Character, history and great prices in Bradenton’s Ware’s Creek.
By Robert Plunket
Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie on TV discussing Ware's Creek.
Bradenton has several wonderful old neighborhoods that surround the downtown district, but the nicest may well be Wares Creek. It’s got block after block of old houses, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and all the classic styles of American vernacular architecture are represented. The residents are a mixed bunch – retired people, working class, gentrifying young families: a little bit of everything.
If you’re in the market for a great old house, full of character and history, this is the place you must check out. The variety is amazing, the prices are great, and the atmosphere is straight out of that block Judy Garland lived on in Meet Me in St Louis.
Luckily, three of the nicest Wares Creek houses happen to be on the market right now. The first is this big 1925 Spanish house on Sixth Avenue West. It was built by the Reasoner family, who are still around (Reasoner Nurseries). They’re credited with developing the pink grapefruit. Talk about local history!
2433 Sixth Ave West
This is a big house, four bedrooms and more than 4,000 square feet. The current owners have done an excellent job of renovating it, and have kept most of the original features, including ceramic tiles, custom woodwork, and the clawfoot bath tub. There are also stained glass windows, coffered ceilings, crown molding, even a built-in safe, where, I like to think, the Reasoners kept the original pink grapefruit. It’s got everything an old house nut could want – even a mother-in-law apartment that could bring in $600 a month. Contact the owner Cynthia Hooper at 941-750-9045. Asking price: $449,000.
624 19th St. W.
Next is this great Colonial Revival, located at 624 19th St. W. This is a classic upper middle class home from the 1930s, the sort of place the town lawyer or doctor would have lived in. It has a traditional layout, with a formal dinning room and sunporch/den downstairs, and the master bedroom has an old fashioned sleeping porch. There is a detached garage with an upstairs apartment. The renovation has been top notch; check out the large kitchen and the vintage tile in the bathrooms. This place was on the market several years ago for over $500,000. Now it’s even more fixed up and down to $369,900. Call Jayne Kocher at 941-915-6000.
2322 Seventh Ave. W.
And finally, take a look at this Craftsman bungalow from 1925. The trick with this kind of house is to restore the interior in an authentic way, and that’s exactly what the owner has done. It’s got heart of pine floors throughout, plus mission-style details, including a brick fireplace with adjacent seats. The dinning room has oak trim and plate rails; the kitchen is completely modern, but still blends in perfectly. It’s two bedrooms, one bath, 1,283 square feet, with a xeriscape yard. And the price is great: $218,000. (This house in Sarsota would cost twice as much.) Call Lynda Melnick at 941-744-2727.
By the way, there really is a creek, and after years of flip flopping, they’re finally going to dredge it, starting early next year. You’ll be able to get to the Manatee River and then out to the gulf. Vern Buchanan was instrumental in getting this through – hurray for earmarks, at least the ones in our own backyard.