Market snapshot: Misty Creek, east of I-75



Located about three miles east of Interstate 75 on the Bee Ridge Extension, Misty Creek is a quiet, gated, golf-course community in beautiful, natural surroundings. A large adjacent wildlife preserve, a number of lakes — some of them spring-fed — and attractive, open-space conservation areas give you the feeling of living in the country.


The 302 houses and a golf course occupy 730 acres, many of them densely wooded. Lots are large, from a third- to a half-acre. All of the homes back up to lakes, preserves or common areas, offering lovely vistas, as well as opportunities to fish and kayak.

misty2Misty Creek is designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, and wildlife abounds there, including deer, bobcat and the occasional alligator.

More than 70 species of birds, from sandhill cranes to red-tailed hawks and bald eagles, live in Misty Creek.

Two of the lakes are wetlands where birds nest and residents can watch the hatchlings grow.

Sarasota County’s Rothenbach Park, built atop an old landfill, is next door. It has hiking and biking trails and the highest point in the county, at 90 feet.

The 18-hole championship golf course, designed by famous links architect Ted McAnlis, occupies close to 400 acres. Nearly every fairway is lined with live oak forests and lush vegetation.

The community owns the course, but leases it to a management company. It includes a large driving range, huge putting green and locker rooms, a clubhouse and tennis courts.

Residents are not required to join the club.

When Misty Creek was developed in the 1980s, the big local custom builders held the Parade of Homes there to show off high-end models. Soon, a number of houses were built in the northern part of the neighborhood.

Then things ground to a halt for a while, until Miami-based Lennar Homes bought the remaining lots and finished the neighborhood at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s.

As a result, the community has a mix of one- and two-story homes, mostly in Mediterranean style. A number have three garages and more than 3,000 square feet under air. Many of the older houses have been renovated.

Mike DiMicele, the newly elected president of the community’s homeowners’ association, has lived in Misty Creek for 10 years. He loves the open spaces and diversity of residences.

“We have a good variety in housing and plenty of land that keeps us from breathing down our neighbors’ necks,” he said, smiling.

At $1,040 a year, association dues are quite reasonable, considering they cover the cost of guards at the gate 24/7 and maintenance of all the interior roads and common areas.

“We’re also in the process of working with the county on a preserve maintenance plan,” DiMicele said.

While social or golf memberships aren’t mandatory, many residents do join to take advantage of the clubhouse, restaurant, banquet hall and numerous activities there. These include weekly Tuesday night dinners and trips to local theaters.

“It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods — a very friendly community,” said Lee Byron.

She and her business partner, Sue Kael, both Realtors with Michael Saunders & Co., have sold a number of homes in Misty Creek over the years and have a home under contract at 8766 Misty Creek Drive.

Residents tend to be retirees and snowbirds, but also include a good number of working professionals in their 40s and 50s, and families with younger children. The youngsters enjoy the playground and walking and biking trails at nearby Rothenbach Park.

In its early days, Misty Creek was far off the beaten track; the nearest grocery store was six miles away. But a small shopping center with a Publix, nail salon and Chinese restaurant has opened virtually within walking distance.

DiMicele is looking forward to Bee Ridge Road being upgraded to four lanes with bike paths, walkways and roundabouts.

The project is in the works and will reduce travel time to the shopping and restaurant opportunities at Cattlemen Road, including a Walmart, Lowe’s, First Watch, Madfish Grill and Doctors Hospital.

The real estate market has been quiet but steady at Misty Creek, with the newer and renovated homes commanding the higher prices.

Last year, 22 properties — less than 10 percent of the homes — were sold, ranging in price from a short sale at $307,500 to $625,000. Currently, 13 houses are listed from $314,900 to $995,000, and six properties are under contract.

“For people who prefer the country over an urban setting, this is a beautiful place,” DiMicele said.

Last modified: March 28, 2014
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