Market snapshot: Venetian Golf & River Club in northeast Venice



Things have been getting busy at the Venetian Golf & River Club in northeast Venice.

The gated community, two miles east of Interstate 75 on Laurel Road, is experiencing the kind of buyer’s excitement it hasn’t seen since it was developed in 2003.




According to Judy Mazrin, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, the 100 remaining lots are selling twice as fast as expected. WCI Communities built 102 homes there in the past year, Mazrin says.

“It will be built out in a year,” she adds.

At that point, Venetian will have 1,300 units — villas, condos and houses — attractively designed around the 18-hole championship golf course, scenic lakes and wildlife preserves.

Mazrin has lived in the community for 10 years — she was one of the early buyers — and has made it her bailiwick. More than 95 percent of her real estate sales are there, an average of 40 a year when the market is strong.

“Many residents move within the community as their living needs change,” she explains. “I’ve sold several homes here three and four times.”

She currently has seven listings and expects to add seven more shortly. “With the new year, people are getting ready for the busy sales season, and the owners that have built new are selling their old homes,” she says.

Built on Florida woodlands, Venetian Golf & River Club was developed by WCI Communities. The company, based in Bonita Springs, specializes in designing and building active-lifestyle neighborhoods and luxury custom homes from Tampa to Naples.

In keeping with the southern European theme, the residences and impressive, two-story River Clubhouse are in contemporary Florida Mediterranean architectural style, with stucco exteriors and red-tile roofs. All the streets have Italian names, including Rimini Way, Treviso Court and Martellago Drive.

Currently, WCI offers several new housing modes with different floor plans within each category. There are maintenance-free condos and villas, priced in the $200,000s — good for snowbirds who don’t want to have a big home and swimming pool to be taken care of while they are away.

The single-family “Classic Homes” offer four models from $343,990 to $404,990, ranging in size from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet. “Grand Estates,” which have only 18 lots left, go up to 4,100 square feet and $532,990.

Some of the resale Grand Estate homes are even bigger, such as Mazrin’s listing at 238 Pesaro Drive, which just went on the market for $799,999. “There is something for everyone here,” Mazrin insists.

Homeowner fees vary, depending on the type of home. For maintenance-free villas, they run about $450 a month; for houses, about $300 a month. The dues cover membership in the River Club, upkeep of common grounds and roads, the 24/7 guarded gate, exercise facilities and tennis courts. The Golf Club is a separate facility, but all of Venetian’s residents can use the clubhouse and restaurant there.

The community, designed around an 18-hole championship golf course, also has a 70-acre nature park with a walkway to the Myakka River. Mazrin makes the half-mile trek every day she can, meeting other outdoors enthusiasts along the way, and sits on the benches by the river to watch the alligators and birds. She likes the abundant wildlife. “At night, we listen to the coyotes howl,” she says with a laugh.

Venetian residents are a combination of snowbirds, retirees and working professionals from the Midwest, the East Coast and Canada. “There are a lot of doctors and attorneys here,” says Mazrin.

But unlike many other local golf-course communities that cater to an older clientele, Venetian also has a good number of families with children. “There are eight kids in three different families on my block alone,” says Mazrin.

As a result, the River Club offers not only a host of activities for its adult residents, but also fun events for families. There are Christmas Santa evenings, Easter egg hunts and sports for the youngsters.

“A lot of people have grandkids down for spring break and sign them up for the two-week tennis camps,” Mazrin explains.

Another attraction is the convenient location. Venetian may be on the outskirts of town, but the island of Venice is only 15 minutes away by car in heavy traffic. Nokomis Beach, a straight shot down Laurel Road, is just a 10-minute ride. And the area around the Laurel Road intersection with Interstate 75 has undergone development, as well, with new stores and eateries.

No wonder Venetian is so popular. In the past 12 months, there were 90 resales, ranging in price from $170,363 to $820,000. Currently, 40 homes are on the market, from $205,000 to $800,000, with six pending sales. “I like Venetian,” says Mazrin. “It has everything — walking trails, restaurants, the golf course and friendly people.”


Last modified: January 2, 2015
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