Located in the heart of Palmer Ranch, Turtle Rock is a thriving neighborhood with great natural beauty, attractive amenities, and a wonderful sense of community. Bordered on the east by Honoré Avenue and on the west by the Legacy Trail, it spans over 500 acres, a good half of which are wetlands, hammocks and wooded reserves. As a result, there is an abundance of wildlife, including many species of birds, everywhere.
The two gated entrances to Turtle Rock on Palmer Ranch Parkway and Central Sarasota Parkway, which mark the northern and southern limits, are beautifully landscaped. Both have pretty stone-arched pergolas on the sidewalks and royal palm trees lining the divided causeways. The one on Central Sarasota Parkway has a longer approach that overlooks a scenic lake.
Developed in the mid to late 1990s, Turtle Rock has 31 stormwater retention ponds, the largest number of any Palmer Ranch community. Some are good sized lakes that provide good views for many of the 758 homes. All of them are interconnected and flow into Catfish Creek and eventually flow into Little Sarasota Bay.
Turtle Rock has been an eco-friendly place for some time. In 2007, it was the first neighborhood in Sarasota County to use solar power for its nighttime streetlights. Since changing its name to Retention Pond Committee, the Natural Assets Committee has expanded its management, investing in shore restoration and improving the nature trail that crosses them through hammocks and wetlands.
“There is a strong community appreciation for the natural environment as a amenity,” said Kate Brown.
She and her husband Bill have lived in Turtle Rock since 2005. Their 4 bedroom home is on the south end, with a view of the wooded reserve bordering their backyard. Like most other homes in the neighborhood, this is a modern Florida architectural design, with open floor plans, a high ceiling, cantilever tile roofs, and a cobblestone driveway.
Homes at Turtle Rock range in size from 1,800 to over 5,800 square feet of living space. Many have their own private pools and covered verandas. Most are one-story dwellings, but there are also a few two-story residences. Values range from over $ 400,000 to just over $ 1.2 million.
Two housing estates, Savannah and Somerset, offer maintenance free living. The monthly fee of $ 315 and $ 350 covers lawn maintenance, tree and shrub pruning, and other perks.
Homeowners’ association dues for the rest of the community are $ 480 per quarter and include the fees for the main Palmer Ranch association.
Also at Palmer Ranch: Read our Mira Lago Market Overview
Brown loves the neighborhood walk. “Everyone walks or cycles, even more so during the pandemic,” she explained. “It’s 20 minutes from my house to the Legacy Trail and back.”
She continued, “When we were closed and excluded from the gym, my husband became an expert in electric bikes. Now he takes his on the trail to Albee Road in Nokomis and back. We look forward to the completion of the downtown Sarasota expansion.
According to Brown, another perk of living in Turtle Rock is the strong sense of community. Facilities include a heated geothermal pool, basketball and tennis courts, and a clubhouse for meetings, gatherings and activities. Before COVID, it was a very busy place.
“There is an annual garage sale where we open the doors and invite outside visitors to come in,” Brown said. “We also organize a community chemical collection day once a year after the garage sale. “
A monthly online publication, The Turtle Rock Newsletter, keeping residents up to date with everything that is going on, is available on the community’s website.
For the past five years, Turtle Rock Academy has presented free monthly lectures by a variety of experts from inside and outside the community. “One was about the future of electric cars by Tesla enthusiasts here,” Brown recalls. “Another time, actors from the Asolo theater came to play an old radio show.”
Although dormant for a year and a half, word is that the Academy will be relaunched soon.
Turtle Rock demographics indicate a diversity of ages, young children, teens, families, professionals, snowbirds and retirees. More than three quarters of the owners live there year round. School buses enter inside the gates to pick up students from schools in the district – Ashton Elementary, Sarasota Middle, and Riverview High.
Residents love the sense of community and the convenient location. Turtle Rock is less than 1 mile from Sarasota Square Mall and CORE SRQ – Palmer Ranch Fitness Center in Potter Park (the former YMCA). Two championship golf courses – Stoneybrook and TPC Prestancia – are literally across the street to the north and south. I-75 is easily accessible via Honore Ave and Clark Road. Downtown Sarasota is just a 15-minute drive away.
Currently there are two homes for sale in Turtle Rock. One has 6 beds, 4 baths and two floors, and is priced at $ 800,000. The other is one of the larger residences in the area, a 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom home with 5,822 square feet of air, with an asking price of $ 1.25 million.