Market snapshot: Woodland Park, Sarasota


If you like thickly forested neighborhoods, Woodland Park is for you. The community, just north of Bahia Vista Street off McIntosh Road, more than lives up to its name. A beautifully landscaped entrance divider with lush vegetation offers a preview of what’s to come in the interior.



market2Woodview Drive, which meanders through the scenic neighborhood, is canopied by regal, 100-year-old oak trees. A serene, magical atmosphere prevails throughout.

“The best thing about Woodland Park has always been that there is an enormous amount of foliage,” says Charlie Baus, who has lived there since 1988. “The developers and builders preserved as many trees as they could, plus there are a lot of preserve areas.”

Ample shrubbery and trees not only hide the homes from the street, but from each other as well.

“There is a lot of privacy because of the natural greenery between homes,” says Tony Andrew, president of Andrew & Associates Realty. He has sold a number of homes there over the years and currently has two Woodland Park listings.

Baus agrees, “People here value their privacy — it’s one of the things I love about Woodland Park. They see each other on the street, walking, and there is a lot of chatter — they’re good neighbors — but they’ll also leave you alone.”

The area was created by David Nash of the IME Group, who did a number of residential and condo projects in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, including sections of the Meadows Country Club, Hudson Harbor condominiums in downtown Sarasota and Sand Dollar South Resorts and Lido Point on Lido Key.

Nash developed Woodland Park, an area of approximately 192 acres, between 1985 and 1992. Bordered by Phillippi Creek to the south and the Nottingham neighborhood to the north, the community has 136 homes of from 1,500 to 3,400 square feet. All have garages that will fit at least two cars.

The houses are mostly single-story with wood-frame construction and cedar or brick facades, although there are some two-story houses, as well. A number of builders were involved, including Todd Johnston and Lee Wetherington, and some put up spec houses in the neighborhood. As a result, there is considerable variety in architectural styles, from Florida ranch to California contemporary.

“The homes aren’t cookie-cutter. They’re custom homes with different floor plans,” says Andrew. “The lots are larger than in many other neighborhoods in town, and everyone loves their yard and takes care of it.”

Baus’ home was built by Jonas Yoder in Mediterranean style. “Our lot originally was going to be for a home Lee Wetherington wanted to build for himself, but apparently it didn’t work out, and we were happy to be the beneficiaries,” he recalls.

Because of its eye-catching surroundings and the efforts taken to preserve the natural beauty, Woodland Park attracted considerable attention during its development phase. For two years running, it was the site of the annual Home Builders Association’s Parade of Homes.

The neighborhood appeals to people with children. “We were attracted to the family feeling here, the quietness. It seemed liked a great place to raise our two daughters,” says Baus. “One road in and out limits traffic. That and the little cul de sacs make it a safe place for kids to play.”

It doesn’t hurt that the entrance road leading to McIntosh Middle School is almost across the street. The other public school districts are Fruitville Elementary and Sarasota High. A church preschool is right next door, and St. Martha School at Bishop Nevins Academy is a half mile to the north on McIntosh.

Because of the neighborhood’s convenient location, it’s an easy commute for parents to take their kids to various activities.

The other residents — seniors, empty nesters and working professionals — also appreciate Woodland Park’s central location.

“It’s right in the middle of things — close to downtown, close to Interstate 75,” Andrew says.

“Around the corner are some of the best Amish restaurants in town — Der Dutchman and Yoder’s — and people love it!”

No wonder that Woodland Park is a popular community. “It’s really a hot area right now,” Andrew says.

A house he recently listed on Woodview Drive was on the market for just one day before it sold.

Currently, only two houses are for sale, one on Woodview Drive priced at $268,800, and the other on Forestview Drive for $329,900.

“Woodland Park is a great place to live,” Baus says.


Last modified: November 7, 2014
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