If you want something arty and off the beaten path, take a look at Old Bradenton Road.
By Robert Plunket
Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discuss this artsy find on ABC7.
The area of north Sarasota that lies between Ringling College of Art and Design and New College of Florida, east of Tamiami Trail, is one of the oldest and oddest in town. It is by no means a fancy neighborhood, and a lot of it is downright shabby. But it has some of the most remarkable vegetation and trees—enormous oaks, tropical plants, kudzu covering everything, dense and green. And tucked away here and there are unique homes that are perfect for artists, teachers, craftsmen, students—people who don’t care about middle-class appearances. They want more of a handmade vibe, something in tune with nature, maybe even a New Age atmosphere.
4125 Old Bradenton Road
One of the nicest and most unique has just come on the market. It’s right on Old Bradenton Road, the area’s “main street.” But it’s totally fenced and so private you might be living out in the country. There’s over half an acre (four lots) and the back yard seems to go on forever. Remember the Alley Cat Café, that great funky little restaurant that used to be downtown? This place is owned by the same family, and it has that same aesthetic—found objects and sculptures made from this and that, and placed in odd corners.
The cottage itself dates from the 1920s but has been totally updated, with new everything including a metal roof and three-ton air-conditioner. It’s small (about 800 square feet) but has cathedral ceilings in all the rooms, so it seems light and airy. I love the kitchen—the owner is a skilled carpenter/craftsman and he made the wooden counters, installed a stained glass window, and put in the custom cabinets. There is Mexican tile in each room, a laundry area, and even though there is only one bedroom, it’s large and there’s a sleeping loft in the living area. It would be easy to add on to the house in the back. This would be a great place to raise kids if you have a home-schooling, counter-culture sensibility.
The price is counter-culture too—$150,000. Call Jane Kelly at (941) 544-5855.