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Highlight of fall 2016 events

by Roger Pettingell

An increased activity of arts and festivals

Local venues ramp up as snowbirds are welcomed back

Aerial view of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center
Aerial view of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center

This is the final week of summer, hope you had an enjoyable season. Now we head into fall and the festival and arts seasons are warming up. Soon the snowbirds will have returned and the schedule of events increase. Dormant venues come alive with a full slate of arts. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center has a new show practically every night with high quality performances from the touring stars. The local theatres have presented their line-up of plays and the annual festivals have announced their themes for the 2016-2017 season.

In just a few short weeks The Ringling International Arts Festival kicks off a four-day event schedule with its opening ceremony, a celebration of Brazilian culture in the museum courtyard. Performances also start on that opening day, October 13 with acts from around the world. Doug Elkins performs a choreographed show in the Asolo Repertory Theatre while the Eighth Blackbird can be seen in the Historic Asolo Theatre. These two shows start on opening day and continue for three days. Gravity & Other Myths will be performed all four days of the festival in its appropriate venue, the Ringling Circus Museum. In total there are 11 different performances of one-day, two-day and other three-day lectures, concerts and live shows to experience.

An annual celebration of Midcentury Modern Architecture, Sarasota MOD, attracts worldwide renown architects to the area in order to further their profession. The 2016 event presented by the Sarasota Architectural Foundation showcases one the leaders of the Sarasota School of Architecture, Victor Lundy. The three-day event begins Friday, November 11.

An opening reception for Old Florida, a 21st Century Interpretation will be held October 7 in the Longboat Key Center for the Arts. The art exhibition runs through November 11 with paintings by Joseph Arnegger, Tim Jaeger and Tom Stephens. As part of the Ringling College of Art and Design, the Center for the Arts presents a curriculum for artists that want to continue their education or for those adults who wish to learn a new hobby for their retirement years.

Fright Night international guests
These international guests get into the spirit for Fright Night on Halloween in St. Armands Circle.

In October St. Armands Circle starts its fall series of car, boat and art shows. The Wilde on the Water Jaguar Festival and Concours for one day is hosted by The Sun Coast Jaguar Club on October 1. The following Saturday is the seventh annual Taste of St. Armands with 19 restaurants around the circle competing for top recognition. The St. Armands Boat Show is a weekend show in the circle October 22-23. One of the most well-attended events on the circle is the annual Fright Night on St. Armands, a spectacular of sights and sounds in celebration of Halloween on October 31. Be certain to stick around for the local high school zombie dance performance to the song Thriller by Michael Jackson.

Cars return to the circle November 5. The Ferrari Owners Club of the Florida region will display 75 cars competing for Best in Show in Ferrari's on the Circle. The last car show of the 2016 fall season is the Porsches in the Park event on December 10, now in its 12th year. Veterans are honored Friday, November 11, with special discounts. For the next two days that weekend the circle will come alive with the combined St. Armands Circle Annual Fall Sidewalk Sale and the 28th Annual St. Armands Art Festival, just in time for holiday shopping. And if that doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, the 38th Annual Holiday Night of Lights on St. Armands, December 2 is filled with events such as the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. Of course Santa will be there for the kids.

Theatre comes alive during this time too. The Wiz, a loose Wizard of Oz interpretation, will start October 12 at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and run for over a month through November 19. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves has a long run at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota from October 5 through January 29. The Players Centre for the Performing Arts will run the play Gypsy from September 28 through October 16. Young Frankenstein follows November 2-20. The Sunshine Boys will run at the Venice Theatre, September 27 through October 16. Venice Theatre will also be home to the play Toxic Avenger September 30 through October 23. Billy Elliot, a musical, will start November 8 at Venice Theatre and run through December 4. Get Out of Dodge runs at the Venice Theatre, November 3-20.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center has a variety of concerts, comedians and performances. Celtic Thunder, Doo Wop Spectacular, Mary Chapin Carpenter and ZZ Top are performances in October. Political satirists Capitol Steps, start a November series of acts. The holidays begin with themed concerts by Mannheim Steamroller, Decades Rewind, Dave Koz, Melissa Etheridge and Jim Brickman.

Ski-A-Rees water ski acrobats
Ski-A-Rees - Water ski acrobatics are performed every Sunday in their Ken Thompson Park stadium.

Since 1957 the Ski-A-Rees have thrilled crowds with their acrobatic water skiing. The first show of the season was earlier this month, held for free in Ski-A-Rees Stadium at their Ken Thompson Park location on City Island. The show starts at 2 p.m. each Sunday with this season running through November 13. You may never know what to expect from these acrobats, performers start at a very young age and continue well into their adulthood. You may even see a senior citizen or two, skiing next to a young adult. The Ski-A-Rees were honored this summer by hosting the Southern Regionals Tournament in June. This non-profit has performed all these years with generous donations at events and efforts such as the 24-hour online Giving Challenge that starts noon tomorrow, September 20.

Some of the non-profits in the area are supported through charity events such as the Giving Challenge tomorrow that I mentioned above. Last year $7 million was raised in one day to benefit 449 non-profits. This year over 550 organizations are represented in four surrounding counties. Coldwell Banker will host comedian John “Hippieman” Novosad, a CARES benefit at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre on Thursday. Last year the Coldwell Banker CARES program raised $65,000 for local non-profits. The Superheroes on Parade benefit for the Southeastern Guide Dogs organization is coming to a close. Over 50 larger-than-life dog sculptures were sponsored by local businesses. My sponsored dog, Buyer, will be part of a parade of these sculptures created by local artist Scott Joseph Moore, on Palm Avenue, October 8-9.

As the saying goes, “So much to do, and so little time to do it.” There are many events for all ages, check out our events page with 300 activities listed. And when you find the time, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

by Roger Pettingell

What were you doing on 9/11/2001?

Sarasota will have its place in history on that day

Commemorative flags on Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key
9/11 Commemorative flags - This past weekend the Longboat Key public works department placed 3,000 American flags along Gulf of Mexico Drive as an annual commemoration to September 11, 2001.

Yesterday was a day to reflect back 15 years to the events of the day. It was on that sunny September morning that four flights left east coast airports with passengers intent on destroying our way of life. Instead, our country responded as our ancestors did. We put away our petty differences and united with patriotism. New York and Washington D.C. provided courageous first responders to save citizen’s lives at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. With what I can imagine was a battle cry, passengers on United Airlines flight 93 heroically “rolled” to the cockpit in order to prevent possibly a greater national tragedy. World leaders offered their condolences and military support. And the nation watched, many contacting their local military enlistment office to offer their support. I remember that day as vividly as millions of other Americans do.

Sarasota had a special connection to the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001. The city was celebrating a visit from a sitting President, George W. Bush. That morning he left the Colony and Beach Tennis Resort on Longboat Key to jog four miles of our white sand beaches and likely gazed over the beautiful azure colors of the Gulf. It may have been a wondrous site for Bush, a reporter friend and the secret service crew.

By 9 AM the President was having an enjoyable visit with second grade students at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota. Reading from “The Pet Goat” was on the student curriculum for the day, but “No Child Left Behind” was on the President’s agenda. It was then that the tragic events were starting to unfold. Once the attacks were confirmed Bush made a famous announcement from the media center of this Sarasota school. The photos of White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispering the initial news into the ear of a seated President and the press gathering in the media center of the Sarasota school appear on nearly every timetable picture account of the day.

It was then that he was transported to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport where Air Force One was fueled and ready for a hasty departure. After a wave to the crowd the plane taxied and took off from SRQ. Members of the press later remarked that the plane took off and then immediately went vertical to reach maximum altitude in the shortest period of time. Those on board said they had never expected to experience a plane take off like that.

Air Force One was on its way to an undisclosed location. Reporters on the plane were instructed to turn off all phones to prevent a press leak and cell-phone tracking by terrorists. As news media is for an important story, a Shreveport, Louisiana television station still appeared and was at the airport to record the landing. That day Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport was participating in Global Guardian, an annual exercise to test the military in a time of nuclear war. He would later fly to Nebraska and return to Washington, D.C. 10 hours later.

The Sarasota connection will be etched into the memories of anyone who was here that day and recorded in the national archives for all of humanity to review in the future. But the connection to the events of 9/11 started one year before that. As the FBI tracked the previous whereabouts of the hijackers, they were drawn back to Sarasota and Longboat Key.

Here they learned that three of the hijackers were at Huffman Aviation for international flight training at Venice Municipal Airport in the year 2000. While here the hijackers lived in a home near the TPC Prestancia golf course community of Sarasota. The home was abandoned around the time of the attacks, later sold in 2003 and once again in August of last year.

We’ve all returned to our lives, a little less innocent. We’ve commemorated those who lost their lives that day such as that held at the National Cemetery in Sarasota on Monday. Some of us have emotional scars, some of us carry physical scars. On that Tuesday morning, terrorists unknowingly brought together a nation far quicker than I imagine any diplomat could. Sarasota was, and still is a great place to live, with a vast amount of history. We strive for greatness in the arts and the pleasures of the Gulf beaches. We thrive in fine dining and boutique retail stores. It is our home.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Higher education options in Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota colleges to send your children

Or take advantage of the Lifelong Learning Centers

University of South Florida, Manatee and Sarasota campus
University of South Florida - One of many area campuses offering degrees in many disciplines.

I hope you had a good Labor Day holiday weekend. The storm dropped enough water on our plants that we may not have to irrigate our lawns for a while. The winds and flooding caused some problems but we escaped the major damage caused by Hurricane Hermine. We were fortunate that the first hurricane to hit Florida in 11 years passed far to the north. We did break records with over 12 inches of rainfall. Now we can get back to our normal lives and our children can safely return to the classrooms. Our adult children will also be returning to school as each university begin their fall sessions. And we have plenty of opportunities for higher education in this area.

Within two miles on Tamiami Trail (Route 41), starting at the north by SRQ airport there are five colleges and universities. There is the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee branch. Near that branch of USF is New College of Florida. Within a couple blocks there is the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training on the Ringling Museum of Art grounds. One mile south are the campuses of the East West College of Natural Medicine and the Ringling Museum of Art and Design.

The University of South Florida is separately accredited in a system of USF that includes campuses in St. Petersburg and Tampa. The first freshman undergraduate students will be graduating soon, having opened in 2013. Some may go on for their master’s degrees offered through the USF program. USF also offers certification programs and has a lifelong learning center for older students that want to take on a second career or start a hobby during their retirement years. I outlined the Sarasota Institute of Lifelong Learning program in a Monday article on May 27, 2014.

The New College of Florida was ranked in U.S. News and World Report, tied for first in 2007 as the best public liberal arts college in the United States. The school has gone on to similar rankings in other classifications and continually ranks high in the number of Fulbright fellowship scholars. It is not as new as USF, having opened in 1960, the school had an enrollment of 834 students in the fall of 2014 with 73 full-time faculty members for their Bachelor of Arts program.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, Cook Theatre and Mertz Theatre
Asolo Repertory Theater - Multi-theatre Florida State University managed, home of the Historic Asolo, Cook and Mertz theatres on the Ringling grounds.

Sarasota has one of the best conservatory for the arts on the grounds of the Ringling Museum of Art, ranked in the top 25 as one of the best drama schools in the world by the Hollywood Reporter. Each year up to 12 students among thousands of applicants are accepted into the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory program. And for the last 11 years the director of the Asolo Conservatory, Greg Leaming, has lead students in four productions annually. Graduates of the program are eligible to join the Actors' Equity Association. FSU also maintains a Sarasota regional college of medicine with third- and fourth-year clinical training through local medical facilities.

Want to learn acupuncture? The East West College of Natural Medicine at 3808 N. Tamiami Trail offers Master’s Degrees in traditional Asian medicine, which includes programs in nutrition and exercise therapy.

Established in 1931 as a school of art with financial support of John Ringling in one of the last years of his life, the School of Fine and Applied Art of the John and Mable Ringling Art Museum opened its doors. The Ringling School of Art was chartered two years later and renamed to its current stature in 1970 as the Ringling College of Art and Design. In 2013 there were 1,364 students enrolled on a campus that includes the Longboat Key Center for the Arts.

There are many Sarasota parents living here to be close to their matriculating sons and daughters. Argosy University is one of 28 locations in the country owned by the Education Management Corporation. The institution offers degrees in psychology, education, business, health and liberal arts from its campus near Interstate 75 in Sarasota. Associate through doctorate degrees are offered in this private, for-profit, institution.

The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota enrolls 27,000 for-credit students annually with campuses in Venice, Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton. Non-credit classes are offered in business, personal and professional development, and driving safety. Since opening as one of the region’s first public colleges in 1959, the school has graduated over 44,000 students. There are small schools that also offer four-year degree programs. The ITT Technical Institute at University Park off Interstate 75 has a small enrollment of 71 students this year. Near ITT is a branch of Keiser University offering degree programs in business, criminal justice, education, health care, information technology, law, culinary arts and baking.

Head toward Tampa and find schools that enroll thousands of students including the University of Tampa, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College, The University of Tampa and Everest University, along with a number of smaller colleges. And when you are ready to send your bright student to college here and need a Sarasota residence, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for a free consultation and review of your housing needs.

Privateer - Community Spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Two buildings in one community at Privateer

On north end of club golf course and on the Gulf beach

1050 Longboat Club Rd, #906 for sale at the Privateer North
Sensational views - The sunsets are incredible from this new listing at Privateer North.

At the beginning of this month I highlighted L’Ambiance residences, a community of residences in two buildings at the south end of Longboat Club Road inside the gates of the Longboat Key Club. At the north end of Longboat Club Road are 116 residences in the Privateer community, recognized as Privateer North and Privateer South. Although common in structure and sharing many of the amenities, in this case each of the two buildings is represented by its own condominium association. Each also has its own in-house management company and participate in a joint commons association.

The Privateer is ideally situated on the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico coastline of Longboat Key. The white sands of the beach are pleasant to walk on as most of the sunlight is reflected by the sands. Dolphins weave and bob in the surf, sea turtles nest on the beach and an occasional manatee will be seen swimming by in the summer months when the water temperatures nurture their metabolism. These magnificent creatures retreat to the rivers and springs in the winter, best viewed during these months by the warm waters near the TECO power plant in Apollo Beach.

Golfers will enjoy playing the par 71 championship Links on Longboat golf course. Formerly Islandside golf course, the Links on Longboat was recently updated by designer Ron Garl, already known for its formidable 6,748 yards of fairways and greens. Its signature holes are the challenging par 5, 500-yard number 2 and the par 4, 420-yard 15th hole. The course is one of two of the Longboat Key Club, the other Harbourside Golf Course is a short distance away. Members of the Longboat Key Club enjoy other amenities including tennis, marina with yacht-sized docking and four fine restaurants.

Near Harbourside Golf Course are pharmacy, grocery shopping and more fine restaurants to choose from. But classic is its proximity to the famed St. Armands Circle with boutique shopping and fine dining. St. Armands Circle is rich in history with its relationship to the Ringling circus. Continue over the Ringling Bridge to Sarasota with its cultural arts diversity.

Updates at the Privateer
Recent updates - Some community updates include new swimming pool pavers and spa at Privateer

The amenities are plentiful in the Privateer. A recent addition is a spa for the residents to enjoy. It is near the Olympic sized pool and connected with a renovation project that included new pavers surrounding the two areas. Recent updates also include the addition of new equipment in the fitness center, where state-of-the art exercise appliances replaced aging equipment. A sauna was included for relaxation after a hard workout. The two tennis courts enhance an active lifestyle and two shuffleboard courts encourage social interaction. Covered and guest parking add to the value of ownership.

Many residences have been upgraded from their original designs in these units that were constructed in the years from 1972 to 1974. Within the past couple of years the Privateer did their own renovations to the exterior of each residence by replacing the solid walls on the terraces with clear balcony barriers for better Gulf viewing. Starting with a two-bedroom, two-bath floor plan of 1,080 square feet, choices continue upward to 1,736 square feet.

Advantages of furnished condos for sale in REALTALK #98
Advantages of furnished homes for sale - In my REALTALK™ #98 video I discuss the advantages of selling a home furnished. The option benefits buyers and sellers, discussed while sitting in the Privateer North #906 residence listed for sale furnished.

That is, if you find one available to purchase. I have listed a furnished condominium for sale at 1050 Longboat Club Rd, #906. I discussed buyer and seller advantages of homes for sale furnished in my REALTALK™ #98 video. This Privateer North property has two bedrooms, two baths and is updated throughout including kitchen, baths and flooring renovations to complete the makeover. This rare find of 1,409 square feet on the ninth floor has two patios. I also have a new listing added last week at 604 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key. This sensational home with pool and 130 feet of water frontage has five bedrooms and four and one-half bathrooms with a three-car garage. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of my listings or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
604 Mourning Dove Dr, Bird Key $2,895,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Lakewood Ranch - Community Spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Award-winning community attracts buyers

Recognized in the nation for green homes and planning

Lakewood Ranch community spotlight in REALTALK #97
REALTALK™ #97 - Visit Lakewood Ranch through history and amenities in this episode

In my August 4, REALTALK™ #97 video, our director of customer care and resident historian, Mary Kay Ryan, outlined some of the history of Lakewood Ranch, a community that has many of its own amenities within the city limits. She described the making of Lakewood Ranch from its beginning with the first home in 1900 to its groundbreaking in 1994 and emergence as a full community with the first homes built in 1995 in Summerfield Village.

Over its comparable short history Lakewood Ranch has become recognized as an award-winning community and place to raise a family or retire. It was cited as one of three United States communities to receive the first-ever American Trails Developer Award, awarded at the National Trails Symposium in 2008 to recognize this community with 150 miles of walking trails. In all of its ten neighborhoods, since its beginning in 2005 every home is certified by the Florida Green Building Coalition with its Green Home Standard. This certification for energy efficient and environmentally responsible homes credits Lakewood Ranch as the largest community in Florida to achieve such recognition. The golf courses at Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club were certified as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary, a program to enhance the environment. In 2013 Where to Retire magazine rated Lakewood Ranch as one of the 50 best master-planned communities for retirement living.

Environmentally responsible, Lakewood Ranch is continually following the lead of its Manatee County main developer, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc., established in 1905. In keeping with tradition, the newest development Waterside will be built to the standards of the Florida Green Building Coalition. This community will be built around a series of seven lakes with 20 miles of shoreline and will be the first Lakewood Ranch village in Sarasota County. Even boating activity will be limited to boats without internal combustion engines. Groundbreaking took place in April, home sales are expected to open next year with plans for 5,144 homes, condominiums and apartments.

Lakewood Ranch Country Club
Dining out - You can find fine and casual dining in the 44,000 square foot main clubhouse.

The lifestyle for residents of Lakewood Ranch is centered around a diversity of sports, events, social activities and relaxation. Arnold Palmer designed three of the four championship golf courses. There are 18 tennis courts with a stadium tennis court. Golf and tennis privileges are offered with a Lakewood Ranch Country Club membership. Members also have access to the clubhouses with fine and casual dining experiences. With a separate membership, the athletic center includes a variety of swimming and fitness opportunities.

A popular pastime on Sundays from mid-December to the first weekend in April, polo on horseback events are well-attended. Attendees get involved with tailgate contests, divot stomping and Clydesdale wagon rides.

The Premier Sports Campus spread out on 140 acres hosts a national series of competitions. From February 13-15 the campus will showcase the best of field hockey players in the nation with 190 teams participating and 350 total games in two age categories and one collegiate group. A wide variety of other sports from soccer to baseball are contested on 22 fields.

The Harvest Moon Classic in the second week of November attracts clay pigeon shooters from around the world to participate in four days at the Ancient Oak Gun Club in Lakewood Ranch. In 2014 the classic attracted 242 shooters. The gun club is open to the entire family and is a shotgun only facility. Once a month shooters compete at 14 stations and 100 targets in a National Sporting Clays Association series.

16210 Clearlake Ave, Lakewood Ranch
New Listings - See this home at 16210 Clearlake Ave., one of two new listings in Lakewood Ranch.

The remaining days can be spent shopping and dining on Main Street or in one of three parks in Lakewood Ranch. The first Friday of every month Main Street comes alive with vendors and bands that perform the top hits of the day at Music on Main. This is a free event that begins at 6 p.m. on music nights.

We displayed some of the video sights in REALTALK™ #97, but we also introduced two new listings in Lakewood Ranch. The first offers country club living at its finest, situated on the third hole at King’s Dunes golf course, 7213 Greystone Street. The second at 16210 Clearlake Avenue includes stunning lake views from this contemporary home designed by Mark Rutenberg. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Coldwell Banker programs to help sell homes

by Roger Pettingell

Coldwell Banker is number one for a reason

Distribution of your listing is syndicated worldwide

7213 Greystone St, Lakewood Ranch
Distribution - This new listing in Lakewood Ranch is syndicated to world-wide home-selling outlets

When you sign with a Coldwell Banker agent such as myself to sell your residence, you get more than an agent/broker, you receive the backing of a company that syndicates your sale information worldwide. For instance, an agent working in London can easily find information on your home sale and refer his client here. The listing and referral are a small part of the process when selling your home through the Coldwell Banker residential or Previews International program.

Those are just a couple of reasons why Coldwell Banker sells $20 million dollars a day of luxury properties here in the United States. While working with Fortune 500 companies, we successfully relocated 170,000 international executives last year, or 56% of the total relocations. Our area is a prime target for the foreign investors looking for their dream southern winter home.

There is a Coldwell Banker process that kicks in every time you place a home on the Multiple Listing Service with our office. It starts as the information of your listing populates the Coldwell Banker Homes website, or If the home qualifies as a Previews International home, your listing appears on that site too,

Coldwell Banker current eMarketing report
eMarketing report - Click on the image for the current Coldwell Banker analytics report

It is also syndicated out to the websites that homebuyers might begin their search for homes in the area. The popular sites of,, and are among the sites this information is sent to. When someone searches for a home on these sites a list will appear based on the parameters of the home buyer. When they see our client home for sale, they might click on that home for more information. When that click occurs a view is recorded. I have seen some reports with over a few thousand views of one of our homes on a single site such as Zillow. In our office we provide this information to our clients as a monthly Homebase Insight viewing report. For all of Coldwell Banker homes last month there were 44.8 million views on Zillow. See the Analytics Report to the left.

The report also is a record of and views. The July 2016 total activity on alone was 9.2 million visitors, who viewed 14.1 million homes. Within the past year was absorbed into the larger for a wider distribution of our homes for sale.

Through our CB Connect program that is now Dotsignal, our office is able to assign each listing with a code for mobile and newspaper distribution. When a code is activated by a potential buyer with one of our homes for sale, a lead is generated for my office to respond. These leads are recorded in the system. has been optimized to recognize mobile phone or tablet viewing. This optimization is important, last month the site was visited by viewers with 59% of total activity.

Coldwell Banker has another system for newspaper and magazine distribution. For each client listing, we attach at least one high resolution image that is suitable for print. We can populate information such as open houses and optimize your home in categories for special magazine publications or feature articles. The home office of Coldwell Banker reviews these listings and parse out those homes for print.

As part of the Coldwell Banker distribution your home could appear in the Wall Street Journal or Robb Report, publications for luxury homes. Coldwell Banker has exclusivity on based in London, relocating home owners from the United Kingdom and 50 other countries.

My independent agent website, provides a different experience for the home buyer. With our new Lifestyles section, your home is listed by a desired lifestyle and they can search with a single click by their choice of anything from Gulf of Mexico beachfront to one of two golf courses of the Longboat Key Club. Other areas include such lifestyles as Lido Key condominiums or St. Armands Circle single-family homes. These single click searches complement our community searches.

Our single property sites, which assigns every listed address with its own website are also syndicated to popular search sites. On these sites we can provide more information on the area, schools and government. But we can also include extra photos, video, floor plans and links to current Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) reports or upcoming events in the area.

It is no wonder then that Coldwell Banker has 56% of the local pending sales and 35% of the current listings. Our listing percentage will typically jump to 50% in the winter months as many of the second-home market buyers flock to Sarasota and Longboat Key for their luxury seasonal home.

It is for all these reasons that helped me propel home sales to $74 million in 2015 and $63 million in closed and pending sales volume so far this year. I have a good inventory of homes, including this new listing last week in Lakewood Ranch that rests on the third green of the Kings Dunes golf course. This home at 7213 Greystone Street, built in 2011 offers country club living at its best. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
7213 Greystone St, Lakewood Ranch $969,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Spotlight- Golden Gate Point

by Roger Pettingell


History leads up to a Point resurgence

Wonderful location with splendid Ringling Bridge views

The Phoenix, completed in 2001
Spectacular views - Nighttime view of the Ringling Bridge from a residence in the Phoenix.

When the most current Downtown Community Redevelopment Authority report came out on June 15, the small peninsula of land known as Golden Gate Point was added as an addendum. After all, it is in downtown Sarasota and secondly, it is seeing its own redevelopment. New communities such as the recently completed ONE88 and the one deep in construction that is Aqua, are to be followed by plans of other communities on this area of land barely larger than a city park. The point is once again one of the most sought after residential locations in Sarasota.

Golden Gate Point is rich in history, mostly through the original efforts of two men that had visions for Sarasota. John Ringling owned the land in its earliest of days, a small strip of land with little development. After the sale to Owen Burns in 1910, the point saw its first development. Burns dredged the bay and began to fill in the strip to increase its size, a process that would not be allowed today. He installed a seawall to encase the peninsula. These two men were the driving forces behind the growth for Sarasota to become a journey for all northerners to vacation and eventually look to retire.

In the 1920s progress accelerated. The name was changed from Cedar Point to its current name. Ringling remained involved and together the two men built a bridge connecting Lido Key and Bird Key to the mainland through the middle of Golden Gate Point. Fast forward to 2003 when the bridge completed its second reconstruction, with its current connection point as an extension to Gulf Stream Avenue. The name John Ringling Causeway remained but credit was also given to an activist that lobbied for the fixed-span bridge and a secondary name of Gil Waters Bridge was added as a compromise in 2008. Today the bridge is a spectacle in itself, particularly for owners of residences on the west side of Golden Gate Point who enjoy views of the bridge at sunset.

But soon after the original bridge was built, Sarasota and the country began facing rough times. Over-speculation of land in Florida sent a signal to Wall Street, one reason for stocks plummeting. The stock market crash in 1929 led to the Great Depression. Ringling’s beloved wife Mable died that year. Property lots on Golden Gate Point were unsold and progress was halted. Ringling lost most of his money in these hard times and he abandoned some of the projects he was passionate about. He eventually died in 1936 and placed in a temporary storage facility as a pauper in New Jersey. His and Mable’s body were eventually returned to Sarasota and they now rest together on the Ringling Museum of Art grounds.

Majestic Bay and Aqua on Golden Gate Point
The Majestic on the left was completed in 2004. Next to it is Aqua, nearing completion. Click on the image for Golden Gate Point condos for sale.

Today Golden Gate Point is thriving again. Single-family homes mostly line the interior of Golden Gate Point Road that circles the peninsula. Outside on the coast of these 22 acres of land is excitement toward new construction with existing mid-rise condominiums. In 1973 Sarasota limited the heights of buildings on Golden Gate Point to 75 feet. ONE88 was completed this year with eight residences of contemporary style on five storys. The new Aqua building with an expected October move-in date is eight storys with one residence per floor. These two buildings face an incredible night view of the Ringling Bridge and the luxury homes on Bird Key.

At least two more are on the drawing boards. Allure at 111 Golden Gate Point on the interior of the loop will be a unique set of four-story townhomes with a three-car garage and patios on the first floor. Level two is called Seduction and features a gourmet kitchen overlooking the living room and Junior Master Suite. The master and third bedroom are on a split-floor plan of the third floor, fascination. The fourth floor has an entertainment area and options for spa or pool on the outdoor patio. The three buildings and 11 residences are before the planning commission to be issued a permit shortly. Also on the interior, Golden Gate Point Ventures, LLC have applied for a site permit for 609 Golden Gate, approved in June. The plans are for eight residences in a four-story building.

There is an association of owners on the peninsula to help foster its beauty. Formed in 1955 the Golden Gate Point Association is a non-profit with voluntary membership. The group holds regular meetings and social events. What a great place to live. It is within walking distance to most of downtown Sarasota.

My most recent lifestyle preset search was created for properties on Golden Gate Point. Click here for a list of the current residences for sale there. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for more information on Golden Gate Point condominiums or if you have a property to sell or buy.

L'Ambiance condominiums for sale - Community spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Amenity Rich Community on Southern Tip

Spectacular east and west views 24 hours a day

L'Ambiance Buildings
L'Ambiance Buildings - Plenty of Atmosphere.

In many communities on Longboat Key you can claim the views are incredible. The white sand, azure colored Gulf of Mexico waters, Sarasota skyline at night and the beautiful sunsets create a 24 hour menagerie of picturesque splendor. At L’Ambiance you have those sights with additional views of lush landscaping and the manicured grass of the Links on Longboat, the championship golf course of the Longboat Key Club. You will crave the views and live a luxury lifestyle with the amenities.

Behind the secure gates of the Longboat Key Club, residents of L’Ambiance are greeted with a second manned guard gate for additional security. The concierge staff at each of the two buildings are helpful and friendly. The maintenance staff ensure the grounds are well cared for and on-site management are there with answers to any of your questions, all working in harmony for your pleasure.

Within the community are two Har-Tru tennis courts. These clay courts first constructed in Hagerstown, Maryland are said to be of the highest quality to play on. Since 1932 most tennis champions attribute their start to Har-Tru courts.

Exercise or relax in the large 240-foot heated swimming pool, that is if you aren’t enjoying 300 feet of white sands that stretch to the Gulf of your private beach. The beach is a wonderful place to watch dolphins playing in the surf or just relax in your beach chair.

Rentals are allowed at L’Ambiance. Owners can rent out their residence for a minimum of three months and one time per year. A guest suite is available for out-of-towners preferring to visit close to friends or relatives. Under building parking spots are typically reserved in pairs of two for residents.

A large lobby provides an elegant entry into each of the buildings built in 1992. Gather in the social room or find some quiet time in the library. There is a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment for cardio and strength building exercises.

415 L'Ambiance Dr. #906 condo for sale
415 L'Ambiance Dr. #906 - Residence for sale.

Among the 136 condominiums at L’Ambiance are three different floor plans. The Areca floor plan has over 2,500 square feet of living space. Owners of an Areca have wonderful views of the Sarasota skyline from their balconies on the east side of the building. Owners of Royal floor plans overlook the beach. Nearly 3,400 square feet, these residences are equipped with three bedrooms and can have as many as five bathrooms. I have a Sabal floor plan residence for sale at 415 L’Ambiance Dr, #D906. It has three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 2,820 square feet of living space on the ninth floor of the south building. With a Sabal floor plan you have east and west facing patios.

Membership in the Longboat Key Club opens your access to many more amenities. There are 45 holes of golf on the Links of Longboat and Harbourside Golf Course to the north. The club with 20 Har-Tru courts was rated as the number one tennis resort on the west coast of Florida by Tennis Magazine. Over seven lounges and restaurants are available to members of the club. Boat owners with yachts up to 150 feet are treated to the best services included in slip ownership at the Moorings. This secure marina has its own store, slip telephones, cable TV, wireless Internet, electricity, water connections, showers, saunas, and laundry facilities. The first-class Portofino Restaurant is at the Moorings for fine dining.

A short drive outside the gates of the Longboat Key Club will take you to the famous St. Armands Circle with its fine dining and boutique shopping. Continue on over the Ringling Bridge into Sarasota and you will experience the cultural arts with ballet, symphony concerts and theatre. Some of the biggest acts in show business perform at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.

Our Comparative Market Analysis for July is posted, and more condominiums for sale at L’Ambiance are available here. I also want to introduce our newest home for sale at 1411 Southbay Drive in Osprey. It is a three bedroom, two bath home with protected swimming pool near Southbay Yacht and Racquet Club. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1411 Southbay Drive $579,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Siesta Key Beach updates

by Roger Pettingell

Retaining its Number 1 National Ranking

Facility and parking updates are key project elements

Siesta Key Beach pavilion
The recently completed Siesta Key Beach pavilion.

It was a warm Sunday recently with plenty of sunshine. So it was no wonder that the beaches would be crowded. But this was Siesta Key, once rated the number one beach in the nation by Dr. Beach. On this day canopied tents could be seen nearly side-by-side in each direction with seemingly unlimited numbers. The sands were also rated as best in the world as a result of the Great International Beach Challenge in 1987. The sand made of white quartz reflects nearly all of the sun’s rays making it a pleasant experience to walk on.

Over the years many factors came into play that began to erode the condition of the beach facilities. Siesta Beach continued its fantastic ride for tourism though and in 2015 was named the number one beach in the United States by TripAdvisor and AARP.

The beach with its facilities are now poised to retain its ranking as the best beach to be found in the nation, and the world. A $21.5 million restoration project started when the citizens of Siesta Key approved the Surtax III Economic Stimulus Program, which implemented a penny sales tax. Plans were set out to complete a project that would enhance the aging facilities built in the 1950s and expand the parking lots.

The designs in 2012 also included an east and west 15-foot wide esplanade of light-colored pavers that reflect the rays of the sun. They also planned for upgraded restrooms. A sheriff and lifeguard building is state of the art. The historic pavilion was restored as a public gathering place. Other improvements were made, a concession stand area was elevated to 19 feet creating a spectacular sunset viewing area, earning its name as the Sunset Deck.

Walkway to the shoreline
Access to the shoreline - An enhanced walkway was worked into the plans for easier access to the beach. Note the line of canopies in the background.

The parking lot was made easier to navigate and increased from 837 parking spaces to 980. Access from Beach Road was also improved. Over 1,300 palm and canopy trees that are native to the area replaced pine trees for aesthetics and less maintenance. Siesta Key Beach continues its tradition as a family-oriented park with new picnic tables and a children’s playground. Most of the park is handicapped accessible with ramps to upper areas and a long travel mat with access to the beachfront.

Siesta Key Beach is one of the safest in the world for families too. On its 100 acres of county-owned property there are highly trained lifeguards with the latest in life-saving equipment posted throughout the year. The shallow waters near the shore make it great for smaller children. Harmful currents are reduced since these depths are consistent along the shoreline.

The beach will continue its annual traditions. The annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic will begin November 11, 2016. For five days spanning that weekend sand-sculpting artists from around the world compete in this outdoor art gallery. There is an opening party on that Tuesday before the competition so you can meet the 24 participating artists. Some of the amateur artists that compete at Siesta Key Beach in an annual May contest go onto their professional careers from there. The Classic attracts over 17,000 visitors from outside of the area according to chamber of commerce statistics, nearly half of the 35,000 sand sculpting attendees.

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition
The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition is held in November each year.

This year the 7th annual Fiesta on Siesta Key collegiate volleyball tournament was held in April. In that tournament 35 colleges from mostly southeastern United States competed. Siesta Key also participates in the Dig the Beach volleyball series of eight stops in Florida, with two stops held here in mid-May and early July. In this series professional and amateur teams of two compete for prize money and scholarships.

Last week I listed a country-club lifestyle home for sale in Stanhope Gate. I followed that up with marketing my Sarasota homes for sale in my Thursday REALTALK™ #95 video. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of this University Park Country Club home or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
7043 Stanhope Place $710,000   Photo Slideshow


Simple property searches

by Roger Pettingell

New property searches based on lifestyles

Find your dream home quicker with designed pages by area

Navigate to Property Listings, Lifestyles and the area
New searches - Navigate to Property Listings, Lifestyles and the area desired.

Searching for your dream home or residence in the area just got easier. Last week we launched a series of web pages that are designed for searches by an area of lifestyle. For the past couple of years you could perform a search by community such as Grand Bay or Bird Key. Now, let’s say you want to live on the beach of Longboat Key but haven’t decided on a community, or even if you have narrowed your search to a penthouse or single-family home. Under Property Listings at the top of the page, navigate to Lifestyle and select Gulf Beachfront. We have two pages of property searches for homes that are on the Longboat Key Club championship golf courses. Considering Bay Isles for its beach access? There is page devoted to all the communities with deeded access behind the manned gates of the Bay Isles Beach Club. Since Bay Isles has a large list with a wide price range, we’ve broken it down further and have selections to fit your budget. Here is a list of the lifestyle areas, with more in the plans.

The first is downtown Sarasota. New construction is apparent on almost every street increasing inventory in one of the most cultural cities in the country. Within walking distance you can see an opera, ballet, symphony orchestra or a world class event at the Van Wezel performing Arts Center. There are smaller venues for theater and comedy within the downtown district. Moor your boat at Marina Jack on Sarasota Bay or stroll over to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to explore the splendor of our plant-life. The Vue Sarasota dominates new construction in the area with 141 residences on 19 floors. New condominiums are also on Golden Gate Point and on the concentric streets that encircle Bayfront Drive. The Ritz-Carlton continues its excellence downtown with private residences. For value-driven buyers, consider getting in on the ground floor with new construction pricing. There is much to see and do in downtown, just waiting for your leap into luxury living.

Whether you are looking for a single family home or a high rise condominium, nothing is better than walking out to the white sands of Longboat Key on the Gulf of Mexico side and gazing at a spectacular sunset. Single family homes on the beach are clustered at the mid-mark and north end of the island. If maintenance-free living is your lifestyle choice, there is a vast selection of residences to choose from including properties at the ground level to luxurious penthouse suites. Many of these communities are close to fine dining, shopping and the diversity of cultural arts in Sarasota. Live with your toes in the sand in sunny Florida.

Bay Isles Beach Club
Bay Isles - There are many properties for sale behind the two manned gates of Bay Isles so we broke out pages further by price range.

Residents of Bay Isles on Longboat Key enjoy privacy and the security of 24-hour manned guard gates. They also receive the amenities of their communities and deeded access to the Bay Isles Beach Club. Outside the gates are the conveniences of grocery shopping, fine restaurants and services that complement their luxury lifestyle. There are several communities from which to live, from the maintenance-free living of single-family homes in Queens Harbour and Corey's Landing to the townhouses, homes and condominiums of Fairway Bay. Enjoy the luxury lifestyle of Grand Bay with six buildings of residences behind its own manned gates located on the Harbourside Golf Course and near the marina of the Longboat Key Club Moorings. Boat docks for yachts in the marina are sold on the Multiple Listing Service and they appear on the properties page that are for sale under $500,000. Homes in Bay Isles are highly desirable, including this home that was sold the day I listed it last week at 3541 Fair Oaks Lane in Queens Harbour.

Overlook Longboat Key Club's championship Harbourside Golf Course in a single family home or a high rise condominium. We have a good selection of homes in Queens Harbor and Corey's Landing to residences at Grand Bay and Fairway Bay. Owners of the properties here have deeded access to the Bay Isles Beach Club and the beach facilities on Longboat Key, Florida. Play three sets of nine courses at Harbourside outside your front door including the White Egret, Red Hawk and Blue Heron. Nearby on the course is the Longboat Key Club Moorings marina and the Portofino Restaurant and Grill.

The best of many worlds with the Gulf of Mexico white sands out your front door and the championship golf course Links on Longboat (formerly Islandside Golf Course) out your back door. Complement that lifestyle with the renowned St. Armands Circle nearby and membership in the Longboat Key Club for tennis, socializing and more fine dining. These properties on the beach are for sale as high rise condominiums at the Sanctuary, L'Ambiance, Longboat Key Towers, the Pierre or are available as single family homes. Add the many features of Longboat Key, Florida and the cultural arts center of Sarasota and you will never want to leave.

South Lido Key condominiums
Beachfront residences on south Lido Key

Enjoy the luxury lifestyle on the Gulf of Mexico in maintenance-free living with these residences for sale on the white sands of the beach. Close to world renowned St. Armands Circle and the ecosystem of Ted Sperling Park, 100 acres for kayaking and trail-blazing with 640 liner feet of Gulf beach on south Lido Key. Walk out to the beach from a ground-floor residence or enjoy one of many spectacular sunsets from a top-floor penthouse. You will have prime viewing for the annual Power Boat Grand Prix held each year over the Independence Day weekend.

The history of St. Armands Circle started when circus magnate John Ringling had a vision for creating an island atmosphere of homes that linked Sarasota to Longboat Key. Today the Circle is a display of the history that is surrounded by fine dining, boutique shopping and an active nightlife. Single-family homes dominate the surrounding area. Homeowners play on the circle or cross the Ringling Bridge for the cultural arts that Sarasota provides. Updated luxury homes co-exist with quaint homes that reflect the prosperity of the times when other civic leaders took over Ringling's vision and made it a renowned world landmark. Some homes around the circle toward Lido Beach have docks on water with direct access to Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Find your dream home quicker, then please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
* 3541 Fair Oaks Lane $999,000    


* Sold the same day it was listed on MLS.


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  • Over 32 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.
  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Number 1 Realtor on Longboat Key and Bird Key for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013 and 2014
  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014 and 2016 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.