Real Estate Gossip

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NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH Lido Beach grows up. The boutique real estate known as Lido Key is a quiet enclave of private residences and tony condominiums that’s famous for its sugary white-sand beach and leafy public park at the south end. In the past few years, ultra-luxury condominium projects such as The Ritz Beach Residences and Orchid […]


NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Lido Beach grows up.

The boutique real estate known as Lido Key is a quiet enclave of private residences and tony condominiums that’s famous for its sugary white-sand beach and leafy public park at the south end. In the past few years, ultra-luxury condominium projects such as The Ritz Beach Residences and Orchid Beach Club have replaced a few old mom-and-pop motels along the beach. Residents and winter visitors take full advantage of their close proximity to St. Armands’ world-class shops and restaurants, which is surrounded by lovely neighborhoods that have been around since John Ringling himself was developing property here.

Total number of property owners: 1,866
Total number of single-family sales 2/2007-2/2008: 78
Range of sale prices: $270,000 to $7.4 million
Range of square footage: 593 to 10,670

Sample Listing
A sophisticated five-bedroom home at 445 McKinley Drive is currently listed at $3,749,000. Built in 2002, it’s set on a private walled and gated lot adjacent to one of the area’s deepest natural bayous and has a new seawall and deepwater dock. Tall sliding windows create a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors. The 65-foot infinity pool and spa are an ideal focal point for entertaining. Stuart Mattison and Laura Brady of SKY Sotheby’s International Realty are the listing agents.

Recent Sale
A contemporary Gulf-front home at 165 Bryant Drive sold recently for $5,122,500 after an original list price of $6.8 million. Designed by award-winning architect Guy Peterson, the 4,276-square-foot home is surrounded by sand and water, creating a sense of total privacy yet opening to the beauty of its surroundings with incredible horizon views. Linda Roe Dickinson of Michael Saunders & Company was the listing agent and Sylvia Zimmerman of Prudential Palms Realty was the selling agent. Previous sale: $645,000 in December 1996 (the current home was built in 1998).

MLS statistics courtesy of Stuart Mattison of SKY Sotheby’s International Realty. MLS records transactions and listings by members of the Sarasota Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

GREAT VALUE
Peter Wolff of Hunt Real Estate ERA has listed a luxuriously appointed, three-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot bayfront condominium at $2.55 million, making it one great value for one lucky buyer. It’s in Bellagio Harbor Village on Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey, directly across from Casey Key. Designed as an active waterfront condominium community where residents and their guests can enjoy a variety of activities set around a recreational, nautical waterfront theme, Bellagio Harbor Village was built in 2007 to the latest hurricane safety regulations.

But all of that is still not what makes this unit such a deal. “Because the building was constructed in the shape of an ‘L,’” explains Wolff, “this particular condominium is on the extreme west end closest to the water, giving one the sense of living in a separate residence. Instead of overlooking neighboring condominiums or adjacent buildings, it fronts on the water, with open water views from every window and proximity so close to the water that you could almost fish from the lanai. Additionally, this condo comes with its own deeded deepwater dock located right behind the unit, and since there are just 23 dock spaces for 53 units, not everyone gets to put their boat right in their own back yard.” The address is 14021 Bellagio Way, #201.

Top of the Market
A Bird Key Record Setter
A new record for real estate on Bird Key was set in January with the $6.9 million sale of a residence at 642 Mourning Dove Drive. The classically styled, five-bedroom estate has a waterside swimming pool surrounded by shell stone deck, a luxurious spa and 42-foot deepwater dock. It sports the most extraordinary water views on Bird Key and was built to the highest hurricane standards. Mickey and Brooke Callanen of Three Fish Waterfront Estates created this perfect package with custom builder Bella Casa and architect Cliff Scholtz. It is the fourth property the Callanens have built in Sarasota. They were successful real estate developers in Connecticut, but he’s probably best known for his marketing success in creating demand for branded timepieces with Guess watches in the 1980s. Marcia Salkin and Paulene Soublis of Premiere Properties were the listing agents and Premier Plus was the company that sold it.

Sales information provided by Kim Ogilvie of Michael Saunders & Company.

Dash of Spice
Beneath majestic old oaks on an eight-acre parcel on south Siesta Key, Perrone Construction is building a new enclave of homes with a dash of Caribbean island flavor and an Old Florida feel. Spice Bay has 14 half-acre home sites, four of them direct waterfront, with 450 feet of frontage along Sarasota Bay. The Dutch and British West Indies architecture evokes Old World charm, with many windows and doors to allow tropical breezes to flow freely. Homes will use light colors to reflect sunlight and minimize heat, louvered shutters to allow airflow, and awnings to catch and guide cooling breezes. The eco-friendly and virtually maintenance-free landscape design will incorporate lush native vegetation. All owners will have access to a community dock, and on-site boat slips are available.

“This is a very exciting project for us,” says Richard Perrone, overseer of the architectural review board and head of Perrone Construction. “With our 28 years of experience building luxury waterfront homes, combined with the talent and capabilities of the architects we have chosen, this development will display top-notch quality and character.”

Walk This Way
Andres Duany’s New Urbanist philosophy of human-scale, walkable communities is alive and well at Citrus Square—the first new community to be built in downtown Sarasota in two years—which is rising on Orange Avenue just north of Fruitville Road. Boutique-style condominiums priced from the mid-$200s to the $500s will be set above ground-level shops and restaurants, outdoor cafes, green spaces and an open plaza. Tree-lined streets and distinctive lampposts will add a traditional neighborhood ambiance reminiscent of some of America’s and Europe’s most charming cities.

Mark Pierce of Pierce Contracting is encouraged that construction is ahead of schedule. “Breaking ground last January was an exciting milestone for us and for Sarasota,” he says. “We are following the principles that Andres Duany has long recommended for our downtown core, with a design that promotes community spirit, safety and an innovative blending of traditional and contemporary.”

New buyers are also excited because Citrus Square opens a door to downtown living for them. “The range of pricing offers an opportunity for a diversity of ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, which only adds to the cultural richness of the community,” says George Birkhold, Pierce’s business partner.

Michael Saunders, whose real estate company is the exclusive selling agent, describes Citrus Square as “just the sort of pedestrian friendly, live-work-play neighborhood that makes areas like New York’s Chelsea and Greenwich Village such wonderful and stimulating places to live.”

And the Winner Is
Lakewood Ranch Communities recently recognized the agents who sold the most homes in Lakewood Ranch and those who earned the highest numbers in client visits and sales of new homes as part of last fall’s Amazing Rewards Program. The winners of the 2007 Amazing Rewards Program were Rick Libro of Re/Max Properties, Beth Pheney of Michael Saunders & Company and Pat McMillan of Lakewood Ranch Realty. The 2007 Top Realtor, as ranked by number of sales, was McMillan.

Rooks Morris Real Estate also announced that Doug Parks is its 2007 Top Producer in sales volume. Parks specializes in Sarasota’s waterfront and boating communities.

Best of the Beach
A redesigned seaside paradise on Longboat Key is attracting buyers seeking the ultimate in waterfront living. Wicker Beach will be comprised of six exquisite villas finished with meticulous attention to detail and the finest craftsmanship, including premium cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, marble showers, premium flooring and separate his-and-her bathrooms. Each villa’s amenities will include a large terrace, outdoor fireplace and grill, private two-or three-car garage and full-time caretaker. Private spas, swimming pools and gardens will be available with certain units. Residents can take a luxurious swim in the lagoon sanctuary that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico and opens into a large, gently curved free-form pool with private beach entry. Floor plans range from 3,284 to 3,749 square feet and are priced from $3.65 million to $3.95 million. U.S. Assets Group is the developer and the Cheryl Loeffler team of SKY Sotheby’s International Realty is handling sales.

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