Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Place Both Lovely and Popular

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Place Both Lovely and Popular

Article excerpt

Located just a couple of miles north of University Parkway on either side of Honore Avenue and Old Farm Road, Mote Ranch is a tucked-away community with a lot going for it. Although it lies considerably north of the Manatee-Sarasota County line, most of the 777 homes have a Sarasota zip code. A small pocket of residences has a University Park address.

The community consists of nine contiguous subdivisions. Three of them -- Grand Point, Riverbend and Riverpark -- are right on the Braden River, offering spectacular vistas and great natural beauty. In the other six neighborhoods -- Arbor Lakes, Arbor Lakes Estates, Chaparral, Copper Ridge, Meadowlake and Misty Lake -- scenic lakes and extensive green belts provide quiet, attractive surroundings.

Mote Ranch extends west to where Honore Avenue makes a 90-degree turn and runs past Ward Lake to meet Lockwood Ridge Road. The southern border is University Park Country Club, so a number of the homes have rear views of the University Park golf course.

The area was originally forest covered with oaks, palmettos, bay trees and loblolly bay shrubs. The developer, Lennar Homes, made sure to keep many of the original features. As a result, the lush wildlife preserves and lakes are a wilderness playground for small wildlife, including a host of birds -- egrets, owls and sandhill cranes. Mature, majestic oaks and tall palm trees abound.

"It really is a one-of-a-kind place -- a hidden gem. Few people know of its existence," says Christine Huxtable, a Realtor with Re/ Max Alliance Group.

She has been selling houses in the community for 11 years and loves the quiet and beauty there. Her current listing at 6809 Winslow Street in the Chaparral subdivision is a three-bedroom, two- bath home priced at $259,900.

Development of Mote Ranch started in 1988, and all the homes were built from 1990 to 2004. A few different builders worked there, but because Lennar Homes put up the lion's share of the houses, most of the residences have a similar architectural style -- "Florida contemporary" is one way to describe it. Still, there is variety throughout the subdivisions, from smaller ranch houses to large homes with vaulted ceilings and barrel-tile roofs. …

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