Developers are preparing to break ground across Sarasota County as the real-estate market rebounds.
That’s the case with the 24 acres of land that developer Taylor Morrison cleared in January for the Esplanade by Siesta Key.
The contractor that the firm hired legally removed 400 trees from the site in anticipation of the first phase of the 77-acre development, according to a Dec. 13 building permit filed with Sarasota County.
Taylor Morrison plans to break ground for the first phase of the development Jan. 28.
“I think it will be a boon to the area to have another large community there,” said Raj Mathur, co-owner of Casa Italia, an Italian market west of the Esplanade construction entrance on Constitution Boulevard.
Taylor Woodrow Homes bought the property for $38.5 million in 2005, in anticipation of building Pacifico, a development that stalled once the recession struck in 2007.
However, the real-estate market is starting to recover.
The Sarasota Association of Realtors reported more than 9,000 property sales in 2012, which was the greatest number since 2005.
Roger Piro, president of the Sarasota Association of Realtors, said overall sales in the area should stay on the upswing.
“Our market is enjoying an amazing resurgence, and the traditional busy season still has several months to go,” Piro said in a statement. “Last year, our strongest sales months were in March, April and May. We’re all hoping for a repeat performance in 2013, and agents are continuing to report steady, strong foot traffic at open houses and multiple offers on many properties.”
The first phase of the Esplanade will have about 80 home sites, with nearly 250 home sites planned for the long-term vision of the Esplanade.
The firm plans to offer five different floor plans in the California-Tuscan style, ranging from 1,673 square feet to 2,843 square feet, with two to three bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half bathrooms and up to a two-car garage, according to a press release provided by Taylor Morrison Marketing Manager Katy Walker.
“Our homes offer many of the most popular design features, plus plenty of options to add your own personal touch including outdoor kitchens, screened patios, guest casitas, deluxe master baths, gourmet kitchens and much more,” said an email to Esplanade newsletter recipients.
Pedestrian trails will snake throughout the property, which will also include seven ponds.
But, in the mean time, residents in nearby neighborhoods are discussing the construction process for the new development.
At least three residents emailed Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson the week of Jan. 21, to protest the construction entrance’s location. They pointed out that there are at least three school bus stops along Constitution Boulevard and Kinderhouse Preschool is on the same stretch of road.
But, the county and contractor reached a compromise to minimize traffic in residential areas.
County Engineer Jim Harriott said in an email to Patterson construction crews would only use Tamiami Trail to reach the construction entrance, which means trucks would not take the 1.3 mile trek through residential properties from Swift Road to reach the entrance.
“I do sympathize with the local residents now,” Mathur said in a Jan. 23 phone interview with the Pelican Press. “I guess that’s the price of development for the future.”
IF YOU GO
What: Esplanade by Siesta Key groundbreaking ceremony
When: 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 28
Where: 2577 Vaccaro Drive