The Latest News

From & About The Forest


Latest News from The Forest


Zillow Report: Home Buyers Shifting To More Space & Privacy

  Report out from Zillow notes a “great reshuffling” as people seek more space. Driven evidently by many factors including the Corona Virus Pandemic, Zillow CEO Rich Barton says “The U.S. real estate market is beginning to show signs of a great reshuffling, as people relocate to homes with more privacy and space.” We have ... Read More →

2020 Spring Season Update From The Forest

The 2020 spring season has been surprisingly busy at The Forest, all things considered during these trying times. A strong surge of home site sales, two existing homes selling and several property owners in plans to start homes with our builders shows the interest remains very high for our unique estate home community. Home sites ... Read More →

Sales Trailer Moving Day Video

Sales Office Removal Makes Way For New Passive Park The first step in creating a new passive park on Lake Wood in The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch is complete with the removal of the sales office. Watch the video as a crew uses a crane to lift the two modular sections off the property. ... Read More →

Lake Wood Park at The Forest Hi Hat Ranch

Former Sales Center Site Becomes Passive Park Since opening the community, Lake Wood at The Forest Hi Hat Ranch has been the site of the developer’s sales center. Now that all of the original lots have been sold to private owners, this site is being converted for resident use. “Our intent from the beginning of ... Read More →

The Forest Difference A True Estate Community

Discover the Real Estate Home living difference at The Forest This Sunday, Dec 8th, tour a few of the private estate homes in the Forest. They will be open to visitors from 1 to 4pm. Representatives will be on hand with information about these homes and the available estate homesites and options for building a ... Read More →

Tour A Custom Estate Home Nov 10th

See This Amazing Custom Estate Sunday 1-4pm If there is a home that truly demonstrates what this community is about and the potential for true estate home living it’s this one. Join this Sunday, November 10th from 1-4pm for tours of the original model by Lee Weatherington Homes. It’s set on a beautiful wooded acreage ... Read More →

Michael Saunders & Company Joins The Forest

New Brokerage Representation With Same Well Known Agent The Forest sales expert Brian Wood has joined Michael Saunders & Company who is now representing developer home sites at The Forest. The change comes as the community is nearing sellout of the original developer owned sites. Wood has worked in the community since the beginning and ... Read More →

Home Site Sales Continue Pace Toward Sell Out

Another Sale Leaves Just 5 Developer Home Sites in The Forest The strong sales pace this year continues at The Forest with the closing of home site 54. There are now just five of the original developer home sites available in Sarasota’s only master planned community designed exclusively for large acreage estate homes. The selection ... Read More →

Only Six Developer Home Sites Remain At Forest

Strong Sales Pace Continues Through Summer With three more home sites closings this month, making six so far this year, 2019 is proving to be one of the best years for sales in some time at The Forest. According to Brian Wood, Forest’s exclusive Sotheby’s Agent, there is continued strong interest from potential buyers and ... Read More →

Forest Homesite Drive By

See the difference acreage makes. This short video demonstrates the difference between The Forest and typical master planned community “estate lots.” See how long it takes to drive by one of the homesites in The Forest at idle speed. Only 9 original developer homesites remain. However, there is still a good selection of prices and ... Read More →

Families Of All Kinds Love The Forest

A Community That Lives Up To It’s Name The land plan at The Forest sets aside about half of the community in preservation space including uplands, forested wetlands, ponds and open space. In addition, most of the large 3 to 5 acre homesites are heavily treed and add to the overall preservation feel in the ... Read More →

Preview The Wank Estate in The Forest

Preview the latest custom estate home built in The Forest. Anchor Builders worked with the buyers to design and build this one-of-a-kind custom home on lot 51. They took advantage of the deep homesite, setting this large home well back with an impressive entry and paved driveway to set the stage for great estate living. ... Read More →

Meet Forest Residents Tracy & Bob Seidle

Residents Tracy and Bob Seidle moved to The Forest from Southeast Florida in late 2018. They sat recently for a brief interview to share their story of discovering Sarasota and choosing to make their new home in The Forest. Like all the residents that have shared stories, Tracy and Bob have a unique insight and ... Read More →

Sale Surge Kicks Off 2019 Season at The Forest

There was a strong increase in activity at The Forest to close out the fourth quarter of 2018. That has resulted in three closings of estate home sites to kickoff what looks to be a busy 2019 Winter/Spring season. The Forest was also featured in the Sarasota Herald Tribune’s annual real estate Market Snapshot, which ... Read More →

Vision Group Has Joined Builder Team

Vision Group Bringing Their Unique Home Building Style To The Forest Another of Sarasota’s premier local custom builders, Vision Group, has joined The Forest. Co-Owner and Partner Mike Padgett brings years of experience in real estate, construction and custom home building to the company. Vision Group has built hundreds of custom homes in many of ... Read More →

Latest Home Sale Tops $2 Million

Former Rutenberg Model Sells For $2.15 Million in The Forest A former Arthur Rutenberg model home in The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch has sold for $2.15 million. Located at 10862 Leafwing Drive, it was the highest-priced sale in the neighborhood during the last two years. The Forest’s Premier Sotheby’s International Realty agent Brian Wood ... Read More →

E/M Custom Homes Joins Builder Team

E/M Custom Homes Introduces New Opportunities in The Forest A new builder has joined the elite team at The Forest. E/M Custom Homes will bring new opportunities for home buyers in Sarasota’s only gated master planned community designed exclusively for estate homes. E/M Custom Homes combines the talents of Jeff Eslinger and Rick and Dan ... Read More →

Sarasota Herald Tribune Neighborhood Feature

The Forest In Sarasota Herald Tribune Market Snapshot   Thanks to Chris Angermann for including The Forest in his popular Market Snapshot series.  Great to see the update available for area real estate readers with his concise article on our community. Read it now on the Herald Tribune website. The Forest is located on Clark ... Read More →

Estate Homes Bring Unique Amenities Without High Assessments

The Forest Difference: Real Estate Living Without High HOA Fees The cost of living at The Forest is substantially less than other private gated communities east of I-75 in Sarasota and Manatee County.  True estate homesites offer privacy, peace and quiet and the option for residents to design amenities right into their estate homes.  Residents ... Read More →

High Speed Internet/Phone Service Coming Soon

Myakka Communications Installing Fiber Optic System A new high speed communications system is coming to The Forest. Managing Partner Tom Dabney has been working for the past few years to bring enhanced communications to residents. He, along with representatives of other neighboring communities, finalized an agreement with Myakka Communications to bring a fiber optic network ... Read More →

World Rowing Championships At Benderson Park

World Class Rowing Facility 20 Minutes From The Forest The world Rowing Championships were recently held at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota.  These were the top rowing athletes in the world helping the event to draw thousands to the region over two weeks. The Forest premiered a thirty-second video as one of the sponsors for ... Read More →

Fall Estate Homesite Incentive

Save 10% On Homesites At The Forest In Sarasota This fall there is more than just leafs falling at The Forest.  Prices on estate homesites are also falling for a limited time. Those thinking about building a private estate home can take advantage of Fall Incentive with 10% off list price on all remaining developer ... Read More →

Forest Unique Option In Nation’s Best Place To Retire

Sarasota Ranked Best Retirement Location On U.S. News List Sarasota has been ranked as the best place to retire in the U.S. for 2018. This nod came in the venerable U.S. New & World Report’s annual list. The reviewer in the article referred to Sarasota as a “paradise, mixed with hints of realty…as traffic congestion ... Read More →

Resident Deer Include Two Big Bucks

The Forest Attracts Impressive Resident Deer Herd The Forest lives up to its name with so much of the community set aside in wooded preserves, pines and old growth oak trees.  There is really no other private gated community quite like it in the region.  Acreage home sites add to the feel and also provide ... Read More →

Clark Road & I-75 Interchange Renovation Planned

A Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) is planned for construction at Clark Road and I-75.  For residents of The Forest this means easier access on and off the Interstate, a much more convenient method of accessing the shops, services and employment centers located west of I-75, and a safer, more efficient commute through the interchange. The ... Read More →

Hi Hat Ranch Featured On ABC World News Tonight

The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch is surrounded by the Suncoast’s biggest private land holding and one of the largest active working ranches in Southwest Florida.  Beyond the beautiful forested community and impressive estate homes lies a productive ranch that has been managed under the stewardship of the Turner family for nearly a century. The ... Read More →

Watch The Forest Lifestyle Video

The Forest At Hi Hat Ranch Lifestyle Video In many ways, there is no better way (short of living in one of the 54 residences) to experience The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch than in a video with aerial views.  The extensive forested natural preservation areas and large estate homesites make if difficult to see ... Read More →

Recent Home Sale Sets New Bar At The Forest

The recent sale of the original Arthur Rutenberg Homes’ model in The Forest has set a new bar for property values. The former model sold for $3.2 million within a month of listing.  It resets the top selling price for homes in Sarasota’s only master planned gated community exclusively designed for custom estate homes on ... Read More →

Distances From East Sarasota & Manatee Communities

The Forest is closer than you think.  Comparing distances to key locations from the four most popular gated communities east of I-75 in Sarasota and Manatee Counties is telling.  The chart below shows distances using Google Maps. All the communities are relatively similar overall.  But, The Forest is closest to the beach and the only ... Read More →

Sarasota’s Top 20 Fastest Growing Status Puts Premium On Privacy

If you have been driving around over the peak season in Sarasota and Manatee counties announcement this week the area is one of the top 20 fastest growing in the nation comes as no surprise.  Being number 11 on the census list for population increase means a robust local economy and improving financial quality of ... Read More →

Sarasota’s Largest Homesites Mean Better Lifestyle And Value

Finding acreage estate sized home sites is a challenge in Sarasota. Finding one with old growth trees in a premier private gated community is even harder. I hear these comments often when touring visitors around The Forest. Most have been through the other “estate” neighborhoods in the area and are surprised to learn there is ... Read More →

Florida Tops New Study Best Retirement States has just published a report ranking the best states to retire in and Florida tops the list.  That will be no surprise to many retirees already living the good life here in Sarasota and particularly at The Forest.  The WalletHub study ranked states on three primary criteria: Affordability, Quality of Life and Health Care.  ... Read More →

Dr. Scott & Marcia Corbett Residents At The Forest Sarasota

Scott and Marcia Corbett recently made the decision to move from their Siesta Key, Fl house of several years to a new estate home in The Forest.  Watch this short video interview as they share their story about finding The Forest and making the move to Sarasota’s premier estate home community.  Scott is one of ... Read More →

Race Highlights The Biking Opportunities In Eastern Sarasota

In what has become an annual event, the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club included a rest stop at The Forest during its recent 2015 Cyclefest.  The event is one of the club’s biggest of the year and includes 20, 35, 62 and 100 mile routes.  This year there were hundreds of riders out to enjoy the ... Read More →

Emerald Florencia Model Sets New Record Sales Price

The Emerald Homes Florencia Model has sold and set a new record sales price for The Forest – $1,525,000. This fantastic show home has been the focal point of activity at The Forest since the preview event last December with the Asolo Rep.  That Starry Night party created a buzz that continued through a near ... Read More →

Video Tour Arthur Rutenberg Estate On Double Home Site

A special new private estate was recently completed by Arthur Rutenburg Homes in The Forest. This custom designed home takes full advantage of the acreage available in The Forest doubling down on home sites 49 and 50 for an even larger estate setting. Take the aerial video preview and fly around this amazing property. This ... Read More →

Close Out Release Of Final Home Sites

The Hi Hat Ranch development team has decided not to open future phases for The Forest. The current 54 home sites, of which approximately 20 remain available, will be the only ones offered in this gated neighborhood designed exclusively for large estate properties.  Three home sites, previously held for future model homes, are also being ... Read More →

New Model Open For Tours By Appointment

It’s now easier than ever to experience estate home living in The Forest. Emerald Homes’ new Florencia Model is now open for tours by appointment. This is an exceptional home on one of the best home sites in the community. See preview photos below and then plan to visit. Contact The Forest exclusive Sotheby’s agent ... Read More →

Emerald Homes Florencia Wins 2015 Parade of Homes

The new Florencia Model by Emerald Homes at The Forest dominated its category in the 2015 Manatee and Sarasota BIA Parade of Homes taking the top award plus several others. The 2015 Parade is one of the biggest in years locally, and around the state, with 93 homes entered across the two county region. The ... Read More →

Asolo Rep Starry Night Photos

The reviews are in and the new Florencia model by Emerald Homes was a hit with some 70 guests at the Asolo Rep’s Starry Night event for The Match Maker.  Guests enjoyed a beautiful evening in this luxurious new estate home at The Forest.  It was a fantastic setting outside and inside the Florencia. Here ... Read More →

Emerald Florencia Starry Night Kickoff Party

The Asolo Rep Starry Night party was a huge test for the entertainment capabilities of Emerald Homes’ new Florencia Model at The Forest. This fantastic estate home proved up to the task with almost 70 people in attendance for the sneak preview event. Morton’s Gourmet Market & Catering of Sarasota catered the lavish event on ... Read More →

Forest Hosted Rest Stop for Gulf Coast Cyclefest

There was picture perfect fall weather for the 2014 Gulf Coast Cyclefest, where The Forest hosted a rest stop for one of the legs on this major road biking event. It has been forty years since the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club began promoting cycling in the area. Now, with a wealth of history behind them, ... Read More →

Shopping Near The Forest Gets 880,000 Times Better

On Friday, October 16, 2014 residents of The Forest will be about 15 minutes away from the first new major enclosed shopping mall to open in the U.S. in almost 10 years.  The University Town Center features over 880,000 square feet and more than 100 stores, specialty shops, restaurants and cars. “The wait is over ... Read More →

Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery Impressive For VA

Amid all the recent negative publicity around the VA it’s nice to report some good news about the nation’s Veterans Affairs Administration happening right in the neighborhood around The Forest. The new Patriot Plaza at the Sarasota National Cemetery had it’s grand opening dedication recently.  It was well deserved recognition for this very impressive facility ... Read More →

Residents Stars Of Our Story Video About The Forest

Our Story, a new video on life in The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch, is a moving three minute movie on Sarasota’s only master planned community with a neighborhood designed exclusively for acreage estate homes.  Three families from The Forest tell their stories over the backdrop of beautiful footage of the property. Our Story was ... Read More →

Sarasota Real Estate Continues Hot Streak Driving Activity In The Forest

We here at The Forest at High Hat Ranch continue to see a surge of activity in our master planned community as interest in the Sarasota real estate marketplace continues to swell. Spring is always one of the most beautiful times of the year in Sarasota.  It’s also typically a very busy time for real estate.  This ... Read More →

The Forest Featured in Sarasota Herald Tribune With Surge of Activity

The continued strengthening of the Sarasota real estate market has been reported on frequently over the past year in the Sarasota Herald Tribune.  The Forest is also enjoying a surge of builder activity as the local and national economic recovery has sparked interest again in new homes.  Families looking to build an estate home are ... Read More →

The Forest Residents Have Access to Sarasota’s Top Schools

Residents at The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch have remarkable educational opportunities close to home and in the area.  Education near the community, and convenient to the I-75 and Clark Road corridors, includes some of the best public and private school options in the Sarasota/Manatee area. People from all over the two counties make long ... Read More →

Forest Prices Continue to Rise With with $1.3 Mil Sale

Even in the summer, the Sarasota real estate market is hotter than ever.  Interest in The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch is also heating up as the real estate market rebounds and prices continue to grow. Buyers from all over the two-county area and beyond are discovering that the combination of beauty and privacy The ... Read More →

Sarasota Loves Bird Watching and The Forest Is The Place

A recent story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune had some very surprising news about tourism in Sarasota and Florida. Visitors are attracted to the state for many obvious reasons including the weather, beaches and of course golf.  Most people would think golf ranks higher than bird watching. But in a recent interview with the Tribune, ... Read More →

Rick Turner Shares Hi Hat Ranch Story

The Forest is the latest chapter in a rich history of Hi Hat Ranch.  This community is part of a land holding that has been in the Turner family for generations. Unlike most “developments” where a company buys land and develops a community, The Forest is actively managed by the family. Rick Turner is one ... Read More →

The Forest Launches New YouTube Channel

There is a new way to preview The Forest with videos online. A new YouTube Channel has just been launched for The Forest. It includes four videos that provide an excellent overview and insight into Sarasota’s exclusive gated estate master planned community: The Forest Overview – Watch beautiful aerial footage for a bird’s eye view ... Read More →

Benderson Park Near The Forest Makes Bid For Global Rowing Event

  Residents of The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch may soon look forward to seeing one of the world’s most preeminent rowing events take place a quick 25 minute drive away. The Nathan Benderson Park has been a major site of local and regional rowing competitions for the past few years but the scope of ... Read More →

Forest Home Sale Tops $1.5 Million

The Forest continues to see strong interest and price appreciation with the most recent home sale topping the $1.5 million mark. This comes on the heels of the five homesites we sold over the last three months. I represented the seller for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in the sale of this $1.55 million home in ... Read More →

The Forest Is Newest Chapter Of Saraota’s Hi Hat Ranch History

The Hi Hat Ranch has a big place in Sarasota’s history. At one time it was the area’s largest private land holding in the county after Herman Turner assembled three large parcels in the mid 1940s. It encompassed one-eighth of Sarasota County at that time. A Sarasota Herald Tribune article from those days called the Turner ... Read More →

The Forest Features Sarasota’s Best Custom Estate Homes

It’s not hard to find large homes around Sarasota. But it can be hard to find larger lots around those homes. Especially in gated master planned communities. The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch is designed to fill the gap between rural acreage properties and gated community “McMansions.” This is a community where families can have ... Read More →


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