Market snapshot: Turtle Creek


PHOTO GALLERY: Turtle Creek 

When Turtle Creek was developed in 1979, it was considered far off the beaten track, well beyond the outskirts of town. The area was essentially dense Florida wilderness with only a dirt road leading from Honore Avenue to a single house near Phillippi Creek. The early residents were looking for seclusion, peaceful living and attractive natural surroundings.

turtle2Although development has caught up with Turtle Creek on all but one side, the neighborhood still has the feeling of the country. Lots are generous in size — a minimum of 1 acre. The custom-built houses are shadowed by towering oaks, cedars and pines. Wildlife abounds in the environs, including wading birds, river otters, bobcats and foxes.

“It’s magical and wonderful — the mature trees, the feeling of privacy and the natural beauty,” says Ginger Wilson, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.

She has known the community for four years and loves it. “All of the homes here feel like they’re in the countryside. That’s hard to find west of Interstate 75,” she insists.

Turtle Creek was platted in two sections, extending south from Hidden Oaks to the roundabout across from Colonial Oaks Park. Each enclave has a separate entrance from Honore Avenue and a 45-acre “easement” of densely forested land owned by Sarasota County between them. To the west is another large nature preserve and the remnants of a county water treatment plant, long fallen into disuse.

Turtle Creek I is a single lane ending in a cul de sac with 15 homes on either side. Turtle Creek II has 32 properties around a circular road — Box Turtle Circle. Nine of the houses back up to Phillippi Creek, which runs along the southwestern side of the neighborhood. Another eight homes back up to the creek-fed lake in the center of the community, and the remaining 15 residences have woodland views.

The houses are a mix of spacious Florida ranches and two-story homes, ranging in price from the upper $200,000s to the upper $500,000s. A few look like New England cottages with raised front porches, railings and balconies.

Wilson’s listing — the only property currently on the market — has a distinct New England look. Built in 1989, it has two stories, five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, with 3,583 square feet under air. Set back farther from the street than the houses next door, it suggests a country estate. Inside, a large open entryway opens into a sunken living room floor with fireplace. An attractive, angled staircase leads upstairs to the private master suite. Renovations over the past four years include a completely remodeled first floor, a new air-conditioning system, and a brand-new roof. The list price is $549,900.

“It has the feeling of a classic New England home with Florida touches,” says Wilson. “It’s spacious, with plenty of room for entertaining friends and family.”

Turtle Creek II has a mandatory homeowners’ association that meets once a year on the second Friday of February. Annual dues of $400 pay for the maintenance and landscaping of all common grounds and the upkeep of the private road. “We have a lot of water around us, so we have to make sure there is good drainage,” Wilson explains.

The neighborhood is served by septic tanks and wells, so there are no county water or sewer charges.

Many of the residents — half of the 32 in Turtle Creek II — are original owners and include retirees, families with children, and working professionals and managers.

“We have a real cross-section of ages — from nine to 90,” says Wilson.

With Honore Avenue recently built out, Turtle Creek is well connected with easy access to Interstate 75 both to the north and south. Hospitals, shopping and restaurants on Bee Ridge Road, Cattlemen Road and Fruitville Road are all less than five minutes away. Downtown Sarasota and the beaches are a mere 15 to 20 minutes’ drive.

But what ultimately makes Turtle Creek so attractive is the combination of location and serene, secluded atmosphere. “It is an amazing location — you have the feeling that you’re living in the country, but it’s close to everything,” says Wilson.

There will be an open house for Wilson’s property at 5243 Box Turtle Circle from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19.

Last modified: October 18, 2014
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