Market snapshot: Foxfire and Foxfire West


When Foxfire and Foxfire West were created in the late 1970s, they were considered way out in the country. Proctor Road was a mere trickle of a road then. Interstate 75 was still in the planning stages, and much of the area was forest and orange groves. In a 1980 advertisement for Foxfire West, the developer, Melvin Steinbaum, called it “a new wooded paradise of two-acre homes, east of Cattlemen Road.”

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Both neighborhoods were designed as equestrian communities. Owners can keep up to four horses and put up two separate outbuildings, such as a guest house and a stable.

fox2Many of the private interior roads, which can be used for riding, are shaded by mature oaks and stately pines. In some spots, you feel as if you’re in a secluded, beautiful nature park.

In the early days, another attraction was the nearby Foxfire Golf Club, which had opened in 1975. But when it developed toxic seepage from the landfill beneath and sustained mounting economic losses, it was sold in 2006 to developers who let it fall into disrepair. Drive along Proctor toward Clark, and you can make out the overgrown remnants of some of the fairways between the trees that line the west side of the road — a testament to the ability of Florida’s bountiful flora to reclaim untended land in short order.

Steinbaum developed Foxfire first, as a series of residential clusters of cul-de-sacs and half circles off Proctor Road and Clark Road, connected in back by a saddle trail. All have equine-related names — Foxtrotting Road, White Horse Circle, Quarter Horse Road and Coral Gate Lane.

Foxfire West was built around a large, manmade lake. The houses along the road that circles it offer attractive waterfront views and densely wooded home sites.

Today, both communities, separated by the Ashley subdivision, maintain their pristine, wooded look. Paul Wolbers, a Realtor for Coldwell Banker, has a four-bedroom home listed at 7085 Wild Horse Circle, built in 1979 with a detached in-law apartment guest house. He likes the neighborhoods for their natural beauty.

“You’re very much in the country here,” he says. “There are lots of animals — deer and bobcat.”

There are 43 properties in Foxfire and 58 in Foxfire West, including two and three vacant lots, respectively. Houses have to be a minimum size of 2,000 square feet in Foxfire and 1,850 in Foxfire West, but most of the homes range from 2,500 to 3,000, with a few as large as 5,000 and 6,000 square feet.

The architecture is eclectic by design. In Foxfire West, building rules include a provision that no two houses can look the same. As a result, there are large Florida ranch-style homes and bungalows from the late 1970s and early ’80s; two-story, New England-style cottages; a Georgian mansion; and even a modernist dwelling of more recent vintage. Facades include wood siding, stucco, red brick and stonework.

Some properties are lined with paddock fences. Others have stone walls with wrought-iron entrance gates. Still others utilize trees and lush shrubbery to hide their homes and give owners privacy.

Annual HOA fees, which go mostly to maintain the private roads, are $500 for Foxfire and $650 for Foxfire West.

Residents are a mix of retirees and working professionals. “While most original buyers were middle age and older, now there are younger families with children,” says Wolbers.

The parents like the convenience of Lakeview Elementary being just across the street at the bend, where Proctor Road turns to the south (the other area schools are Sarasota Middle and Riverview High).

While Foxfire and Foxfire West are now east of the highway, they’re no longer off the beaten track. “Proctor Road is a very good connector to I-75 on either side,” says Wolbers.

Twin Lakes Park, a popular recreation center, is within easy driving distance. Shops, grocery stores, restaurants, hospital services and banks on Clark, Cattlemen and Bee Ridge roads are 5 to 10 minutes by car; Siesta Beach and downtown Sarasota are just 25 minutes away.

Sales have been steady. Last year, six properties sold — five homes, ranging in price from $252,500 to $524,000, and one vacant lot in Foxfire West that sold for $275,000.

Currently, four listings are active for both communities, from $419,000 to $648,750; one is active with contract at $529,000; and one is a pending sale at $525,000.

Two vacant lots are priced at $225,000 and $230,000.

Last modified: March 6, 2015
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