Race Highlights The Biking Opportunities In Eastern Sarasota

Sarasota Cycle Fest Forest Rest Stop Brian WoodIn what has become an annual event, the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club included a rest stop at The Forest during its recent 2015 Cyclefest.  The event is one of the club’s biggest of the year and includes 20, 35, 62 and 100 mile routes.  This year there were hundreds of riders out to enjoy the fantastic biking opportunities east of I-75 in Sarasota.

The Forest was a key rest stop for riders along the 100 mile route (see a map of the route) toward the end of the beautiful but challenging ride.  Hi Hat Ranch and The Forest have sponsored several rest stops for the club but managing partner Tom Dabney says the Fall Cyclefest is a favorite time at the community.

“The weather was warmer than usual this year but the fountain grasses were still in full color,” said Dabney.  “It’s really just a beautiful setting and seeing all the participants biking through the community makes for a special day here.”

Dabney also said he was looking forward to welcoming club event organizer David Hodgkinson as the newest resident at The Forest.  Todd Johnston Homes is making the final touches on a new custom estate for Hodgkinson and his wife in the community.

“It’s been my pleasure to work with David and his committee for the past several years and I am excited to have him making The Forest a permanent stop.”

Race organizers say eastern Sarasota County offers cyclists a wealth of excellent biking opportunities.  The Forest is a mecca for cyclists with its location on Clark Road between I-75 and Myakka River State Park. The roadway includes bike lanes for the entire distance.  Myakka also has miles of bike trails.

Scott and Marcia Corbett, other new residents moving to The Forest later this fall, are also avid bikers.  They would often load their bikes and drive from Siesta Key to ride in the area.

“Myakka is very close so that’s a really big plus for us moving to The Forest,” says Marcia.

Estate Tour Of Homes At The Forest

brian-woodTour several brand new estate homes this Sunday, August 2nd from 1 – 4pm in The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch. Join Brian Wood of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty for a rare opportunity to go behind the gates and into some of Sarasota’s most impressive homes.

The tour includes two Emerald Homes being finalized now.


The SortinoHome Site 31

Emerald Homes Sortino at The ForestThis beautiful estate home features classic lines and enticing curb appeal with Tuscan-inspired architecture. The floor plan is designed for entertaining with the great room, gourmet kitchen/cafe and bonus room all opening onto the expansive outdoor living areas and custom pool. It’s perfect for empty nesters or families that love to entertain.

3692 Square Feet
4 Bedrooms
3 Baths


Toscana – Home Site 53

Toscana Rendering Emerald Homes The Forest The Tuscan-style architecture brings another authentic look to Emerald’s offerings at The Forest. This two story home features expansive living and entertaining space. A gourmet kitchen on the main floor opens to both the great room and family room. There is also an impressive master suite and extensive outdoor living areas.

5012 Square Feet
5 Bedrooms
5.5 Baths

See these and more during the tour, plus the final home sites recently released by the developer. Click here for direction to The Forest. Contact us for more information or to schedule a private tour anytime.

Emerald Homes Florencia Wins 2015 Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes 2015 Plaque Emerald Florencia The ForestThe new Florencia Model by Emerald Homes at The Forest dominated its category in the 2015 Manatee and Sarasota BIA Parade of Homes taking the top award plus several others.

The 2015 Parade is one of the biggest in years locally, and around the state, with 93 homes entered across the two county region. The Florencia had a near sweep of category 20 for Single Family Homes with the judges awarding Emerald Homes:



Competition in this category of $Million+ homes included an impressive list of builders with custom homes in premier communities. The region is known for having some of the best luxury homes in the nation and the annual Parade is always a showcase for the latest trends in new home design and innovation. This is an impressive win for the Florencia and makes a strong statement for the entire line up of homes Emerald is now introducing in The Forest.

Parade of Homes Win Emerald Florencia at The ForestThe Florencia is a two-story home with approximately 4,374 square feet.  It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a four-car garage.  The home is situated to take full advantage of the oak trees and lake view on home site 1 just inside the main gate at The Forest (see the video from Osolo’s Starry Night Preview Party in the Florencia.)  It has an expansive master suite that includes a unique private office space and a sitting area overlooking the natural setting.  The great room, kitchen, cafe and second suite view onto a large lanai and pool with the many old-growth oak trees that cover the home site beyond. The Florencia is priced at $1,600,000.

The Parade runs through today with the Florencia open for tours from noon until 5:30pm. Come see why the judges awarded this beautiful new home top honors and preview two other homes nearing completion by Emerald Homes (the Sortino and Tuscana) with a drive through the beautiful setting at The Forest. It’s a great line up of homes by Sarasota’s newest luxury builder in the area’s only gated master planned community exclusively for estate homes.

Sneak Preview Emerald Homes Florencia Model

The Florencia at The Forest in Sarasota

The first new model home to open in years at The Forest is being readied by Emerald Homes. Final touches are underway preparing the beautiful Florencia model for its debut during the Manatee & Sarasota Parade of Homes that starts February 21st.  A special sneak preview is being offered exclusively for The Forest Blog, Website, Facebook Friends and registered contacts.

The Florencia Sneak Preview kicks off Valentine’s Day and visitors are sure to fall in love with the innovative floor plan and fantastic interior design.  The model will be open all weekend and next week for a “soft opening” while the Emerald Homes team continues to make the finishing touches and preparations at the Florencia.  See a video from the December Asolo Starry Night event at the Florencia and check out the floor plan.  Then make plans to be among the first to tour this fantastic new home.

Florencia Sneak Preview Week

Saturday, Feb 14 • 10a.m until 6p.m.

Sunday, Feb 15 • Noon until 6p.m.

Feb 16, 19 and 20 • 10a.m. until 5p.m.

The Florencia is located on home site 1 just inside the main entry gate at The Forest. Click here for directions. Don’t mist this chance to tour one of the most innovative new luxury homes in Sarasota during the Florencia sneak preview.

Asolo Rep Starry Night Photos

The reviews are in and the new Florencia model by Emerald Homes was a hit with some 70 guests at the Asolo Rep’s Starry Night event for The Match Maker.  Guests enjoyed a beautiful evening in this luxurious new estate home at The Forest.  It was a fantastic setting outside and inside the Florencia. Here are a few photos.  See more on The Forest Facebook Page.  Watch for the grand opening in early 2015 and your chance to tour the Florencia.

The Florencia Entrance Forest Starry NightTom Dabney, Laura Wood, David HunihanTom Dabney, Judy GreenBrian Wood and David Geisler Starry Night

Emerald Florencia Starry Night Kickoff Party

Asolo Rep's Starry Night at Florencia in The ForestThe Asolo Rep Starry Night party was a huge test for the entertainment capabilities of Emerald Homes’ new Florencia Model at The Forest. This fantastic estate home proved up to the task with almost 70 people in attendance for the sneak preview event.

Morton’s Gourmet Market & Catering of Sarasota catered the lavish event on December 15th that featured a cocktail reception followed by dinner and a cameo performance by actors of the Asolo Rep’s production of The Matchmaker. The Emerald Homes team made a huge effort to finish the new model that is over 4,000 square feet. The winding paver driveway was lined with holiday lights in the oak hammock overhead setting the stage for a memorable opening night for Emerald’s showcase model home.


Asolo Rep Starry Night Dinner The ForestFurniture in the large gathering room had no sooner been arranged by decorators when it was replaced with tables of eight to accommodate guests for the Starry Night. Others were seated in the formal dining room. Morton’s team used the large gourmet kitchen and island to stage the lavish food and beverage service. Guests included sponsors, patrons of the Asolo Rep and others who purchased $250 tickets to attend this benefit for Asolo Repertory Theatre. The festivities ended with a drawing for one guest to host their own private party for eight in the Florencia. Winner Cheryl MacLauchlan will have her own party catered by Morton’s compliments of event sponsors Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Emerald Homes and The Forest.

The Florencia model opens to the public in early January. Watch The Forest News for the announcement of the Grand Opening.

Starry Night Guests Have Chance To Win Private Dinner For 8

Asolo Starry Night at The Forest Committee PhotoThe sponsor team hosting Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Starry Night dinner at The Forest is offering guests at the exclusive event the first opportunity to see the newest estate model home in the community. Emerald Homes, The Forest, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty and Morton’s Gourmet Market and Catering are thrilled to be christening the Emerald Florencia Model with the exclusive Starry Night event.  In a recent planning meeting the sponsor team announced something special in the mix for those attending.

The sponsors are giving away a private dinner in the new Florencia model for eight lucky people. The winners will have the whole model to themselves to enjoy a private gourmet dinner catered by Morton’s. Attendees of the Starry Night at the Florencia are eligible to enter the drawing. The winner can invite seven guests to join them for this exclusive gourmet dinner party.

The Asolo Starry Night at The Forest is set for December 15, 2014. This is dinner 2 of the annual Asolo Rep series and celebrates the production of The Matchmaker.

Emerald Homes Florencia at The ForestThe Floriencia is one of Emerald Homes’ most exciting new designs with classic Mediterranean style and a highly functional floor plan excellent for entertaining and luxurious dinner parties like the Starry Night.  It will also set the perfect stage for the event which features actors from The Match Maker in cameo performances. The Florencia is over 4,000 square feet with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and expansive outdoor living areas. The model is situated on one of the most beautiful home sites at The Forest with heavy old oak tree coverage and views of Gazebo Lake.

Tickets are $250 per person and include a gourmet dinner catered by Morton’s Gourmet Market and Catering.  All proceeds benefit the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Learn more and reserve tickets here.

Prize includes dinner and soft beverages with chef and server for eight.  Alcoholic beverages and gratuity not included and dinner date subject to availability. Complete details available at the Starry Night event.

Estate Home Tour Sunday, October 19

Brian Wood, the exclusive Sotheby’s agent for The Forest, is hosting an open house Sunday, October 19th that will offer tours of one of the most impressive estate homes in the community.  Get a first hand feel for the lifestyle at Sarasota’s only master planned gated community designed exclusively for acreage estates.

9273 Swaying Branch Rd House9273 Swaying Branch Road

The featured property at this open house is a luxurious private Italian villa. This fantastic custom home offers Mediterranean inspired architecture set among a spectacular four plus acre estate lot. The grand entry is wrapped in nature with a driveway passing through lush landscaping including stately palms and oaks tailored with colorful foliage at every turn. Timeless architecture is expressed throughout the design. The spacious gourmet kitchen offers plenty of area for entertaining friends and family. This one story floor plan has a large bonus room that can serve many functions. Outdoor living is taken to a new level with generous covered areas that feature views of the pool, spa and forested areas that frame this one of a kind back yard. Impact glass and closed cell foam insulation provide high energy efficiencies and safety for the latest in modern construction materials.

Quick Facts: 4010 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths on Homesite 13.  It is currently priced at $1,099,000.

This incredible home will be open for tours from 1pm until 4pm.  Come meet Brian and learn more about the opportunities to buy or build a home at The Forest.  Contact him for more information.

Asolo Starry Night At New Emerald Homes Model in The Forest

Asolo Starry Nights Dinner Series LogoEmerald Homes, The Forest and Premier Sotheby’s International Realty are teaming up with the Asolo Repertory Theatre to bring their prestigious Starry Night event to the new Emerald Florencia Model. The exclusive dinner event is set for December 15, 2014.

It will be the first opportunity for people to see and tour the new Emerald Homes model at The Forest and a first for The Forest to host an Asolo Rep Starry Night. This is dinner 2 of the annual Asolo Rep series and celebrates the production of The Matchmaker.  Tickets are $250 per person and include a gourmet dinner catered by Morton’s Gourmet Market and Catering of Sarasota.  All proceeds benefit the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Brain Wood and Laura Stuart Wood plan Starry Night at The Forest“We are thrilled to be involved as a location for the Asolo Starry Night series and appreciate Sotheby’s and Emerald Homes for helping to make it happen ,” said Tom Dabney, Managing Development Partner for The Forest. “This will be a wonderful way to showcase The Forest and the fantastic new Florencia Model, which I know will make a great “set” for this Asolo production.”

According to Asolo Rep’s Special Events Manager Laura Stuart Wood, $200 of the ticket price is deductible for participants.  She said the Starry Night Dinners are an important promotional and fundraising activity for the theatre, which will open its 2014-15 season next month. It runs November 2014 through June 2015 with eight shows including The Matchmaker January 6 – April 11.  In addition to dinner, performers from The Matchmaker will provide entertainment during the evening at the Florencia.

Tickets are available but space is limited. Click here for complete information and to order tickets.  Stay tuned to the blog for more details about this exciting event that will kickoff the season here at The Forest.

The Forest Provides Rest Stop for Pedal For Pups

Pups1There were blue skies and big smiles at the rest stop hosted by The Forest and the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club for the recent Pedal For Pups 70 mile cycle fundraiser.

Pedal For Pups: Ride to the Rescue raised funds to help support Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue. The marathon ride wound and traversed its way through locations across Sarasota and Manatee counties. The route stretched through The Forest’s tree lined streets as well. There, riders enjoyed a rest stop set up at The Forest Welcome Center with refreshments and a welcome greeting from development managing partner Tom Dabney.

The event included 20, 40 and 70 mile courses and riders made their way through some of the most beautiful biking places in the region including the Myakka River State Park.  According to Dabney, the new bike lanes on State Road 72 make it a good option for more cycling events.  He said The Forest has discussed future events with the club that might one day lead to an event hosted at the community.

“This area is set up nicely for cycling and I think the riders enjoyed the setting here,” said Dabney.  “The Forest is located between Twin Lakes Park and Myakka River State Park making opportunities for on and off-road course options.”

Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue is a non-profit animal rescue organization. Staffed 99% by volunteers, they provide rescued dogs and cats with a safe NO-KILL sheltered environment while they wait to be adopted into their very own forever homes. Their mission is to save the lives of homeless pets by changing the way the community views animal sheltering and shelter pets, and to provide an educational and family friendly environment that will change their future one animal, one family, and one generation at a time.

Founded in 1974, the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of bicycling in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The Club promotes bicycling for physical fitness, health, sport, recreation and transportation.