Overgrown former Forest Lakes Golf Club could get new development

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SARASOTA - When its developer's field of dreams went bust, a former golf course became a field of weeds. Now another developer has proposed a new development on the former Forest Lakes Golf Club land.

Many people who live in the neighborhood off Beneva Road had homes that backed up to fairways and greens. Now their homes sit next to pockets of overgrown brush, and "NO TRESSPASSING" signs warning people to stay away. The former home of birdies and pars now welcomes butterflies and bees.

Few people have a more visibly persistent reminder of the housing bubble's bursting.

Last month, a developer presented a plan to the homeowners association to build a new golf facility, a clubhouse, and some homes on the land. "There's no reason they wouldn't approve it," says Jack Krohn of his fellow Forest Lake homeowners. "You're talking about land that's been left to grow wild, and making something out of it."

But while there's interest on both sides, no firm plans exist, and there's no timetable for when redevelopment might happen. If and when it does, it could provide a big boost to a neighborhood that endured the worst of the bust.