Market snapshot: Boca Royale Golf and Country Club



Boca Royale Golf and Country Club has been a beautiful work in progress for more than 30 years. The gated community in Englewood, south of Venice, has grown at a gradual pace since the late 1970s, when the Thompson family started to develop it as an upscale luxury community.

So far, only 350 homes have been built on its 1,000 acres, with plans for 500 more.

royalemainAs a result, there is a sense of spaciousness and diverse natural scenery. Even the golf course is heavily wooded. The roadways surrounding the links meander among many lakes, wetlands and preserves. Many of the lakes are stocked with fish, and wildlife is abundant. It’s not unusual to see deer, bobcats and flocks of birds, including groups of sandhill cranes walking down the streets as if they owned them.




Bob Linthicum, a Realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, lived in Boca Royale for five years and has sold many properties there, with $22 million in sales over the past four years. He loves the community for its lush, tropical atmosphere.

“You feel close to nature, like you are somewhere in the old South,” he said. “It’s something you would normally see in the Carolinas — large pines, palms, cypress trees and majestic oaks with Spanish moss.”

Contributing to that feeling is the architecture. Most of the estate-like residences are Georgian and Spanish-style, with “side-load” garages and paver driveways.

“Even the homes from the early ’80s have higher ceilings than normal, 12 and 14 feet, which was ahead of the times,” Linthicum said.

royalemain2The original custom builders included Lee Wetherington, Pruett Builders and Thompson Custom Homes. Recently, developer Pat Neal bought many of the available lots and started new construction along with Arthur Rutenberg Homes. Neal has taken over management of the community and the club.

The 18-hole golf course was recently renovated: The fairways were widened and traps and turf replaced.

“It’s a challenging course, but not overwhelming,” Linthicum said.

Boca Royale also has eight Har-Tru tennis courts and a new fitness center, which offers Zumba, Pilates and water-aerobics classes. You don’t have to take out a golf or tennis membership to live in the community, but a social membership is mandatory.

“Fees are reasonable, $320 a month, which includes water for the lawns,” Linthicum said. “It is one of the most inexpensive country clubs in the area to join.”

All aspects of the club are open to the public. When Linthicum moved closer to downtown Venice in 2008, he continued to belong to the social club. “So many of my friends are still here.”

The clubhouse, in the center of the community, has two dining rooms, several private rooms and a bar, and is a hub of activity. The social calendar includes monthly theme parties, fashion and art shows, black-tie affairs, bingo and trivia nights, bridge, mahjong, cribbage and poker.

“The social life far exceeds what I have experienced in other places,” Linthicum said. “Snowbirds come back early for the New Year’s Eve gala, which is very unusual.”

In addition to encouraging an active, luxurious lifestyle — people walk, jog, bike and rollerblade at all hours of the day — the neighborhood is also dog-friendly. The community is one of the few country clubs that has sections that allow fenced-in backyards.

According to Linthicum, nearly half of the residents live in Boca Royale year-around. Most of them are retirees, but there are some working professionals and families, too.

“The Englewood and Venice demographics tend to be a bit older — most of my customers are between the ages of 58 and 62, coming into retirement and buying their first golf-course home,” Linthicum said. “But kids are welcome.”

In fact, Boca Royale attracts whole generations of families. “Many of the residents here have children, aunts and uncles and cousins who buy homes in the neighborhood,” Linthicum said.

By home values, Boca Royale is one of the most valuable country clubs in the area, carrying a higher median sales price than any other golf community in Sarasota County south of The Oaks. “We also have more sales over $500,000 than any other club in Venice,” Linthicum said.

But it has a wide range of price points, offering something for everyone.

Currently, 64 properties are on the market, ranging from $149,990 to $1.3 million, with an average asking price of $426,515.

“I sometimes have to bite my tongue when I show other communities to people, because of my love for Boca Royale,” Linthicum said. “I’m there constantly. It’s not unusual for me to have four to five open houses on the weekend.”


Last modified: November 22, 2013
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