University Park Property Values Get Stronger


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, May 29, 2019 – The homeowners in the University Park Country Club have taken a critical step recently to preserve this golf community’s green space and thus protect the values of their residential properties.

An overwhelming majority of the University Park property owners approved in a referendum a $24 million bond for the purchase of the country club and its assets. A University Park Recreation District (UPRD) that the community created will oversee the implementation of the bond issue.

In January this year, the UPRD board of supervisors unanimously approved a contract for this purchase which also covers additional assets valued at close to $17 million. All told, the deal includes the country club’s 266 acres, its 27-hole golf links, tennis facility, all club buildings, and 100 acres of undeveloped land, common areas, roads, and lakes.

The various entities that own all these country club assets include developer John Neal, as well as Charles Varah and the Neal/Pasold families’ representatives. These country club owners have been working on the sale of the University Park assets with a group of homeowners in the golf community for over a year.

The round of these negotiations, in retrospect, is significant, as the University Park community’s governing documents indicate that the country club and its assets could be sold and developed without the homeowners’ consent at any time. Notably, John Neal had warned the community’s residents of this possibility last year.

Community Controls Country Club

With the recent UPRD bond approval in the referendum, the next step will focus on creating a smooth transition of University Park to a resident-controlled country club. The bond, during its 30-year life, would cost an estimated $99 monthly for an average homeowner.

John Neal’s father, Pat, started developing the 1,226-acre University Park in 1989 with Rolf Pasold, as business partner. Because of Pasold’s involvement in the University Park project, many of the community’s streets bear very English names in homage to his homeland, such as Albermarle, Devonshire Place, and Notting Hill. The allotted acreage for the golf community’s residences was platted for 1,250 home sites. All but a few of these lots already have homes constructed.

University Park now consists of 31 subdivisions, each having its own separate name, price point, and various residential types available in Manatee and Sarasota. Homes for sale in this golf community include small, maintenance-free villas, single family homes, and multi-million dollar estate homes.

Prime Home Picks

The high-end choices in University Park homes for sale could be found in the neighborhoods of Grosvenor Gardens, Lansdowne Crescent, and Wimbledon. Several home builders have constructed residences in University Park’s neighborhoods, besides Neal. Searchers of available homes in this enclave can also choose from builds by Anchor Homes, Medallion Home, Lee Wetherington, and Tod Johnston.

Some of the newer construction in University Park could be found in the neighborhood of Lansdowne Crescent. Just this May, a former Neal home model built in 2014 was sales-listed with a tag price in the $700s. It features a floor area of nearly 2,600 square feet designed with three bedrooms, two baths and a half bath plus a three-car garage. All these, of course, are now coupled with an assurance that its exuberant golf community setting shall be preserved under the aegis of the University Park Recreation District.