Published: Monday, June 1, 2015 at 1:00 a.m.
SARASOTA COUNTY– Southwest Florida’s real estate boom has made its way to Palmer Ranch a master-planned community in southern Sarasota County marked by prestigious golf courses, wandering families of sandhill cranes and quiet cow pastures.
Forgotten by homebuilders during the prolonged slump, the community known for one of the most desirable addresses in the region has seen demand for homes explode, prompting the most significant uptick in new development there in a decade.
The trend is consistent with a turnaround in housing throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties, as droves of baby boomers migrate to beach communities, picking up a retirement abode along the way.
With ample land still available, the master developer of Palmer Ranch now is sketching blueprints that could drastically reshape an area of town that had been somewhat lost amid all of the hype surrounding the University Parkway corridor.
“A lot of people who held off moving to Florida are coming down,” said Justin Powell, vice president of Palmer Ranch Holdings Ltd. “The demand is almost overwhelming, and the last 24 months really exceeded what we thought would occur.”
Started in 1984, the 5,700-acre Palmer Ranch development now has about 9,500 residential units platted. Plans ultimately call for as many as 11,550 homes.
The master-planned development also has more than 3 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space. There have been 23 subdivisions included in the plan, each a unique community within Palmer Ranch’s boundaries.
Powell likes to say the development offers a little something for everyone.
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