$1.55 Million Sale At The Forest Mirrors Forecast For Robust Fl Housing Recovery


Another sale topping the $1.5 Million mark closed this week at The Forest continuing the strong sales pace for homes and home sites at Sarasota’s neighborhood designed exclusively for large estate homes.  The activity at The Forest is a good example of the recent upswing of economic activity in the Sarasota area and across the Sunshine State.

An article published this week in the Sarasota Herald expands on this subject.  The author Michael Pollick quotes Chris McCarty, director of the university of Central Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, who says “The state’s consumer confidence index is now as high as we have achieved since before the recession began in December 2007.”

The article notes that the good news has a lot to do with improved conditions in the housing market writing, “The improved housing picture played a key role.  Low inventories of homes for sale, coupled with rising house prices, have triggered a surge in home construction.”

The sale was for an existing home at 9399 Swaying Branch Rd.  This masterfully crafted estate has been carefully designed and perfectly positioned on one of the most beautiful forested home sites in the community.  Brian Wood, the Sotheby’s exclusive agent for The Forest, shared more about the buyers and their purchase:

“After an exhaustive search of gated communities from Palmetto to Sarasota these folks chose The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch because the neighborhood offered qualities that they could not find anywhere else.  Some of the main neighborhood attributes that attracted them were the high standards that The Forest has instilled from day one offering private estate home sites with homes that are custom designed to be unique to each homeowner.  There is a no repeat rule here architecturally helping to insure a unique composition of homes on some of the most pristine  forested estate lots currently available in Sarasota.  In addition, the buyers were attracted by the close proximity to shopping, beaches and boating access that this location offered as well as low traffic congestion compared to other areas.”

The Florencia

This sale comes on the heels of a flurry of activity at The Forest in the past few months.  Emerald Homes has joined the builder program.  They will be bringing exclusive new home designs and a model home to The Forest with plans to start construction immediately.

Wood says there is more exciting news at The Forest.  Sales have been strong for home sites over the past year and new home construction is following.  There are currently five estate homes under construction for buyers including two by Arthur Rutenberg Homes that utilize double plotted home sites.

“Doubling down on home sites for true estates acreage is just another unique customization available at The Forest,” said Wood.  “When buyers compare the cost per square foot of home sites here with other communities where the typical estate offering is a 100 foot wide lot the value is huge.  For those who want a real estate property in a true master planned community in Sarasota The Forest is it.”

Emerald Homes Brings New Designs, Model Home to The Forest

The FlorenciaThe Forest at Hi Hat Ranch team is excited to announce that Emerald Homes has joined the builder program at the master planned community.  Emerald Homes is bringing exclusive new home designs and a model home to The Forest with plans to start construction immediately.  The inclusion of Emerald Homes will expand what is already an impressive list of Sarasota’s best builders at The Forest.

“Our team is delighted to welcome Emerald Homes to The Forest,” said Tom Dabney development manage for The Forest. “They are bringing excellent new homes to the community with designs by premier architects, and their new model will set a standard for custom excellence consistent with our vision for Sarasota’s exclusive master planned community of private estate homes.”

Emerald Homes’ City Manager Darren Saltzberg said their homes are built with quality materials by an experienced team of builders, and each home is designed and constructed with the latest in building technology and design.


Sortino by Emerald Homes at The Forest Hi Hat RanchEmerald Homes is introducing its first three new estate homes designed exclusively for The Forest by the architects at Sharp Design Studio.  These new designs include the Mediterranean style Florencia, and the Tuscan-inspired Sortino and Toscana.  The homes range from approximately 3,700 to over 5,000 square feet.  Saltzberg said he plans to immediately start construction on a new model home and two other homes at The Forest.  He said all the homes offered at The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch will be new designs for the Sarasota market.

“We are putting our best foot forward here with homes that I know will be very well received by the discerning estate home buyers at The Forest,” said Saltzberg.  “Emerald Homes brings a personalized approach to the luxury home buying process and our customers at The Forest can expect a great experience and excellent value with beautifully designed homes featuring innovative floor plans.”


Toscana-Elevation-T-Emerald-Homes-The-ForestThe new homes will range from the $800s to over $1.2 million including the homesite.  Saltzberg will build the Florencia as a fully decorated model with a sales center on homesite 1 at the main entrance to The Forest.

“There will be three homes underway soon and a model ready this fall to demonstrate the quality and craftsmanship for Emerald Homes at The Forest,” said Saltzberg.  “Our new Florencia model at the main entrance will make a strong statement for Emerald Homes at The Forest. We are looking forward to showcasing our unique product in this premier estate home community.”

The two-story Florencia has approximately 4,432 square feet with four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms and a four-car garage.  Plans call for a ground breaking this spring with a grand opening for the 2014 fall season.   A Sortino on homesite 31 at approximately 3,693 square feet and Toscana on homesite 53 at approximately 5,012 square feet are also planned to start pre-construction and be ready later this year as Quick Move-In Homes.

Preview the new homes and download floor plans from Emerald Homes here on The Forest Website.

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.


Tour The Forest Feature Home & Home Sites at March 9th Event

Brian Wood, the exclusive Sotheby’s agent for The Forest, will be hosting an open house on March 9th showcasing a featured estate home and newly cut trail-tours of undeveloped home sites. This event will be open to the public and it will be a terrific opportunity to tour one of The Forest’s grand estates. Visitors will also have the opportunity to be the first to tour home sites previously unavailable thanks to the newly cut home site trails.

9273 Swaying Branch Rd House

9273 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 $1,199,000.

Get A Better View of The Forest

TheForestTrailNew path trails have been cut into some of the best home sites at The Forest. Before these new paths were forged the undeveloped home sites could be hard to traverse.  Most all of the home sites are heavily wooded, and with a minimum of three acres, it is difficult to  see everything from the streets. Thanks to these new trails guest can traverse deep into home sites 9, 10, 19, 28 & 30 to get a much better sense of the beautiful oak hammock and how a home will fit among the trees.

According to Wood, it will now be much easier for visitors to get a better understanding of the potential for building an estate home on these home site. Home site 1 at the front entrance to The Forest is also set up with a full entry and rough building pad to help demonstrate how a home can be integrated with the natural lush vegetation.

“I have taken many future home buyers on our Range Rover Tours and that’s a great way to see The Forest,” said Wood.  “But having these new trail paths cut will allow people to get deeper into these home sites so they can really understand the experience of having a home here.”

The March 9th event is from 1pm until 4pm.  Check in with Brian at the feature home to tour it and learn more about the opportunities to buy or build a home at The Forest.  Contact us to schedule a private Range Rover Tour