Rotonda West, FL Is a quiet, deed-restricted community with seven sub-neighborhoods. The master-planned community is spread out over twelve square miles, and there is something really unique about Rotonda West; it is the only city in Florida that has the distinct and unusual shape of a wagon wheel.
The seven sub-communities, golf courses, lakes, and canals are located between those spokes. The southwest area of the “wheel “is a big nature preserve inhabited by alligators, bald eagles, and a wide variety of other “Florida Natives” like mosquitos, beetles, and crawling creatures. Simply “Floridians.”
The homes, lined up along the spokes (the streets), face golf courses, canals, or beautiful lakes. Some look into nature preserves, and only a few back up to the neighbor’s yard.
Oakland Hills, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, Broadmoor, Long Meadow, Long Marsh, and Pine Valley are the names of the neighborhoods. Outside of the wheel are three more communities, Rotonda Lakes, Rotonda Sands, and Rotonda Heights.
Each neighborhood has its distinct character. Some communities have smaller, older homes; others have newer homes with 2,500 square feet and more. Some have a lot of Florida vegetation, others are more “naked.” There is only one thing they have in common: None of the “pizza slices” is an entirely “new community.” It is always a mixture of old and new.
The sales process took decades, and in the beginning, the new buildings were scattered all over the place. The gap between the houses was often more than 200 – 300 yards; however, that changed relatively quickly. Later, more homes were filling the gaps in-between. During that process, the first homes were already aging. But that’s in the nature of things. Today, there is a mixture of 10, 20, or 30-year-old homes next to brand new ones or still vacant lots.
All that Glitters is not Gold
In January 1970, a surveyor ramped a stake in the ground of the center wheel-shaped Rotonda West Community. A new and unique community was born. The builder finished the first seven model homes one year later. The fully furnished pool homes were priced from $22,000 to $36,000, excluding the lot.
The 10,000 residential lots have 7,500 square feet, overlooking canals and lakes, golf courses, landscaped green belts, and nature preserves. The price for a standard lot was just a few thousand dollars at that time.
The canals, quite a few of which can be used by small boats, were never designed to hook up to the Intracoastal waterway or Charlotte Harbor. However, residents didn’t mind because it was not intended to be a boater community. Therefore, if you are looking for a saltwater canal home, Rotonda West is not the right place.
Although in 1971, the first resident moved already to Rotonda, sales were pretty sluggish. It took quite a while until the sales momentum accelerated. Due to questionable sales practices at the beginning and other issues, the community was not responsible for, Rotonda went through several boom and bust cycles. There are still property owners from those crazy times, who desperately try to sell their lots without a loss. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it does not.
Boom and Bust
During those boom and bust times, everybody was under the impression that he was sitting on a gold mine when he owned lots in Rotonda, not realizing that the shier number of lots was depressing the real estate market. The same happened in areas like Cape Coral as well. The rule is as simple as it gets: when there are many more properties than buyers, prices drop until you reach some equilibrium. That is the point when the prices start rising. Everybody thought that Rotonda would be sold out in a few years, but fifty years later, there are still lots for sale in the circular city, which proves that the whole thing was misconception at its finest.
Fortunately, the calm after the storm has straightened everything out, and the real estate market in Rotonda is now as good or bad as it is everywhere else in Florida. However, keep in mind that this is the only circular city in Florida.
Lord of the Rings
The outer ring is enormous; this round city is about 4 miles in diameter, and when driving on that street you barely notice that you are in a circle. That pure size makes the structure visible from the sky and instantly noticeable on maps. Therefore, you cannot miss that distinct circular shape because there is no other round city in Florida like Rotonda West.
The most prominent ring consists of a canal framed by two streets. From there, the spokes of the wheel lead to the smallest circle in the center. Even that ring in the center is still one mile wide. In the middle of that circular street is a park where the residents can enjoy the outdoors. Restrooms, pavilions, grills, and other amenities make the stay comfortable and worthwhile.
A mile south of Englewood is the border between Englewood East and Rotonda West. Although it is not a border, it is more like a transition into another architectural world. You will only notice that everything is square or rectangular again.
How many residents live in Rotonda West?
The Rotonda West community has about 8,000 homesites, approximately 5,000 completed homes, and 17,000 residents. The circular city is experiencing tremendous growth right now; new homes pop up everywhere.
Residents are predominantly full-time residents, but a significant fraction of snowbirds enjoy the mild winter months in Rotonda as well. People from overseas like it in Rotonda, too. Notably, residents from Canada, England, and Germany are residing in that circular city. Homes for sale in Rotonda West.
Unique Features of Rotonda West
We should point out one unique feature of Rotonda West. First of all, the circular city is a deed-restricted community. No resident can keep his boat, RV, or trailer on his property. Of course, he can load and unload or keep it overnight on the property. But that is pretty much it. What are his choices? He can store the boat in a marina and his RV in a storage facility. However, in the center of the wheel is an oversized lot that belongs to the homeowner association. Each Rotonda resident can store his toy on that lot. Space is limited, though, but it is always worth a try.
In the middle of the wheel is also a nice Community Park where the residents can hang out with their families. BBQ grills, picnic tables, picnic shelters, gazebos, tennis courts, pickleball courts, bike trails, nature trails, and restrooms are provided. If you want to invite your friends to a nice party, this is the place to be. For a few bucks, you can rent the gazebo and stay out of the hot Florida sun.
“My swing is so bad I look like a caveman killing his lunch. ” ~Lee Trevino
Golf fanatics will get their money’s worth in Rotonda. There are five golf courses in Rotonda West with combined 99 holes, and there are also other 44 golf courses within 20 miles of Rotonda, including public, municipal, and private courses.
The oldest one in the Rotonda West area is the Lake Venice Golf Club, which opened in 1957. The longest golf course is the Sarasota National Golf Club, which is 7,344 yards long. Coral Creek Club is rated the best course near Rotonda West.
Bay Breeze International Realty, we are Rotonda specialists. We live and work here. Call us or email us if you need more information about Rotonda West.