental contamination and economic losses.” The 188-acre Foxfire links were built in 1975 atop an old landfill.

Redevelopment of this property is now underway, with Medallion having started groundwork on the site in February. Its plans here is set for a gated community of about 200 Sarasota homes for sale flanked by the existing communities of Foxfire and Foxfire West developed in the late 1970s.

Medallion’s project pushed through after it gained Sarasota County approval in 2015 for a rezoning, and government tests of soil at the site showed it is safe for residences. Nonetheless, many local residents remain skeptical of these findings and are wary of the long-term effects of the new development.

Prospects Dawning Brighter at Sunrise

In contrast, the neighborhoods of Sunrise Golf Club Estates are quite receptive of Mattamy’s plan for the closed course in their community as it could potentially upgrade property values in its locality. Moreover, the new development vastly differs from a 700-unit condominium proposed earlier by another developer, a plan that the Sunrise residents had successfully opposed.

What the Canadian builder has filed in its development pre-application is space for some 300 lots with the mix and number of units to be determined later. Mattamy also intends to build a 150-foot buffer to separate the new neighborhood from nearby existing residences in Sunrise. It is likewise proposing a roundabout at Honore Avenue and Bridgehampton Boulevard. Additionally, the homebuilder paid $2.5 million on another two parcels for a gate at Honore for its Sunrise community.

The existing Sunrise neighborhoods consist of single family homes and one- or two-story condo units totaling some 380 residences. Sarasota homes for sale here are typically priced in the $100s and the $200s, featuring floor plans from about 900 square feet up to about 1,500 square feet.