Family-friendly community combines beautiful natural surroundings with energy efficient development
When Oakleaf Hammock in Ellenton was first developed in 2006, it was designed with working families in mind. Located north of the Manatee River east of I-75, the community combined quiet seclusion with excellent location. Spacious, 3- to 5-bedroom houses, many of them two stories high, offered a variety of open floor plans with cathedral ceilings. The architecture was Florida modern with Mediterranean style elements.
The name Oakleaf Hammock reflects the original builder’s vision of combining beautiful natural surroundings with energy efficient development. Ryland Homes, at the time the fifth largest residential construction company in the United States, selected a large tract of Florida wetlands and designated large areas throughout the neighborhood as preserves, replete with mature oak trees and lush, dense vegetation.
More than 20 lakes and ponds offer attractive backdrops for many of the homes while providing reclaimed water for the community’s irrigation system. The entire community is a refuge for wildlife and birds.
Today, Oakleaf Hammock maintains many of the original environmental features and family-friendly atmosphere, notably a children’s playground, a basketball court, a multipurpose sports field, and a picnic area. While there is no community clubhouse or pool, many of the homes have their own private swimming pools and lanais. As a result, homeowners association fees are quite reasonable.
The elementary and middle schools, Virgil Mills and Buffalo Creek, are less than a mile away. Palmetto High School is a bit farther off, 6.1 miles to the west.
The Ellenton Premium Outlet Mall is almost within walking distance. It is a popular tourist venue with retail shopping, a food court and the Ellenton Ice and Sport Complex that offers ice hockey, figure skating and in-line skating. Restaurants, grocery stores, banks and a U.S. Post Office are close by on Route 301. A number of golf courses north of the Manatee River are a short drive away, as is the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish.
By Chris Angermann