Burnt Store Road, or Florida Route 768, is the main road connecting Punta Gorda south to Cape Coral. Originally a cattle trail for ranchers to take their herd south to the loading docks near Punta Rassa, the only landmark along the trail was a trading post. The legend says that a tribe of local Indians, led by Chief Billy Bowlegs, got angry with the owner of the store because the Army had told him to stop selling liquor to the tribe. They burned the store to the ground, and the burnt store remained the only useful landmark along this trail for many years.
Where Burnt Store Road begins at the intersection with Tamiami Trail, US Route 41, there are three modular home/RV Parks, most of them for age 55 and older, and owned by a homeowner association for which you must buy shares.
The northernmost of the deed-restricted communities adjacent to Burnt Store Road is Seminole Lakes, which actually has its main entrance on Route 41. This is a golf course community with about 500 single family homes built with zero lot lines. Many of these small lots have a golf course or lake view, and there is a nice community pool and fitness center, with remarkably low monthly HOA fees.
The next deed-restricted neighborhood south on Burnt Store Road is Burnt Store Meadows, which also has an entrance on Route 41. At this writing, The Meadows is about 50% built out, with about 600 single family homes, and a small cluster of condos. Most homes are classic Florida style CBS (concrete block with stucco), 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage, and many have pools with screened cages. The HOA here is very strict about upkeep, and the homes and vacant lots reflect this quality of a deed-restricted community.
As you proceed south, just east of Burnt Store Road is South Punta Gorda Heights, a NON-deed-restricted area with a mix of nice homes and poorly-kept properties with rusted boat trailers and other eyesores aplenty.
Further south is primarily abandoned orange groves and wildlife preserves for several miles until you approach Tern Bay on the west. This was a very ambitious golf course community which became a victim of the housing crash and Great Recession in 2007. It has a cluster of condos and homes, which are mostly rentals, and the receivership is waiting for a developer to pay all of old impact fees and other costs to resume building this large project. Seems unlikely at this time.
A few miles further south on the east side of Burnt Store Road we find another age 55+ modular home community named Burnt Store Colony. Like the other similar communities, these dwellings frequently sell by owner and are not commonly listed with realtors.
On the west side of Burnt Store Road in this area is a NON-deed-restricted community of Pirate Harbor. Most of these homes are on nice canals, are attractive and well kept, and the prices reflect this. However, there continue to be some older, tired homes here with no inclination to improve their property, an unfortunate result of the lack of deed restrictions.
Further south on the east side of the road is another deed-restricted community named Burnt Store Village, which is about one-fourth developed at this time. It consists of more modest homes, which are a good value, and the only amenity is a playground.
On the west side of Burnt Store Road at this point is the deed-restricted community of Burnt Store Lakes, which is about one-third developed. As the name implies, there are eleven small man-made lakes, and about half of the existing homes have a lake view. These are fairly upscale homes, and one of the chief amenities of The Lakes is the fact that it is next door to a place with ALL of the amenities typically found in an upscale Florida community…Burnt Store Marina.
Due to its size and complexity, The Marina will be the subject of my next blog…stay tuned!