Market Snapshot: Sunrise Golf Club


Just a stone’s throw west of Interstate 75 off Clark Road, the Sunrise Golf Club neighborhood consists of 378 homes in a variety of attractive settings. Developed as a links community from the 1970s to the 1990s, it surrounds the eponymous golf club, although the fairways have been closed for more than a decade. The clubhouse, long boarded up, was recently torn down.

PHOTO GALLERY: Sunrise Golf Club

The entrance to Sunrise Golf Course Estates on Approach Rd., off Clark Rd. in Sarasota.  STAFF PHOTO / MIKE LANG

The entrance to Sunrise Golf Course Estates on Approach Rd., off Clark Rd. in Sarasota. STAFF PHOTO / MIKE LANG

“People had a golf course view, now it’s big green fields and woods,” says Sarasota realty brokerage owner Candy Swick.

Swick just sold a condominium there and likes the community for its excellent location and appearance.

“It’s well-kept, visually interesting and close to I-75,” she says. “You’re 10 to 15 minutes to the beach.”

John Beiler, an agent with White Sands Realty, agrees. “It’s a great area, close to shopping and restaurants.”

Beiler has the only current listing in the neighborhood. The three-bedroom, two-bath home covering a little over 1,600 square feet is priced at $279,000.

Beiler has sold a number of homes in the community and said he likes its friendly atmosphere.

“A lot of people have lived there for many years — it’s like a big family,” he says. “When I sold one of the condos, the neighbors had a going away party for the owner.”

Well hidden behind a strip mall, Sunrise Golf Club actually consists of five independent subdivisions. Take Approach Road south from Clark Road, past one of Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s satellite facilities, and you’ll enter Sunrise Golf Club Estates. The neighborhood includes two- and three-bedroom single-family residences — 1970s Florida ranches built with concrete block, covered with slate-colored roofs and finished with stucco, paint or stonework facades.

Homes in the Westwood II neighborhood in Sunrise Golf Course Estates in Sarasota.  STAFF PHOTO / MIKE LANG

Homes in the Westwood II neighborhood in Sunrise Golf Course Estates in Sarasota. STAFF PHOTO / MIKE LANG

When you reach a tee, two roads branch off pincer-like to surround the former golf course on the eastern and western sides. Go left along Drawn Lane and you’ll enter Sunrise Condominiums, where charming one- and two-story buildings have red tile roofs. The car ports in front of the units have similar gabled red roofs, giving the community a distinctive, consistent look.

Take the right pincer, which continues Approach Road, and you’ll first pass Sunrise Villas, two clusters of attached one- and two-story units arranged around a central courtyard.

Next, you’ll enter Westwood at Sunrise Gulf Club 1, a 55-plus community of two- and three-unit villas with white facades and dark shingle roofs among mature trees and shrubs. Much of the west side of this subdivision borders the paddocks of a neighboring equestrian community. Amenities include two swimming pools, a tennis court and a small club house.

Finally, as the road winds around a pleasant wooded circle, you’ll reach Westwood II. The last subdivision to be developed — in the early 1990s — it has large pineapple palms on the front lawns and flat, bright red tiles topping the villas.

Of the five subdivisions, Sunrise Golf Club Estates is the only one not directly on the former golf course. In the other four, many buildings back up to former fairways. A buffer strip, which acts as an extended backyard, is kept well mowed.

Considerable pride of ownership is evident. All of the subdivisions are well maintained by the seasonal and year-around residents — a mix of retirees, the semi-retired and working families. Many pursue an active lifestyle, including walking and biking.

For families, Twin Lakes Park — with its playground, baseball diamonds and football and soccer fields — is just to the east, on the other side of I-75. Ashton Elementary and Sarasota Middle are within easy driving distance. Riverview is the district high school.

Add affordable price points to the convenient location, and it’s no wonder that homes that come on the market sell quickly. As Swick, who had a bidding war on the condo she listed, points out, “You’re looking at time on the market from three to eight days to just a few months.”

Of the 20 condos and villas that sold in the past two years, 12 went in 10 days or less. Of the rest, all but one sold in under two months. The 10 single-family residences took three months or less.

It’s not clear what will happen with the former golf course, which has been sold several times over the past decade, in all cases to companies involving developer Rod Connelly. He initially wanted to build as many as 700 condos there, but that project became mired in a lawsuit filed by area residents who claimed that they bought their homes believing the course was permanent. They won, although they made it clear that they would not object to a less-dense development plan.

Swick believes any solution agreeable to both sides would benefit the community: “Once it gets developed, prices will rise,” she says.

Last modified: October 9, 2015
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