Market snapshot: Lake Club, Lakewood Ranch



When it comes to high-end living, The Lake Club is in a class of its own. Among Lakewood Ranch’s master-planned communities, the fully gated neighborhood offers million-dollar homes in beautiful surroundings with a distinctly European atmosphere.


The overall approach is Tuscany-inspired, from a vineyard and pergolas at the entrance off University Parkway to scenic stone bridges and the posh clubhouse with stone accents and tower.

The entrance gate and information center both have attractive stone facades and barrel-tile roofs. Even the iron mailboxes and street lights continue the Old World theme.

club2The community, east of Lorraine Road and with The Masters Avenue as its northern boundary, is on 578 acres of large lakes and quiet, winding streets. Many of the streets are paved roughly with bricks to keep traffic speeds low. All of the custom-built homes occupy lots of one-half to one-and-a-half acres and look out on water or nature preserves.

“It’s a true luxury neighborhood,” says Jessika Arman, a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Co., who has a Tuscan-style home listed at 7905 Watertown Lane.

When development started in 2005, The Lake Club took off like gangbusters. But then the housing bubble burst, and new construction came to a standstill.

Arman’s listing reflects that rise-and-fall history. A John Cannon model home built in 2007, it sold originally for $3.4 million and it is now on the market at $1.97 million.

“This is a fabulous buy because a lot more amenities were put into it than most other houses,” Arman said.

Over the past year, sales and construction have been picking up. A number of the current builders have put up new model homes. Forty homes are being built now.

“It’s almost like they’re starting all over,” Arman said. “All of a sudden, there is a revival.”

According to Jimmy Stewart, vice president of sales for LWR Communities, the development company of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, the neighborhood has 328 homes sites, of which 197 have been sold.

“I have four to five years’ inventory at this time,” he said. “The average home price is $1.5 million, and I have homes over $6 million.”

With seven custom builders, including London Bay Homes, Arthur Rutenberg Homes/Nelson Homes, John Cannon Homes and Todd Johnston Homes, people shopping for a new home can choose among a variety of architectural styles, including French Country, Mediterranean, West Indies and English manor house.

Residences range from 2,800 to 14,000 square feet.

There is also a maintenance-free section of 35 home sites — the Villas at Matera. London Bay Homes offers five single-family home models there, ranging from $655,000 to $927,000. Another subdivision, the Vineyards, has Arthur Rutenberg and John Cannon homes priced from $600,000 and up.

As throughout “green” Lakewood Ranch, all of the homes meet standards for energy efficiency, clean indoor air and drought-resistant landscaping.

“I like that the community is a good steward for the land,” Arman said.

Residents at The Lake Club are an international mix, notably retired corporate managers and executives and professionals who can afford the lifestyle.

“They like the exclusivity and the recreational facilities,” Arman said.

Unique to the development is a mile-long, linear park between two of the residential streets, and interconnected trails for those who like to jog or walk.

The 20,000-square-foot clubhouse has two resort-style swimming pools, a day spa and fitness center. A high-ceilinged ballroom is a favorite for weddings and other large events. It also has card rooms and a pool room.

Although The Lake Club is not a golf community, it is within easy driving distance of five championship courses, including the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club and the Legacy Golf Club, designed by Arnold Palmer. The tennis center across the street has 18 lighted courts with lockers and shower rooms. The Sarasota Polo Club is just five minutes away.

Residents also can take advantage of all the amenities Lakewood Ranch offers. The Lakewood Ranch Medical Center is nearby, as is Town Center, with its restaurants, shopping, First Friday Music on Main and seasonal events. Robert Willis Elementary School and the Lakewood Ranch branch of Out-of-Door Academy are close, too.

With a great location and things picking up in the high-end market, real estate activity in The Lake Club has steadily improved. Over the past 12 months, 12 sales have closed, ranging from $788,500 to $1.8 million. Five homes are listed, from $1.15 million to $2.1 million, with one pending.


Last modified: June 13, 2014
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