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Old 02-18-2013, 05:06 PM
 
Location: North Port, FL
137 posts, read 258,333 times
Reputation: 87

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When I first moved here in 1998, the MSA (metropolitan statistical area) was Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice. After the results of the 2010 census, the area was renamed as the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota area, since the MSA goes by city population.

In 1998, there were barely 20,000 people living in North Port. We are now the largest city in the region, pushing 60,000 people. Bradenton bypassed Sarasota in population, and Venice is no longer one of the 3 largest cities.

I doubt that the Forum will actually be renamed as North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, but if you want to get technical, we all live in "the North Port area" now...
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:08 PM
 
1,575 posts, read 2,674,528 times
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I like that! I think it's funny how north port used to get a bad rap. Glad I didn't listen to it. It's a nice place to live.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:15 PM
 
180 posts, read 145,586 times
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Default northport questions

I hope I don't push any buttons, but could you tell me what it is like to live in Northport? As was mentioned above, the area does have its detractors. Which beaches do you visit? What is the social life like? Northport is about 45 mins from Sarasota, which is a drive if there is nothing to do in Northport. We will be retiring soon and in our late 50's and like to be involved and keep busy. Also like theatre, music, tennis, walking trails and whatever. No kids, so don't care about schools. I can't get a feel for the area. We are looking to buy somewhere in the Sarasota area and there seems to be a negative vibe from some posters about this area, although they may have been in the past. There are some really nice homes listed in NorthPort. Are there certain areas that are better?
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:26 PM
 
Location: North Port, FL
137 posts, read 258,333 times
Reputation: 87
We were actually hesitant to move to North Port because of that old "bad rap" but now that we've been here for 2 years we are actually happier than when we lived in Sarasota and then Lakewood Ranch. A big part of the appeal is that you can buy a much newer and larger home for less money than in the other towns and cities. It's kind of like living in the country, yet with all the modern conveniences and amenities. The nearest beach is Englewood beach. There are a bunch of new stores on 41 and I think the city will continue to grow and develop over time. For more shopping, restaurants, and entertainment, Port Charlotte is just down the road and we like going to the parks and the downtown area in Punta Gorda. Venice is just to the north and has theater, beaches, shopping, and historical downtown.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:02 AM
 
1,575 posts, read 2,674,528 times
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We are close to everything, short drive to beaches. I don't frequent Sarasota often but when I have to its just a short hop on I75. There are a lot of nice areas, off cranberry is our area but there are many. Just drive around, you'll get a feel for it. Our neighbors are all wonderful too!
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,945 posts, read 8,091,426 times
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North Port has grown tremendously since I moved here in 2004. We had a house built in North Port in 2004 and lived there for 4 years before moving to Port Charlotte. Venice Beach and Englewood Beach are about 20 minutes from North Port, depending on which part of North Port you live in. There are some deed restricted, 55+ and golf communities in North Port, but the majority of North Port is non-deed restricted. There are thousands of vacant lots in North Port and most streets have some houses with vacant lots around. The vacant lots and the non-deed restricted areas are the parts that some people don't like.

There is a new strip shopping plaza that was just finished in 2012 with a grocery store and lots of other shopping. North Port has gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, drug stores, medical facilities, library, and more. The nice thing about North Port is its close proximity to Port Charlotte for the mall and just about anything else you would want. It is also a close enough drive if you want to go to Sarasota. As far as an airport it is about half way between Sarasota Airport and Ft. Myers Airport.

There is plenty to do in this area. If you like walking trails, tennis, theatre and music - you can go to Punta Gorda. Punta Gorda has a bicycle path around the city and you can also walk it. City of Punta Gorda Florida They have a tennis club or you can go to some of the parks to play tennis. Tennis | puntagordaclub.com There are a lot of parks in Punta Gorda that have events throughout the year and they have bands that play. Punta Gorda also has walkable shops downtown and musical events. And of course, Punta Gorda has boating, fishing and golf.

City of North Port - www.cityofnorthport.com
North Port Chamber of Commerce - http://www.northportareachamber.com/

City of Punta Gorda - City of Punta Gorda Florida
Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce - Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce: Home Page
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce - Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce || Port Charlotte, Florida
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,036 posts, read 4,278,176 times
Reputation: 2548
If you are new to the Sarasota area, I can see how you can be confused if you are comparing population numbers of the CITY of Sarasota vs the city of North Port. The city of Sarasota has a land area of approximately 15 miles, the city of North Port has a land area of just under 75 square miles. According to statistics, approximately 10% of the area within the city limits of North Port is populated. The Sarasota metropolitan area, in north Sarasota county, has a population upwards of 250,000 people and is a mix of residential and commercial from the shoreline all the way east of I75, running from the north county line with Manatee county south all the way to Nokomis. So if you just look at population numbers, North Port appears to be a larger city. But when you look at the whole picture, North Port is a small town and the Sarasot metro area is substantially bigger.

Sarasota has 3 shopping malls and a 4th being built, an outlet mall, a downtown with shops, art galleries and a diversity of restaurants and bars, from casual to fine dining. Sarasota is a cultural center as well, with the Ringling Museum, Asolo Theatre, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Sarasota Opera House, Sarasota Ballet, The Players Theatre and many other smaller performing arts & theaters. Sarasota is home to the Ringling College of Art & Design and New College campus of FSU. You can find activities ranging from the Sarasota Polo Club to drag racing at the Bradenton Motorsports Park. Every weekend throughout the winter months you can find dozens of events and activities, ranging from Celtic Festivals to art festivals to chalk festivals to motorcycles taking over downtown Sarasota for Thunder by the Bay.

Home prices in general are less expensive in North Port vs Sarasota, but there's more to living in an area than the price of a house.

That reminds me of a recent thread here on this forum from a resident of North Port:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/sarasota-bradenton-venice-area/1666267-city-north-port-new-tax-letter.html

North Port was badly hit by the real estate market bust, which lead to a large number of foreclosures, which has substantially contributed to the affordable prices mentioned in the article. There are still a number of abandoned homes in some stage of foreclosure, and the city government is trying to cope with both the disrepair of these homes and lower revenues due to the lower appraised values of homes as a result of the high number of distress sales and foreclosures.


http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20120414/ARTICLE/120419757/2416/NEWS?p=all&tc=pgall



There have been articles in the Sarasota paper about North Port government's struggles with budgets vs needs of the community for services such as fire, police, trash service and road repairs. Reuters put out a very in depth, informative article back in April of 2012 analyzing North Port's financial outlook. The article stated that Fitch had downgraded North Port's credit rating because the city has had 6 straight years of deficit operations, using reserves to make up the budget deficits. The city is facing major infrastructure needs (including a referendum for $46 million for road repairs), pension funding issues and service needs. The article also mentions that the wealth levels of North Port are below the state average and unemployment levels are above the state average.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/17/idUS223673+17-Apr-2012+BW20120417

Part of the problems are created by the physical size of North Port's city boundaries. North Port was originally plotted by a large development company. It covers the 5th largest land area in the state of FL and includes a state forest within the "city" boundaries. Much of the area outside of specific subdivisions and defined areas does not have access to municipal water or sewer.

North Port is certainly an affordable option for some people specifically wanting more of a small town feel vs a larger, urban area such as Sarasota. But be sure to do the research on any community you are thinking of purchasing a home in. If the positives outway the negatives for your individual needs, then that community may be a good option for you. One size does not fit all.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: North Port, FL
137 posts, read 258,333 times
Reputation: 87
You certainly make some valid points Sunshine Rules but a few of them need a little clarification. North Port is now actually 103 square miles, after the 2010 annexation of the Warm Mineral Springs area, making it the 4th largest city in land size in the State. And, with a city that size and a relatively small tax base, no doubt it's hard to manage. The voters passed the road bond referendum, voting to fix and repave some 266 miles of roads over the next few years, at a cost of $46 per home, added to the tax bills.
Sarasota, like Venice and Punta Gorda are old and historical cities. North Port was only founded in 1959 and remained a small bedroom community until the early 2000's when the housing boom started. The city was one of the epicenters of the housing boom, and subsequent bust, lacking in the older, more mature neighborhoods that kept Venice and Sarasota a bit more stable. Now that things are heating up again, North Port is outperforming the greater Sarasota market in terms of percentage appreciation, and has a lower percentage/months of inventory available.
As for your link to the thread by the disgruntled taxpayer, it was started in August of 2012. The majority of the voters here were disgruntled, and in November we elected 2 new commissioners and changed the balance of power from 4-1 to 3-2 in favor of the people who actually live here.
You are indeed correct in stating that the city limits of Sarasota are actually small, and most Sarasota zip codes and addresses are actually in unincorporated Sarasota County, not the City of Sarasota.
I myself would like to clarify that my original post was not intended in any way to be a knock at Sarasota. I love Sarasota. I lived there for 5 years and we have many friends who live there and we visit quite often and enjoy all that Sarasota has to offer. I was merely pointing out that the "area", and by that I mean the MSA (metropolitan statistical area) is now North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, not Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice anymore. As the (incorporated) city with the largest population between Tampa and Naples, we have long been ignored, but since the MSA is an official U.S. government defined area, people from elsewhere now looking at the area are informed that this is "the North Port area".
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,036 posts, read 4,278,176 times
Reputation: 2548
Quote:
Originally Posted by StepHome941 View Post
When I first moved here in 1998, the MSA (metropolitan statistical area) was Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice. After the results of the 2010 census, the area was renamed as the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota area, since the MSA goes by city population.

In 1998, there were barely 20,000 people living in North Port. We are now the largest city in the region, pushing 60,000 people. Bradenton bypassed Sarasota in population, and Venice is no longer one of the 3 largest cities.

I doubt that the Forum will actually be renamed as North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, but if you want to get technical, we all live in "the North Port area" now...

I will refer to an article from the Sarasota Herald Tribune real estate reporter, Howard Bubil, regarding this topic titled "Map tells a different story....."
Map tells a different MSA story on North Port- Sarasota-Bradenton region | HeraldTribune.com

My post was certainly not an attack on North Port. I was simply pointing out that there are big differences between North Port with it's huge land area but low population for the square miles vs the very populated Sarasota metro area (which does not reflect the additional thousands and thousands of visitors and temporary winter residents in our area).

North Port is growing again, which is good news for the community, although that new growth does come at a price. My point is that the MSA information is misleading and would give the wrong impression to "newbies" to the Sarasota area that would assume that North Port and Sarasota, because the population is similar in size, are also similar in most other ways as well -- and they are not. Sarasota has a big city feel, North Port is a small town with many areas within the city limits actually rural.

General Development, the corporation that created North Port, laid out a large grid of paved streets in the 1950's. When they dropped out of the real estate venture, they abandoned the miles upon miles of streets. I've been to North Port on numerous occassions, once outside of specific subdivisions and areas near US41, you'll find those grids of crumbling roads, sometimes with 1 or many 2 homes on them and the rest of the lots are vacant, brush filled lots. (Which also contributes to the brush fire problems in the area each spring during the dry months.)

As I said previously, no one size fits all and North Port does have appeal for some buyers looking for a more rural, less traffic way of life then what you'll find in metro Sarasota.


This is why I always tell buyers relocating to a new area to do as much independent research on an area as they can before they take the plunge and purchase a home. The more information you have, the more informed choices you make and hopefully the happier you will be with your home purchase decision.

Last edited by Sunshine Rules; 02-20-2013 at 01:34 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
8,144 posts, read 7,469,555 times
Reputation: 17054
Thank you Sunshine for the wonderful reply.

North Port is not, and will never be Sarasota.
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