The Forest, and the Trees
Harold Bubil- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Nov. 17, 2006
The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch won the praise of Realtors and others who were invited for a debut tour Friday morning.With its three- to six-acre home sites, it represents something new in the local real estate market. Developer Tom Dabney, representing the Turner family, calls it "the new ruralism." Rather than large lots or ranchettes, the Forest strikes a happy medium with roomy estates that easily accommodate its high-end model homes by John Cannon, Lee Wetherington and Arthur Rutenberg/Pete McNabb. Houses must have at least 4,000 square feet of conditioned space, but the models have more than 5,000.
The view from Cannon's model is stunning, with the yard sloping toward a line of cabbage palms and oaks that frame the view of a wetland beyond. It could be a scene from Myakka River State Park, not too distant on S.R. 72 (Clark Road).
The house that won the most raves is the Rutenberg. Seemingly inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright -- with "organic" materials and Prairie School horizontality -- it's also the most expensive at the Forest, listed at just a hair under $4 million.