The best neighborhood in Sarasota? That’s a tricky thing to actually put in writing, but I do know that Harbor Acres would be in the top two or three on anybody’s list. It’s got everything—perfect location, beautiful setting, gorgeous yet individualistic homes, and a population that includes the richest, most socially prominent people in town.
And the biggest tip-off of all? It’s where the heart surgeons live. If you want to figure out the best neighborhood in any city, look for the heart surgeons.
Harbor Acres is just south of downtown, right on the bay. Most of the homes are on several natural peninsulas that extend out into the water, creating natural canals and inlets. Most of it is sailboat water, a real estate term meaning the water is deep enough for the keel of a large sailboat. This is rare and highly desirable.
The homes are eclectic in a stylish sort of way, with the inevitable new Spanish Meds and big traditional homes, plus some older ones that date back 50 or 60 years, still impeccably maintained and enlarged and gussied up over the years. There are also several beautiful modern homes.
There isn’t much on the market in Harbor Acres. With only about 160 homes, the good stuff goes quick. And people who want to sell are putting it off for a while, waiting for the market to come back. But there is one classic Harbor Acres home at 1348 Harbor Drive. It’s one of the oldies, dating back to 1957, but it has been extensively enlarged and remodeled over the years and now has a rambling 7,700 square feet on a third of an acre lot—with a 60-foot dock.
The interior has a lot of light cypress paneling and Mexican tile floors, making it both warm and crisp at the same time. It has two master suites, an office, an exercise room and a state-of-the-art kitchen. It has a family feel, as do many of the homes in Harbor Acres. It’s priced at $3,200,000. Call Christine Mazur at (941) 907-9595.
Harbor Acres is famous for its views of the bridge, Bird Key and the downtown skyline. There are several prime lots available, but they don’t come cheap. Expect to pay between 2 and 3 million dollars for the best views.
Any bargains? The house at 1580 Hillview is priced at $989,000, and yes, it is on the water—at the head of a canal. Call Lenore Treiman at (941) 966-8000. And there’s a cute little house at 1361 Harbor Drive that’s being sold as a teardown. It’s across the street from the water and is priced at $565,000. Nice, but hardly fit for a heart surgeon.