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Roger Pettingell


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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.


Third annual lionfish derby

by Roger Pettingell

Invasive species dealt with at Mote Marine

Three days devoted to lionfish with derby and education

Lionfish measurements at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium on July 10
Lionfish measurements - Although this wasn't the largest lionfish caught at the derby on Saturday, volunteers who were measuring said it was close.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium has multiple offices around the state and has scientists in the field all over the world. So it was fitting that the organization that promotes education and research of the world’s oceans sponsor one of many lionfish hunts, an invasive species that threatens other species in the waters around us. Three days were devoted to the lionfish, starting with a captain’s meeting on Friday and concluding yesterday with an awards ceremony and lionfish cook-off by local chefs.

In the wild it is a beautiful fish to look at with its orange, black and white colors. It floats on the floor of salt water oceans and is spectacular to see with its wide pectoral fins spread out to each side. The beauty ends there. Its colorful dorsal fin is a series of 18 spines that contain poison to ward off natural predators. It consumes fish at a voracious rate that threatens the health of reefs. The fish also breeds at an incredible rate, sometimes producing 30,000 eggs every four months and reported to lay up to 2 million eggs a year.

So now it has become an enemy of the state. First spotted in the United States off the east coast in the 1980s, this natural predator indigenous to Indonesia has found its way around to almost all areas of Florida’s saltwater. They are proliferating, the Wall street Journal reported last week that breeding clusters are now off the coast of Turkey and Cyprus.

Volunteers dissect a lionfish
Lionfish research - Volunteers at Mote Marine dissect one of the lionfish brought in by one of the four-man teams to log its maturity and sex.

We may be curbing their proliferation here. Divers in the derby yesterday said they had to go 30 miles out in 100 feet of water, when in the past they had found them closer to shore and in shallower waters. This is the third annual lionfish hunt at Mote but beyond the derbies divers are encouraged to harvest the fish at every occasion. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation, or REEF, an organization that was founded in 1990, sanctioned the event yesterday. It claims derbies like this have removed 12,000 lionfish since it held its first one in 2009 in the Bahamas. The next one on their schedule will be this weekend in Ft. Lauderdale.

The team entered by the name We Be Dreamin’ brought in 349 lionfish during the derby on Saturday for the most caught and turned in the largest at 384 mm. A total of 429 fish were captured among six teams. One of the sponsors of the derby was the ZooKeeper, manufacturers of a holding tube for captured lionfish, created by local diver Allie ElHage. Spearfishermen collect lionfish and stack them in the Lionfish Containment Unit (LCU) for safe transport back to the boat. The standard size can hold up to 60 lionfish at a time. Team ZooKeeper turned in the smallest fish among competitors on Saturday at 112 mm.

Proponents of lionfish hunting have wondered what to do with the fish once they are pulled from the sea. The fish reportedly has the same texture as grouper so recipes have emerged with similar cooking styles. Once the spines are removed they pose no threat for consumption. Four restaurants were represented at Mote to demonstrate how they prepare lionfish.

Chef Steve Phelps of the Indigenous Restaurant was on hand. He says the lionfish is similar to hogfish and yellowtail snapper, and claims it is good as sushi or cooked. Although it is not specifically mentioned on the menu at the restaurant , it may be part of the Hook to Fork special on any given night. Indigenous Restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday at 239 S. Links Ave in Sarasota.

Representing its three locations in Sarasota and its catering business, chef Paul Mattison prepared lionfish at one of the tables. Although it isn’t on the menu at the City Grille, Bayside or Forty-One restaurants, you may have to ask if they will prepare one for you on any given night.

The culinary director for the Beachhouse Restaurant at Bradenton Beach, Erik Walker, was on hand to cook his favorite lionfish recipe. It is not on the menu there, nor is it on the menus of their sister restaurants, the Sandbar Restaurant on Anna Maria Island or the Mar Vista Restaurant on Longboat Key.

German born executive chef from the Seafood Shack in Cortez, Gerard Jesse, represented the fourth restaurant. You might “catch” it on their Fish of the Day menu served with Spanish rice and seasonal vegetables, but ask first.

You might want to check out Trash Fish Sarasota at Louies Modern on August 7 starting at 6 p.m., also in its third year. Lionfish will be served featuring preparations by the chefs above and chefs from other local restaurants. Other fish that you thought you may never eat such as rudderfish and Sarasota sturgeon are also on the menu, along with beer from sponsors Big Top Brewing Co. and J Dubs Brewery. Portions of your ticket price will benefit the Chefs Collaborative.

Finding lionfish specifically called out on the menu of any local restaurant is difficult. The Big Water Fish Market at 6641 Midnight Pass Rd on Siesta Key is holding Eat the Enemy Parties every Friday through August 12. They are serving lionfish dinners from 6 to 9 p.m. on those party days. REEF has a list of Florida restaurants that serve lionfish off the menu, mostly in the south and in the keys. There are two in Fort Pierce on the east coast and one on Marco Island.

Dolphin training at Mote Marine Aquarium
Training at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.

Last month Florida Whole Food Markets began selling lionfish in their seafood departments for $9.99 per pound. If you are really ready to try a recipe on your own, contact the local store at 1451 First Street or call the seafood department first at (941) 316-4700. Their team members will clean and fillet them for you.

If you have never been to Mote Marine and Aquarium on City Island you will find there is a lot going on there for marine research. The aquarium is fascinating and specimens of manatees, dolphins, sea turtles and sharks can be seen up close. There are education programs too that provide a good insight into the research Mote scientists perform for a better understanding of the oceans and the reefs.

The lionfish derby is just one of many fascinating events in Sarasota and on Longboat Key. I listed a house on a sailboat deep-water canal of Bird Key last week, a wonderful home at 646 South Owl Drive. 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
646 South Owl Dr $1,750,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Fireworks Tonight

by Roger Pettingell

Spectacular Independence Day fireworks

The best of local celebrations from North Port to Palmetto

Fireworks on Monday
Fireworks off Bayfront Park in Sarasota, part of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix this year.

I hope your holiday weekend has been enjoyable and safe, but it’s not over yet. There’s fireworks tonight. You won’t have to drive far from your home to find fireworks today and you may be able to sit on your terrace to catch a spectacular display. I’ve seen some great locations from L’Ambiance on Longboat Key or downtown residences in which to catch one of the best displays in the area, the Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay. If you want to avoid the traffic, consider taking a boat and anchoring south of the Ringling Bridge for the explosions emanating from Bayfront Park. You can expect a 9 p.m. start for all the fireworks, so allow plenty of time for traffic and set up early for the better lawn chair viewing locations.

The Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay signals the final end of the 32nd Annual Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix Festival with racing on Saturday and Sunday. The proceeds from festival events such as the “Grand Prix by the Sea” kickoff party last Tuesday benefit production of the fireworks and Suncoast Charities for Children. This non-profit organization provides funding support to Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children, Inc. and has served the special needs community since 1985.

Marie Selby Gardens, near Bayfront Park, will hold its All American Barbecue before the fireworks show. This is a ticketed event that includes four barbecue pit masters and music from the Lauren Mitchell Band. There are different levels of ticket prices and there is VIP seating available for purchase of this event that starts at 6 p.m.

You can stay downtown all afternoon and keep your car in a good location for the fireworks. At 4:30 p.m. the choral artists of Sarasota, Gloria Musicae, will present their Patriotic Spectacular! at First United Methodist Church. The group’s Artistic Director Joseph Holt will lead the chorus in songs by Irving Berlin, John Philip Sousa, George M. Cohan and will include a salute to our armed forces. Call for tickets at (941) 387-6046.

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people are expected at the Siesta Key Fireworks Display, if the weather holds. These fireworks are in their 26th year and will go off north of the volleyball courts. Again, those fortunate to go by boat can view from the intracoastal or the Gulf of Mexico. A lawn chair on the beach will also provide prime viewing locations. Thank the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce for hosting these fireworks put on by Zambelli Fireworks. The chamber is actively seeking local donors to continue this Independence Day tradition.

If you live in Manatee County there are two locations to catch fireworks. As part of its Fourth Festival in Palmetto, good viewing of Fireworks over Manatee River can be seen from either side of the river. A free concert starts at 5 p.m. in Sutton Park and features two successful bands, Big Daddy and Smash Mouth. The party starts at 4 p.m. with food vendors and children’s activities. Across the river the Pier 22 Restaurant has its annual Pig Roast starting at 6 p.m. through the time of fireworks with VIP viewing. Reservations are required for this limited seating venue. Also in the county the Sandbar Restaurant on the north end of Anna Maria Island will hold its annual Fireworks Spectacular. Beach viewing is free but there is VIP limited seating in the outside pavilion. The Chamber of Commerce offers free trolley service up the island so you can park away and ride to the restaurant.

Sandbar Restaurant fireworks, Anna Maria Island
Be safe on the 4th - Florida allows some backyard fireworks without a permit. Although having your own fireworks display may be fun, it also poses potential problems. Sparklers, fountains, snakes and glow worms are permitted by Florida law.

Southern Sarasota County residents might want to head to Venice for the fireworks that are set off from the south beach jetty. Thousands line up for this spectacular fireworks display. If you are looking for something to do in Venice before the fireworks there are two events to consider, the Myakka Kayaka Jam Blast and America the Beautiful performance. The Jam Blast starts at 8 a.m. with free admission at Snook Haven. This festival features watercraft by paddle, music and beer, but ends at 4 p.m. America the Beautiful, a Patriotic Celebration at the Presbyterian Church, 825 The Rialto, begins at 7 p.m. for the concert starring Brian Gurl and featuring Michelle Pruyn and Katherine Alexandra. Tickets are required so call (941) 488-2258 for availability.

The annual Freedom Festival will shoot off its fireworks after a fun day that begins at 6 p.m. at the North Port High School stadium. Lawn chairs will be good to see the fireworks. This is a family event that features kid’s activities, food vendors, gladiator joust and live music by Zombie University. Note that Price Boulevard in North Port will close about a half hour before the fireworks.

Whether by car or boat, allow some time to get to the venue of your choice. Be aware there will be no SCAT mass transit bus or trolley service today in Sarasota County. Manatee County service will be restricted and has no fixed route traffic. Taxis and the ride sharing services of Uber and Lyft may be available but will be very busy. Traffic is monitored at or through mapping programs such as FL511 also has a free mobile app to download.

So wherever you live in Sarasota and Manatee counties you should be able to find something good for the entire family. I have a list of fireworks and community celebrations below. Enjoy your holiday and please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Fireworks Tonight

Event Location City
Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay Bayfront Park Sarasota
Siesta Key Fireworks Display Beach Siesta Key
Fireworks over Manatee River Sutton Park Palmetto
Venice Fireworks South Jetty Venice Beach
Fireworks Spectacular Sandbar Restaurant Anna Maria Island
Freedom Festival High School Stadium North Port


Independence Day Community Celebrations

Event Location City
Longboat Key Freedom Fest Bicentennial Park Longboat Key
All-American BBQ Marie Selby Gardens Sarasota
Patriotic Spectacular, Gloria Musicae First United Methodist Sarasota
Liberty Day Regatta and Fest Sarasota Sailing Squadron City Island
Manatee River Festival Sutton Park Palmetto
Privateer's 4th of July Parade Island parade route Anna Maria Island
America the Beautiful, performance Presbyterian Church Venice
Myakka Kayaka Jam Blast Snook Haven Venice
Freedom Festival High School Stadium North Port


Sarasota PowerBoat Grand Prix 2016

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota Grand Prix Festival is this week

More excitement and block party added to annual event

Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday
Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday in the final round of races last year.

The Sarasota Music Festival ended on Saturday, on Sunday one of the largest festivals of the year began. The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, now in its 32nd year, has changed in the past two years eliminating some events and replacing them with events that better fit the vision of the nine-day event production by Suncoast Charities for Children. Thousands flock to Sarasota for the excitement and festivities associated with powerboat racing. There are so many visitors that the economic impact is tremendous, pouring over $32 million into the local economy and generating nearly $443,000 in local and state taxes.

For the first time last year CBS Sports broadcast the racing live from coast to coast. This year the racing is sanctioned by sanctioned by Powerboat P1, USA Superstock P1 National Championship and AquaCross (AquaX). For two days Lido Beach becomes a haven for race fans on Saturday and Sunday to catch the best view of the action.

Also added this year is a downtown block party, “Boats on Main” on Friday from 6 to 11 p.m. featuring Luna Blue, a well-known central Florida classic rock band. This event replaces the power boat parade but visitors still have a good opportunity to meet the drivers earlier in the day on Friday from noon to 2 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency ballroom.

The festival actually began on Saturday with the Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic at Laurel Oak Country Club. On Sunday there was a car show in Lakewood Ranch, a shotgun start at Marina Jack that kicked off the watercraft fun run and a “Ride in the Park” motorcycle ride that benefited Suncoast Charities for Children. This is a non-profit organization that provides services for children through adults with special needs.

It picks back up tomorrow night on Tuesday with the festival kick-off party, “Grand Prix by the Sea”. Tickets can be purchased for $100 each online through noon on Tuesday with proceeds going to Suncoast Charities for Children. The party will be held at the Sarasota Yacht Club from 6 to 10 p.m. and feature the popular band, Kettle of Fish. There will be a 50/50 raffle and silent auction. The next public event is on Wednesday, “Fan Fest” from 5 to 9 p.m. at Fleming’s Steak House on Siesta Drive.

Qualifying races for the P1 SuperStock and AquaX divisions runs on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Sarasota event for P1 SuperStock racing is part of an international series that moves to Gosport in the United Kingdom on July 9-10. Two-man crews control 28-foot boats of 250 horsepower and higher and travel at speeds over 70 MPH on flat, open water. The AquaX series began in London in 2011 and features jet ski sprints of 10 minutes each and enduro races that put competitors together in three classes of 200 through 300 horsepower sit-down watercrafts. The finals for AquaX professional racers start at 9 a.m. on Sunday, followed by the amateurs at 9:45 a.m.

The powerboat Sarasota Invitational Classes of Unlimited, Super Cat, Super Vee, Pro Am 1, Pro Am 2, Cat Light and Super Vee Light powerboats have open practice on Saturday from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The unlimited class may be the most exciting powerboat racing with speeds of 200 mph. The engines are the same as those that power Chinook military helicopters and throw rooster-tails as high as 300 feet. On Sunday the powerboats conduct their races starting at 11 a.m. and except for a brief intermission to refuel the helicopters, continue to 3:15 on Sunday. The SuperStock division completes all racing at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.

The best viewing for all the races is on a stretch of land on the Lido Key beaches west shore. There are two concerns that the county addressed with ordinances. The first is the issue for the protection of nesting turtles. Therefore, police will be looking for glass bottles, pets at any time or walking on to the beach before sunrise and after sunset. Security is another issue. Unattended personal items will be confiscated and temporary canopies left overnight will not be permitted. Police will post signs with these holiday weekend restrictions. Online tickets are available for a special VIP race view from Sandcastle Resort on Lido Key, Saturday's VIP race view advance tickets are purchased here while Sunday's viewing are online through this ordering page.

Grand Prix Fireworks on Monday
Return to downtown Sarasota for the fireworks at Island Park on Monday.

The boats will enter Sarasota Bay through the Centennial Park boat ramp and cross over the bay to the Gulf through the New Pass inlet. At midnight on Thursday through 6 p.m. on Sunday Centennial Park will be closed for parking except those with special passes. Centennial Park is across the street from Publix on Tamiami Trail at 10th street. Boat traffic will be restricted at New Pass during race times.

Stay for the award presentations at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Centennial Park, then return Monday night for one of the area’s best fireworks displays from Island Park. Whatever your plans are for the holiday I wish you a safe and enjoyable weekend. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 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.