Punta Gorda Isles or Burnt Store Isles…Which Is The Best Waterfront Community?
I’m often asked which waterfront community is the best, Punta Gorda Isles or Burnt Store Isles. On every level they’re both premier waterfront neighborhoods that offer a lot of value not found anywhere else and are especially liked by boaters. Perhaps a better question I ask my clients is “which of these waterfront communities fits you best?”. After spending a day with me looking at property and discussing the features and unique aspects of each neighborhood in detail most of my buyer clients are able to make a well-informed decision on which one will suit them best.
So let’s take a closer look at both of these waterfront neighborhoods…
Map view with neighborhood boundries
Punta Gorda Isles (PGI) and Burnt Store Isles (BSI) share a number of features that separate them from other similar communities. Both are “Deed Restricted Communities” which means that a homeowners association is involved and has rules and regulations pertaining to the use of land and the look of the neighborhood. Punta Gorda Isles is under what’s called a “Special Over Lay District” within the city of Punta Gorda that was established back in 1995. The Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association decided to work with the city of Punta Gorda and developed the “special over lay district” that adopted its deed restrictions. By doing so it preserves the unique character of the community and provides the resources to properly enforced them. Burnt Store Isles continues to be governed by its own association called Burnt Store Isles Association (BSIA) with similar deed restrictions to Punta Gorda Isles.
Seawalls and Canals
Both neighborhoods are well known for being boating communities with direct access to Charlotte Harbor and onto the Gulf of Mexico. One of the features that make both neighborhoods desirable is The Canal Maintenance Division of the City of Punta Gorda which is responsible for the maintenance of the canal system in both locations. This is a significant benefit to both communities with Punta Gorda Isles having 91 miles of seawalls and 45 miles canals. Burnt Store Isles has 18 miles of seawalls and 9 miles of canals. Home owners in Punta Gorda Isles are assessed an annual fee of $550 per lot for canal maintenance. The annual Burnt Store Isles assessment is $570 per lot. When you consider all that goes into maintaining the waterways and seawalls this is a bargain especially when considering the major damage that can be caused by hurricanes. Punta Gorda sustained over $30 million of seawall damage as a result of hurricane IRMA in September 2017 which was cover mostly by the state, FEMA and city of Punta Gorda.
As you’ll see there are some similarities but as we look deeper, we’ll notice some significant differences.
Parcels and Lots
Punta Gorda Isles has a much larger canal network. It has 9145 parcel/lots of which 7780 are waterfront. A total of 8370 have been developed of which 7244 are waterfront. Only 770 remain undeveloped of which 623 are waterfront.
Burnt Store Isles 1832 total parcels/lots of which 1103 are waterfront. A total of developed residential is 1594 of which 930 are waterfront. Only 237 are vacant of which 173 are waterfront. A couple things to note; PGI is roughly 5 times larger than BSI. Both have a small percentage of vacant lots/parcels of which most are corner lots with a small waterfront limiting boat size.
Here are some examples…
Development Over The Years
Development of Punta Gorda Isles started building back in the early sixties while Burnt Store Isles didn’t start until the early eighties. Both neighborhoods are well established and considered mature with limited vacant lots. PGI has older homes in prime sailboat/large boat water that are now being scraped/removed with new construction going up. This is being driven by two factors; 1) lack of prime building lots and 2) rapidly rising flood insurance for older homes built with elevation levels too low for today’s standards. This has created an interesting eclectic mix of old and new homes in some of the most expensive neighborhoods within Punta Gorda Isles.
Shops, Restaurants & Attractions
Punta Gorda Isles is by far more well-known than Burnt Store Isles. It’s location places it much closer to the city with only the Historic District being closer. Fishermen’s Village with 38 shops and restaurants attracts 1.5 million visitors annually plays a major role in bring attention to Punta Gorda Isles. With walking scores playing a role with new buyers many of PGI neighborhoods are walking distance to Fishermen’s Village and downtown. Harbor Walk also starts at Fishermen’s Village and carries through along the waterfront to Gilchrist Park and into downtown. Punta Gorda Isles also hosts the popular Ponce de Leon park with its beach area and great sunsets and Isles Yacht Club.
Burnt Store Isles on the other hand has a strong appeal and its own charm. Because its development started 20 years after PGI it’s neighborhoods and landscaping are more consistent. The Burnt Store Isles Association is very strong and well supported as well as Twin Isles Golf Club with its social club, restaurant and pool.
No need to travel far for your basic services such as Public’s (groceries) Walgreens, Home Depot among others are all next to the development. Just up the street is a Walmart Super Center and a new Aldi’s. So for many, Burnt Store Isles fits like a glove.
Real Estate Information
To learn more about how to buy real estate in either Punta Gorda Isles or Burnt Store Isles, especially if you don’t live in the area, please feel free to contact me as I have extensive experience in working with out of state / 2nd home buyers and know how to make the process as simple and convenient as possible.
Ken Poirier can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-661-9773.