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A Walk in Laurel Park

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There’s lots for sale right now in this charming downtown neighborhood.   The quintessential Sarasota neighborhood? Without a doubt, that would be Laurel Park. I’m partial to it, I admit. I have lived and/or worked there ever since I moved to Sarasota. I’ve seen it change from a rundown and slightly raffish area of rednecks […]

October 24, 2007


There’s lots for sale right now in this charming downtown neighborhood.
 
The quintessential Sarasota neighborhood? Without a doubt, that would be Laurel Park. I’m partial to it, I admit. I have lived and/or worked there ever since I moved to Sarasota. I’ve seen it change from a rundown and slightly raffish area of rednecks and elderly eccentrics into the enclave it always had the potential to be—a miniature version of Key West, with its funky architecture and tropical alleyways.
 
Its current popularity is well-earned. The new houses are gorgeous and very expensive (anywhere from $600,000 to a million and a half), but the best part is the way they blend in with the old structures. The place is dotted with houses from the ‘20s but it also has several tacky 1970s apartment buildings—in their defense, they are now starting to look quaint—and some Cracker houses that have yet to see the remodeler’s tool. But these elements only add to the bohemian charm. If you like Greenwich Village, then you’ll like Laurel Park.
 
There is a lot for sale in Laurel Park at the moment, and some of it is priced very well. (Some of it is priced like it was two years ago, but that’s another story.) Here are some examples of the types of houses you can find:
 

This top-of-the-line new house on Cherry Lane is listed at $967,000. It’s four bedrooms, 3,000 square feet, and has a pool. It’s got a great setting, tucked away and tropical. It’s listed by Avalar.

 

 

The property on Cherry Lane in Laurel Park.

 

 

This 1925 bungalow is more typical of most of the Laurel Park housing stock. It’s a bit small (just 786 square feet) and is listed at $359,000 by Coppola Realty. Two bedrooms, one bath, renovated, with two screened porches and a big back yard.

 

 

Exterior and kitchen of a charming bungalow on Ohio Place.

 

 Laurel Park is full of rentals, and its most interesting duplex is now on the market. I call it the duplex from Havana. There’s something about the curved glass wall of the living room and the perfect back yard—a weathered deck, framed by tall oaks. One side has been nicely and hiply remodeled. The other is still pretty original (circa 1955), with terrazzo and jalousie windows and original tile in the kitchen and bath. It’s at 626 Columbia Court. Gaia Goldman (by the way, she lives in Laurel Park) is the lister for Michael Saunders. 587-4935.

 
For an in-depth video tour of Laurel Park with lots of insider information, go to Mr. Chatterbox on our Web site, sarasotamagazine.com.