Villa community on Little Sarasota Bay offers striking sunsets
There are a number of small, interesting condo and villa communities in Osprey. One of the most attractive — in location and appearance — is Heron Bay Club.
Built in 1981 and located on Little Sarasota Bay across from the northern section of Casey Key, the 10-acre property features 25 attached villas, all but one of them paired. The buildings are grouped around the narrow top and tapered sides of a pear-shaped lake. At the bulkier end, open to the water, lies the community swimming pool. As a result, all of the homes have scenic views of the waterway or the lake.
“It’s a nice little complex — intimate, quiet and peaceful,” said Louis Wery, a Realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International.
Part of the reason for the relaxing atmosphere is that Heron Bay Club lies off the beaten track. To get there, you have to take Sarabay Road, which branches off Tamiami Trail, catty-corner from a US Post Office, and heads south parallel to the shoreline. After a little more than half a mile, you’ll come upon the entrance, where a short, divided road with a nicely landscaped median strip leads to a small roundabout inside the community. From there, two paved lanes run horseshoe-like along the villas.
The road dead ends 500 feet to the south. “You have to backtrack to get out,” Wery said.
Regina Putrino, an agent with Key Solutions Reals Estate Group, agreed that much of Heron Bay’s charm is due to its secluded whereabouts. “It’s like a little secret.”
She lived in Heron Bay Club for three years and loved it there. “The units are all single-story villas, so you have no one above or below you and feel like you don’t have neighbors at all,” she said. “All have courtyard entries which creates a large, sheltered outdoor living area.”
The interiors are spacious, too, with open floor plans and vaulted ceilings. Most of the homes are two-bedroom, two-baths, with an average 1,786 square feet of living space. A few offer three bedrooms. All have an attached garage.
Wery’s listing at 758 Sarabay Road No. 5 has 1,392 square feet of living space. Recent upgrades include hurricane-impact glass windows in the living room, new custom cabinets in the kitchen, and new tile flooring for the lanai and entrance hall. The asking price is $369,000.
The home Putrino has on the market at 752 Sarabay Road No. 2 is the second villa from the end closest to the bay and has wonderful views of the Intracoastal Waterway from all but one room. That bedroom looks out into the courtyard. With brand-new A/C, 3-year-old replumbing and 1,543 square feet under air, it has a list price of $435,000.
Heron Bay Club has a number of amenities, including a tennis court, a kayak launch, and a tiki hut at one end of the community pool, allowing residents to enjoy picnics and barbecues while taking in the spectacular sunsets. A raised, wooden walkway through lush mangroves leads to a long pier that juts out into the bay. Homeowners can use the 10 boat slips at the end on a first-come, first-serve basis with no additional fees. “I’ve seen 24-foot boats there,” said Putrino.
Association fees are around $600 to $700 a month, depending on the size of the unit. They pay for a management company that takes care of the grounds, common spaces, swimming pool, tennis court and lake. In addition, they cover water and sewer, and insurance for the exterior of the villas.
Residents are a mix of year-round residents and snowbirds. Renting is permitted, with a minimum of three months occupancy, up to two times a year. The one-pet rule allows for dogs weighing over 100 pounds, unusually large for a small community.
Overall location is convenient, too. There are plenty of restaurant and shopping opportunities along US 41. Oscar Scherer State Park is just two miles to the south. Venice and Siesta Key, with their powder white beaches, are less than 10 minutes away to the south and north, respectively; and downtown Sarasota is not much farther.
Homes don’t come on the market often. Last year, there was only one sale. Currently, there are three homes on the market, all two-bedrooms ranging from $365,000 to $435,000.