I would define "East of the Trail" in Sarasota as the area East of Tamiami Trail from Webber to Mound Street, where Tamiami Trail and U.S. 301 split off, and West of Tuttle. "West of the Trail" is on the West side of Tamiami Trail and runs West until you reach the Bay.
When I first started as a Sarasota Realtor in 1998, there was a huge difference in desirability between houses West of the Trail and just East of the Trail. "East of the Trail" was entry level housing. Living close to downtown wasn't as important. The houses were old and typically small.
Now "East of the Trail" close to downtown Sarasota has seen huge increases in both desirability and price appreciation. The land has become valuable and builders are buying some of the smaller, older houses, knocking them down and building brand new larger houses.
The two largest areas and well known neighborhoods "East of the Trail" are Southgate and Arlington Park.
Why people want to live there.
In part, the desire for people wanting to live close to downtown has fueled this trend. Depending on where you live some places are within walking distance or a short drive. One such neighbood shopping center is Southside Village, it is located just West of Tamiami Trail around Hillview Street and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. It's a popular centrally located neighborhood spot, with shops, bars, restaurants and markets. The Five O'Clock Club established in 1955 is one well known bar in the neighborhood, Pacific Rim is a popular Asian restaurant, and Gecko's is a popular bar & grill. There is also Morton's Gourmet Market which has been in business for over 40 years and has really good preprared food. Another close by shopping center is Westfield Southgate Mall at the corner of Siesta Drive and Tamiami Trail.
Southside Village Shops
In a subdivision such as Arlington Park there are now houses listed at prices above $600,000 for new construction.
New construction in Arlington Park is something that just started happening, and I think the trend will continue. Before that it would have been unheard of to knockdown a house "East of the Trail", people who could afford upscale housing didn't want to live "East of the Trail".
The differences between "West of the Trail" and "East of the Trail" are blurring especially in the area between Siesta Drive and Bahia Vista Street.
My opinion of why this is happening is the location is really great and doesn't change much just because you are on the other side of Tamiami Trail.
Other reasons why people like it is because of course it is close to US 41, downtown and Arlington Park.
View Arlington Park houses.
View Southgate houses.
What's the area like
In Arlington Park a lot of the houses were built in the 1950s. The houses typically range from 900-1400 sq ft under air. The lot sizes vary quite a bit but are generally between 5,000-10,000 sq ft. A lot of the houses have been updated, some extensively. The Arlington Park area is where I see the trend of knocking down houses to build new, the most prevalent.
In Southgate the houses were generally built in the 1950s-1960s. The houses range from 1,100-2,500 sq ft. The lot sizes are approximately 10,000 sq ft some smaller and some larger.
The schools in the "East of the Trail" area are:
The elementary schools are Southside and Alta Vista
The middle school is Brookside
The High School is Sarasota High
source: Sarasota County Schools
If you are interested in learning more about "East of the Trail" housing in Sarasota please contact me.
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