Neighborhood Watch

By: Carol Tisch

“Bird Key is experiencing a renaissance,” says George Appel of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, who has lived in nine residences in the manicured bayfront neighborhood since moving to Sarasota in the early 1980s. A scrappy spoil island that underwent transformative dredging projects in the 1920s and early 1960s, Bird Key is a boater’s paradise […]


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“Bird Key is experiencing a renaissance,” says George Appel of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, who has lived in nine residences in the manicured bayfront neighborhood since moving to Sarasota in the early 1980s.

A scrappy spoil island that underwent transformative dredging projects in the 1920s and early 1960s, Bird Key is a boater’s paradise that’s home to a mix of year-round professionals and snowbirds (and its own share of celebs, like Jerry Springer and AC/DC’s lead man, Brian Johnson). Its proximity to downtown Sarasota, now unimpeded thanks to the handsome new Ringling Causeway, has its popularity soaring once again. “A lot of doctors consider buying on Bird Key because the new fixed bridge means they can get to the hospital faster,” says Appel. “People are taking the older homes at a good price, tearing them down and building mega-homes.”

Recent listing: Appel is listing a modern, Guy Peterson-designed home at 647 Mourning Dove Drive. The 5,286-square-foot bayfront residence, built in 2004, has five bedrooms and five en-suite baths plus two half-baths, a two-story living room and chef’s kitchen with double appliances. A dramatic glass-floored staircase leads to the second-floor master suite. “It’s been on the market for quite some time because it’s contemporary, and most people like traditional,” concedes Appel. List price: $5,894,000.

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516
Total number of
Bird Key properties

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40
Total number of sales
from 10/2010 to 10/2011

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$407,000 to
$4.95 million

Range of sale prices

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2,098 to 6,570
Range of square footage

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