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Roger Pettingell


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New construction off the beaten path in Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Spurt in Rosemary District revitalizes area

New constructions in downtown Sarasota are filling needs

Valencia in the Rosemary District of Sarasota, Florida
Valencia - There are plenty of good opportunities here in the Rosemary District of downtown Sarasota.

Drive off the beaten path of Sarasota’s Tamiami Trail and the new residence construction there and you will find an explosion of new condominium construction, revitalizing the downtown area. The Rosemary District has been neglected for years but is now in the middle of a growth spurt that will turn around this area with boundaries that begin at Fruitville Road on the south, extends northward to 10th Street, from the trail on the west and Orange Avenue on the east. The location is ideal with its close proximity to downtown shopping and dining. Its history is as long as Sarasota itself, platted with the city in 1885.

Drive up Cocoanut Avenue and the large new building Cityside on the right looms in your line of sight at Boulevard of the Arts. In two phases 489 apartments will be completed and ready for rental soon. To the left at the intersection is Valencia at Rosemary Place. These luxury townhouses are expected to be completed this winter, with the Pamplona floor plan sold out by Icon Residential. However, there are plenty of available residences as the construction project continues to the north. Ten units of the Almeria floor plan along May Lane are offered with 2,099 square feet of living space, complete with a deck and garage. The Cordoba is slightly smaller and also has a garage with each residence. As bookends at each end of May Lane where 10 units of the Almeria floor plans will be built are the Madrid on the west and the Barcelona on the east at the Cocoanut Avenue intersection. Icon has other construction projects in Tampa Bay, Orlando and Atlanta.

When completed in the summer of 2017 there will be 22 new residences that are selling in the range of $350,000 to $900,000 at Risdon on 5th. Six remain unsold in this gated community. Award-winning architects Michael Halflants and John Pichette are planning a rooftop swimming pool with great views of downtown Sarasota. Halflants and Pichette are also the involved architects for Vanguard Lofts at 1343 Fourth Street. One residence of the six remains unsold and is a 2BR/2BA with two-car garage. It is listed for $799,000 with expected completion of this community in March of 2017.

There will be 489 new apartments in the Rosemary District when all of Cityside is finished.

No discussion of new construction in Sarasota would be complete without mentioning The Vue at Gulfstream and Tamiami Trail. When completed in early 2017, there will be 141 residences in 18 stories that overlook the Sarasota skyline. Five properties are active in MLS as of this morning’s writing, which includes these two penthouses. Residence number 1802 is a three bedroom, three and one half bath property that includes three parking spaces listed at $3,399,000. Unit 1801 listed at $2,999,000 has four bedrooms, four and a half baths with two assigned parking spaces. Nearing completion, there is still time to purchase and add your finishing touches to the design.

If your wishes are to be on the barrier islands and want to move in soon, the Park Residences on Lido Key may be right for you. Three of the 18 residences here are still active listings. You are steps to the Gulf of Mexico white sand beach and bordered by 100 acres of nature preserve at Ted Sperling Park. All floor plans are sold with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The famed St. Armands Circle is close and Sarasota is a short drive away over the Ringling Bridge.

The newly completed Aria at Villa am Meer and the contemporary Infinity communities have sold all of their properties on Longboat Key. However, there are many Longboat Key residences for sale that have been updated with modern finishes and available.

Last week I listed two homes and two residences for sale on Longboat Key. The luxury home at 5080 Gulf of Mexico Drive has five bedrooms, five full baths and three half baths. It is complete with infinity-edge pool and boat dockage. The home for sale at 1011 Longboat Club Road is a golfer’s paradise on Longboat Key Club’s Islandside golf course and is only one of seven custom homes there within walking distance to the beach. A short distance is my new listing at L'Ambiance Dr, #D906, also on Islanside golf course and overlooks the newly renourished Gulf beach at this elegant community. I have also listed a rarely available three bedroom walk-down to the beach residence at Beachplace, with its many fine amenities. 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
5080 Gulf of Mexico Drive $6,990,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1011 Longboat Club Road $2,795,000 Video Photo Slideshow
415 L'Ambiance Dr, #D906 $2,600,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1055 Gulf of Mexico Dr. #106 $1,299,000   Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Philanthropy begins with donation of time

by Roger Pettingell

Non-profits make Sarasota a better place

Organizations thrive on donations and volunteers

Southeastern Guide Dogs in REALTALK #64
Southeastern Guide Dogs - The CEO of this non-profit said they need 1,100 active volunteers.

A good way to support the community is to give a donation to a non-profit organization that provides essential services in a variety of opportunities. These worthy programs supplement government programs that support all ages in the community. Chose a subject and there is likely something out there that survives on charities. Although they have programs for your tax-deductible donations, they also have need for the philanthropist that has time to donate. That may include any skill level and any amount of time.

For instance, you may have a passion for dogs. The Southeastern Guide Dogs, with their campus in Palmetto, provides dog training for very special animals that assist the visually impaired. These dogs also are useful in providing companionship for soldiers returning from oversees combat. Over 2,800 dogs have assisted the needs of people in the United States. Although you may not initially be able to volunteer in the training program itself, there are volunteer needs as kennel helpers, grounds keepers and administrative support. And after 25 hours of service you may advance to training that may lead to working with the puppies or assisting in their Walkathon fund-raisers. Titus Herman, CEO, told me in REALTALK™ #64 that 1,100 volunteers are needed to successfully run the programs.

The Humane Society of Sarasota County needs volunteers for Stay-Cations, a program that places dogs in different environments to determine temperament. They also have needs for excursion buddies, feline friendship, matchmakers and involvement in fundraising activities. Lakewood Ranch has similar programs in their no-kill Humane Society of Lakewood Ranch, as does the Humane Society of Manatee County in Bradenton.

Mote Marine Aquarium and Save our Seabirds are two programs at Ken Thompson Park on City Island that are nationally recognized organizations devoted to the preservation of our aquatic wildlife. Volunteers are need at Save Our Seabirds to support the hospital staff or help with maintenance, administration and fundraising. After training volunteers also are put on a list to assist in rescuing seabirds. There are 1,600 volunteers at Mote Marine that assist in the aquariums, laboratories, dolphin and whale hospital, and even the annual Crystal Classic Master Sandsculpting Competition held on Siesta Key, this year November 11 through November 15.

If you are better suited to teach, you will find that volunteers are needed to spend time with adults and students in specialized reading programs. Almost 9,000 volunteers help young students learn to read outside of the classroom in the Sarasota County School District Volunteer and Partnership program. An enthusiasm to help is sometimes more valuable in this program than an expertise in a particular subject. Partners are needed to help tutor in science, history, math and reading.

The Florida, Take Stock in Children program that is in all 67 counties needs volunteers to mentor children in low-income families and prepare them for higher levels of education. There is a scholarship fund that provides graduates with tuition toward a four-year degree.

The Literacy Council of Sarasota needs tutors of the English language to help one-on-one or small group instruction in the basics of reading and writing. Since 1978 the Literacy Council of Sarasota has been providing reading support for young adults, singles and adults with families.

Volunteers are needed in the eight public libraries and technical services departments in Sarasota. There are adult volunteer coordinators you should contact in each of the libraries in order to get started assisting the librarians with a variety of functions.

Volunteer ushers are needed in each of the sporting events that are held here. A friendly disposition and basic knowledge of baseball is helpful to volunteer at Ed Smith Stadium for the Oriole’s or McKechnie Field in Bradenton for the Pirate’s spring training games. The summer league in Bradenton is a rewarding pastime that will just keep you active to help support these potential major leaguers.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
In REALTALK™ #101 this month Nate Jacobs told me ticket sales account for 45% of revenue needed. The WBBT needs donations and volunteers to continue their success in local theater.

The theater, as you are aware, is huge in Sarasota. The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Florida Studio Theatre, The Players, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Venice Theatre and more have volunteer programs to assist in administration, ticket and usher support. The Ringling Museum of Art needs volunteer support in these areas and also require help with guided tours.

With just about any interest in animals, health, school, sports or theater you can find volunteer opportunities here in Sarasota. Nearly every non-profit organization will have a program that you can get involved with. These programs help to make Sarasota a great place to live.

I listed four new quality homes last week on Longboat Key, two of them in Country Club Shores with direct boat access to Sarasota Bay and two on Longboat Club Road. 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
584 Hornblower Lane $2,895,000 Video Photo Slideshow
551 Birdie Lane $1,199,000   Photo Slideshow
1021 Longboat Club Road $999,000   Photo Slideshow
603 Longboat Club Road, #503N $749,000   Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Eighth Annual Ringling International Arts Festival

by Roger Pettingell

Comedy, concerts, dance and conversations

Artists worldwide visit Sarasota for this four-day festival

Home of John and Mable Ringling, Ca' d'Zan
Ca’ d’Zan - Matt Haimovitz performs one of three Bach Suites cello concerts in the Ringling home.

An international flair, with themes. For the eighth year, the Ringling will bring together theatrical artists from around the world for their 2016 Ringling International Arts Festival. And as for a theme, it may be more subtle this year compared to 2015 when Ringling opened the Asian Arts Center with themed acts from that section of the globe. And although the opening night celebration on Thursday night contains a Brazilian theme, other performances are more earthly than geographical through the final show on Sunday.

Seven of the 12 events are multi-day performances so you can pick the day based on your schedule or desire to catch one of the five single-day events of lectures, guided tours, travel discussions, jazz after hours or venue of the Bach Suites cello concerts by Matt Haimovitz. For 60 minutes the acclaimed performer Haimovitz from Israel will present overtures by leading composers. His performances at the Ringling home, Ca’ d’Zan, on Friday and Saturday in the Huntington Gallery of the Museum are sold out, but his 2 p.m. concert on Sunday in the Historic Asolo Theatre has tickets available.

The opening ceremony Thursday night in the courtyard celebrates Brazilian dance and music, A Night in Brazil with the Dendê & Band. Your ticket includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres, light libations and will open a cash bar for the patrons.

Separate tickets are required for the other opening day performances. Before the opening ceremony choose from Doug Elkins dance choreography in the Asolo Repertory Theatre or the Eighth Blackbird: Hand Eye in the Hstoric Asolo Theatre. Both shows start at 7 p.m. on Thursday but also extend two more days. Doug Elkins features Shakespeare’s play, Othello, set to a modern score, Hapless Bizarre and Mo(or)town/Redux. The three-time Grammy Awards winning band from Chicago, Eighth Blackbird, performs Hand Eye. The six members blend percussions, piano, wind and stringed instruments into a show that expresses new music compositions with the energy of rock and roll music.

Also on Thursday in the Ringling Circus Museum is the show A Simple Space, performed by the Gravity & Other Myths circus troupe of seven from Australia. These stunning performances through Sunday of the festival include incredible acrobatics with a combination of physical endurance.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, Cook Theatre and Mertz Theatre
Asolo Repertory Theater - Some performances of the arts festival will be held here.

Thomas Monckton from New Zealand will delight audiences Friday through Sunday with his slapstick style of comedy on piano, reminiscent of Victor Borge. He will perform his shows, The Pianist, with Finland comedian Circo Aereo with shows at 5 p.m. on Friday and Sunday at 8 p.m. in the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

There is more comedy in the Asolo Repertory Theatre Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. as LMnO3 takes the stage with its B.A.N.G.S.: made in America show. Politely disguised as a dance performance, the three comedians include jokes that may test adult sensibilities. You may want to consider leaving the children with another performance.

Interested in travel? Put 17 Border Crossings by award winning actor and director Thaddeus Phillips on your ticket purchase list. This show in the Asolo Repertory Theatre on Friday and Saturday is not a travel lecture, yet a theatrical journey across international boundaries with a performance of customs and culture in each of the countries.

There are single-day tour and conversation events. On Friday there is a conversation with select artists led by RIAF curator of performances, Dwight Currie, in a free event at the Chao Lecture Hall in the Center for Asian Art. In this event, Passion & Process, the artists discuss topics of their interests. Another free event on Friday in the Bayfront Gardens is the guided tour Seeing in All Senses, an experience of this familiar garden with a new outlook that looks past the sense of sight.

Check the RIAF schedule, some free events may require a ticket. There is free admission to the Museum of Art and Circus Museum with each performance ticket purchased. Each performance purchase also includes free admission to the Lounge on the Lawn series Friday through Sunday. The long range forecast is for sunny skies each day, but this series is rain or shine. With the libations and light snacks you will mingle among patrons and artists while catching the musical talents of invited bands. Enjoy Latin music from Combo Vimana or the violin and guitar romance music from Hot Club of SRQ on Friday and Saturday. Zen Seraphine joins in on the musical trend Saturday with its themed Celtic and Hungarian performance. Seraphine is the sole act on Sunday. Your performance ticket also includes free entry to After-Hours Jazz that starts at 9 p.m. Friday with Marc Mannino on guitar and Saturday with Matthew Falgowsi on keyboard. You can also save 20% on tickets by purchasing a block of seven tickets or 10% with a purchase of four to six performance tickets. Purchase tickets and check show times through their website.

We are getting closer to peak season and have listed six new homes for sale on Longboat Key and one in Lakewood Ranch. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of any home listed or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
6857 Gulf of Mexico Drive $3,995,000 Video Photo Slideshow
16210 Clearlake Avenue $1,690,000 Video Photo Slideshow
3030 Grand Bay Blvd, #345 $1,015,000 Video Photo Slideshow
5481 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #210 $999,000   Photo Slideshow
1050 Longboat Club Rd, #906 $799,000 Video Photo Slideshow
536 Lyons Lane $699,000   Photo Slideshow
3240 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #B501 $529,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Improving the local economy with good local schools

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota high schools achieve high marks

Academic, athletic, parochial and military options available

Booker High School in Sarasota
Booker High School - One of eight high schools located in the northern Sarasota district.

Last month I wrote about the many fine colleges in the area, the high schools are stellar too. The students that graduate from public schools in Sarasota achieve higher in college placement and graduate a higher percentage of students than many school districts. Private schools provide excellent education for students, including St. Stephens Episcopal School in Bradenton, that is the ninth ranked private school in the state as reported by In sports, parents from around the country enroll their student-athletes in IMG Academy in Bradenton. Sarasota even has a high school military academy.

Public school districts in Florida are generally divided by counties so the largest districts in the United States reside here. Those include the Miami-Dade County District, fifth in the nation with over 347,000 enrolled students. Broward, Hillsborough, Orange, Palm Beach and Duval counties are in the top 25 as rated by 2010 attendance records. In the 2014-15 school year Sarasota recorded 41,910 students in its final count.

The county is divided into eight public high school zones, some of which are ranked high in the state and in the nation. Increasingly the district school board looks for budget items that divert classroom expenditures. To convert money for teacher salaries and supplies the board has created innovative programs. Recently the district has undergone an energy makeover to make it more efficient. The savings are substantial, reducing their energy costs to 96 cents per square foot. That is 24 cents below the state average. Its retrofit to LED lighting and Chiller ice tanks for thermal energy storage have saved the district scarce dollars that it is diverting to the schools for classroom expenses.

Pine View School is ranked number one in the state and seventh nationally with a 100% graduation rate and has a ranking of 100 in college readiness. They received the gold medal award from U.S. News & World Report. Pine View, located in Osprey, has an enrollment of 2,180 students with a 17:1 ratio of students to teachers. The school received a ranking of 10 out of 10 by The unique curriculum combines an independent study program with traditional classes.

Riverview High School in the city of Sarasota received a 9 rating by GreatSchools. It is the largest school in the county with 2,654 students enrolled. With 161 teachers the student to teacher ratio is 16:1. This school excels in athletics, graduating five professional baseball players and three professional football players. The current head football coach, Todd Johnson, played safety for the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills in the span of 2004-2007. The baseball team has won eight state championships, the latest in 2007, and has won state titles in softball, tennis and boys golf.

Overall the county is listed fifth best in the state by with A grades in academics and student culture. Venice Senior High School received an 8 GreatSchools rating and also excels in athletics with four state volleyball and an equal number of baseball titles. The football program won the state championship in 2000 and was ranked seventh in the nation that year.

Sarasota High School is one of the oldest schools in the county, first established in 1913. With over 2,600 students and 139 teachers, the ratio is 19:1. The Sailor Circus began at the school in 1950 as a physical education class, but started the year before as a half-time football performance. Sailor Circus is now operated under the Circus Arts Conservatory but is still known as The Greatest Little Show On Earth. Professional golfers Paul Azinger and Scott Dunlap are alumni from the school that has graduated 15 professional baseball players over the years. Famous performer Pee-Wee Herman graduated in 1970 as Paul Rubenfeld.

North Port High School with a GreatSchools rating of 6 and Booker High School in Sarasota with a rating of 5 are two more fine Sarasota public schools. Oak Park School in Sarasota has a 6:1 student to teacher ratio, in comparison one of the smallest schools in the county with 337 students enrolled.

The county invested $16 million in 2008 for the career-focused Suncoast Polytechnical High School with studies from biomedical engineering to computer gaming. U.S. News & World Report gave this school a silver rating. From its inception, the school is limited to 600 students and currently has enrolled 528 with 26 full-time teachers.

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA)
The Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) with its JROTC Black Knight Raiders have won national competitions.

Integrity, honor and respect are key in academics and student participation at the Sarasota Military Academy (SMA). The charter school opened in 2002 and currently enrolls 1,000 students. The JROTC Black Knight Raiders have won national competitions with event testing in 5K runs, litter carries, rope-bridge building, tire flips and endurance events. Graduating seniors are accepted into higher education programs at a 90% rate.

In 2016 ranked Florida private schools and St. Stephen's Episcopal School fifth for best private school teachers, ninth for best private schools and fifth for best Christian high schools. It received A grades in academics, teachers, clubs and outcomes. The school touts its record that 100% of its graduates attend colleges with four-year degree programs. It has also graduated 33 national merit scholarship finalists since 2005. The school affiliated with the Episcopal Church was founded in 1970 and currently enrolls 800 students in grades pre-kindergarten through the senior class in high school.

Division I colleges look to IMG Academy when recruiting athletes for their sports programs. IMG trains student-athletes in golf, tennis, soccer, baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, track and cross country. A long list of professional athletes have graduated from IMG, founded in 1978. In 2012 IMG Pendleton School changed its name to the current IMG Academy.

Combining the diversity of programs at the high school level and excellent higher education options, Sarasota continues to attract parents who pursue the best school options for their children. Better schools also attract quality businesses that improves the local economy. All in all, the real estate market benefits. Last week I listed The Belle of the Beach, a private beachfront chateau in Siesta Key with 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. 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
636 Beach Road, Siesta Key $6,750,000 Video Photo Slideshow


The visible signs of Sarasota growth

by Roger Pettingell

New hotels, high-rises and businesses

Snowbird survivor's guide to summer construction changes

Vue Sarasota and Embassy Suites
Vue Sarasota on the right nears completion while the 18-story Embassy Suites hotel at left goes skyward.

The car carrier company is transporting your automobile to Longboat Key and you are landing at SRQ the week after Thanksgiving to spend a few months under the warm Florida sunshine. You may have done this for years. Every year you might see a new building from the window of your cab on the route to your winter home. This year may be different for you as there are many new buildings. The most notable change hits you as you approach Gulfstream Avenue in downtown Sarasota. That’s where the fun really begins.

The 800-pound gorilla in the intersection is the new Westin Hotel and Vue Sarasota residences. It might have been at the ground level when you left. Now it is fully formed, seemingly ready for guests and residents. Depending on when you arrive, the Westin may already be accepting guests for booking in any of their 255 rooms. Construction continues on the 144 residences and is expecting to be completed in early 2017. Included in the construction is a 14,000 square-foot ballroom and two junior ballrooms of nearly 6,000 square feet each.

Across the street on Tamiami Trail is the shell of the new Embassy Suites and Spa with 180-200 guest rooms under construction. There had been a small cabinet retailer on the corner when you left that was razed for this 18-story edifice that is expected to be completed in mid-2017. In all, the Embassy Suites and Westin will offer two-thirds of the new hotel rooms with ongoing construction in downtown Sarasota. The Aloft Hotel on One Palm Avenue has already opened with its 138 rooms.

You turn right to head over the Ringling Causeway to Coon Key and the bridge to St. Armands Circle. At the end of the bridge you notice evidence that the bridge had been repaired over the summer. Repairs limited traffic to one lane and added an average of 20 minutes to the morning commute. You accept that you were lucky to avoid that daily transit.

Looking to your left you see a construction site at the Plymouth Harbor of Sarasota Bay. The assisted living facility is adding 70 new residences in its Northwest Garden Building that will be devoted to memory care units, assisted living and independent living. The 150,000 square foot building in three stories is expected to be completed early next year.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital Urgent Care facility
The new urgent care facility in St. Armands Circle is part of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital system.

In the short span of your drive past the Ringling Bridge to St. Armands Circle has one more view of new construction. Where the old St. Armands Medical Center had been, a new urgent care building may be open for patients. As part of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital system of urgent care facilities the new center will have lab and X-ray capabilities to help treat patients. This will become the sixth urgent care facility in the hospital system that are located in Manatee and Sarasota counties. There are two floors for patients with injuries that are non-life threatening and will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily when it opens in October.

Depending on your location on Longboat Key you may pass the new 16-unit Aria at Villa am Meer community and Infinity with its 11 luxury waterfront residences. You will notice that the Colony Beach and Tennis resort is in different phases of razing for a new community with 180 residences and equal number of hotel rooms. What you won’t see is construction for a Floridays hotel on the north end of the island. You may have even sent in an absentee ballot for an August 30th referendum that would have allowed the proposed hotel. Voters decidedly rejected the proposal. The new Zota hotel at 4711 Gulf of Mexico Drive is expected to open December 1. The former Hilton Beachfront Resort was renovated and a new 84-room tower will be available for nightly stays.

SRQ Air Traffic Control Tower
SRQ Air Traffic Control Tower - Look for the new tower northwest of the runways when landing.

You arrive at your place, now it’s time to unpack and head to the beach. You will see that Tropical Storm Hermine didn’t erode much of the beaches. Instead, you will find a more extended beach due to renourishment projects in New Pass, Longboat Pass through dredging projects and beaches in between through daily truck hauls where hundreds of thousands of cubic sand renewed the beaches on Longboat Key.

Reflecting back to your landing at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport you may have noticed the construction of the air traffic control tower in the northwest corner of the runway system. Another sign of the growth that Sarasota is experiencing. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

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.

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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.