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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.

Hurricane Preparedness

by Roger Pettingell

Preparing for storms helps in the recovery

Create a Hurricane Preparedness Kit and devise a plan

Mike Mailliard of MIC Insurance shares some ideas on protecting your valuable assets in REALTALK™ #92.

On this first day of summer we also head into the peak season for potential damaging weather, including hurricanes. And although the National Hurricane Center in Miami is getting better with advance warnings, there are certain items on the emergency checklist that should be carried out now while you have time to plan and prepare. Although we haven’t had a named hurricane hit Florida in 11 years, the steps in an emergency situation require advanced planning, action and recovery.

Although most of these discussions involve hurricane preparedness, some disasters are more sudden and you may have no time or little time to respond. Flooding and large scale fires are emergencies that if prepared for a hurricane, may be implemented in any emergency evacuation.

In REALTALK™ #92 last week Mike Mailliard of MIC Insurance discussed the steps that are necessary to ensure that your documents are safe in an emergency. He told us that his office keeps good records for clients but you can’t rely on every insurance office to be so prepared. Even with his office on Longboat Key, in an evacuation he would relocate to a safe facility in Sarasota. Besides insurance records, it is not a bad idea to scan important homeowner paperwork and tax records back seven years. This information should not be stored on a local drive but possibly in the cloud where you have access to it anywhere. Care should be taken for paperwork that requires an original document such as car and boat titles, or passports. You can have these on a checklist to pack to take with you in an evacuation.

In planning for the worse, you should also consider a realistic plan to pack keepsakes that may not be able to be replaced at any cost. Keep a list of 20 to 30 items that are irreplaceable such as photo albums, family heirlooms and original artwork.

Prepare a list of emergency numbers for government, utilities, hospitals and the American Red Cross. Make sure your ICE list is up to date. Law enforcement know to look for the ICE file on your phone in an emergency so they can get word to relatives.

You will also want to establish a communication plan with your family and have a good location to meet if separated. There is no guarantee that cell phone service will be available so locate an emergency shelter or relative, a safe meeting place inland. Longboat Key is in a Category I evacuation zone in Manatee and Sarasota counties, notices through the media will be sent out for winds expected over 74 mph. Keep your cell phone charged as evacuation notices are also sent out through Wireless Emergency Alerts. These are messages that target a geographic area with information such as evacuations, national terror threats, chemical spills, Amber and silver alerts. Not all phones have this ability so check your phone manufacture, and consider upgrading if the phone does not accepts these types of calls. A spare phone charger in your car should also be considered.

Plan ahead for an emergency shelter and there are dozens on the main land of Sarasota. American Red Cross shelters will not take pets so locating a shelter that will is important. Consider a pet-friendly hotel for pooch. Six of the 38 shelters in the county accept pets. Here is a list of shelters in Sarasota County and shelters in Manatee County, three of which accept pets. Remember to bring pet food for two weeks, leash and they may require proof of vaccination. If they stress during storms consider seeing a veterinarian for medicines that will help.

Loose Sailboat
Don't forget your boat - Thicker or extra moorings lines may be necessary in a storm to prevent sailboat damage such as this recent one on Bird Key Park.

Your boat is an investment worth protecting from high winds. In an impending storm seal all hatches with duct tape, moor with thicker lines, protect the lines with chafing gear, make sure bilge pumps are in proper working order and check for good battery life. Either store or secure any Biminis and ensure that objects in the boat are fastened so they do not become a flying hazard.

In hurricanes there is a great amount of water to create flooding situations. The combination of heavy rain, high tides and sea water surges is potentially hazardous to your home and to you. When tropical storm Colin hit the area a couple weeks ago officials opened sand bagging stations. The station on Holmes Beach had a ten bag limit at the Police Department.

You set your communications plan, prepared your evacuation route and the emergency shelter that meets your needs, what’s next? Whether going to a shelter or some other location you will want to prepare your survival kit. Water and non-perishable foods are basic items you will want in your kit, enough to last two weeks. Even if you are given three-days notice, lines at the grocery stores will be long and products will be limited. It is therefore recommended that you have a good supply on hand before the first storm announcement.

These are other items recommended for your hurricane preparedness kit:

  • Portable radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit with antibiotic ointment for cuts
  • Towelettes
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Manual can opener
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Prescription medicines
  • Over the counter medicines and hygienic supplies
  • First-aid kit
  • Cash
  • Local maps
  • Change of clothing
  • Sleeping bags, pillows and cot for an evacuation center
  • Books, playing cards or games
  • Sterno fuel and cookware
  • Paper plates, plastic utensils and cups

I’ve seen pre-made kits on the market starting at $70. With the proper planning and action, recovery will be easier in this paradise we call home. Welcome to summer.

Longboat Key History

by Roger Pettingell

History of Longboat Key through poetry

Light and lively account by Mary Kay Ryan

Listing at 603 Longboat Club Road, #503
History of Longboat Key - Longboat Key Towers is mentioned in this poem where we have a listing.

Our director of customer care, Mary Kay Ryan, wrote us a poem describing the history of Longboat Key. It says a lot about the legacy that the founders left for us in a whimsical rhythm that I urge you to read. She is not new to poetry, as she once wrote poems for her business by a company named Poetry in Motion. You know her from the REALTALK™ series. Mary Kay even works in a reference to Longboat Key Towers, where we have a listing at 603 Longboat Club Rd, #503.


In the year of fifteen thirty-nine,
Hernando DeSoto spent some time,
Navigating waters near Sarasota Bay,
With his scout Juan Anasco guiding the way.

They came upon an island the Indians found
Evidenced by seeing many shell mounds.

This barrier island named Longboat Key,
Has a very interesting history.

Originally settled by Thomas Mann,
Who settled with family on the north end.

At the turn of the century, the land was sold,
And building began on this soil of gold.

A man named John Ringling’s vision swelled,
He began building a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Located on the famed New Pass,
His grand building plans would not last.

With money gone, and resources few,
The hotel was torn down in 1962.

Another visionary of ALCOA fame,
Arthur Vining Davis was his name,
Would be next in line with a talented team,
And continued John Ringling’s development dream.

Longboat Key Towers was first out of the ground,
This piece of paradise soon would be found,
By snow bird and annual residents, too,
It took decades before building was through.

Today a Town and communities thrive,
Up and down Gulf of Mexico Drive.

The Bay to the East, and Gulf to the West,
Longboat Key is truly the best of the best.

I hope you have enjoyed this poem. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.


Sarasota Music Festival month

by Roger Pettingell

Music Festival celebrates 51 years

Month of June devoted to chamber music in Sarasota

Sarasota Opera House
Many of the events for the 2016 Sarasota Music Festival will be held at the Sarasota Opera House.

We love our festivals here in Sarasota. And when it involves an orchestra we support it generously. So when the Sarasota Music Festival begins this week you can be certain there will be an enthusiastic fan base in attendance. For the next three weeks you can expect performances of artist showcases, Friday Festivals, Saturday Symphonies and student recitals. These are internationally renowned artists who visit Sarasota to learn, teach and perform some of the best chamber music on the planet.

The festival is a program of the Sarasota Orchestra, now in its 51st year, begins today with Master classes that are open to the public. For the remainder of the Festival, 60 students are selected from hundreds who audition during the year attend and work with 40 masters, including some of the best alumni members attending previous festivals as students.

Three Thursdays of Artist Showcases

Thursdays the performances begin with an Artist Showcase, the first is this Thursday honoring a Festival faculty member, Joseph Silverstein, who passed away in November of last year. A violinist, he went on to become the Boston Symphony Concertmaster, a position he held for 22 years. Festival faculty will perform chamber works from Bach, Schubert, Dvorak and Brahm. This sold out performance begins at 4:30 in Holley Hall with a reception one hour before the music begins.

Tickets are still available for the following Thursday Artist Showcase, Magnus Opus. The Julliard School faculty member Timothy Eddy starts the program with a Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. He is followed by pianists Michael Adcock and Jonathan Spivey for a composition by Satie. Mozart’s Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major and Blanc’s Scherzo Tarentelle from Septet conclude the evening of music.

The third Artist Showcase celebrates the 90th birthday of Paul Wolfe, who founded the festival in 1965. The Artistic Director Laureate of the Festival is honored with an evening of six pieces beginning with Charles Neidich on clarinet and Nancy Goeres on bassoon performing Duo No. 1 in C Major from Beethoven. Some students will filter in for the evening that concludes with a Hommage a Paul Wolfe performed by violinist James Buswell and Robert Levin on piano. Levin has been the Festival artistic director for the past 10 years.

Friday Festivals with students and faculty together

Friday nights are reserved for three Friday Festivals, each that begins at 8 p.m. in the Opera House. This series features student and faculty performing together, the first of which is A Potpourri of Passions and includes two student ensembles. Other performances include Mozart’s String Quartet No. 5 in D Major, Les Citations by Duttilleux and the Piano Trio in G Minor by Smetana.

Seven pieces comprise the second Friday Festival on June 17, Contrast and Parallels. Throw in a Beatle tune Penny Lane and contrast that with Schuman’s difficult Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Levin plays the piano in both compositions to draw a parallel between the two. Performances by student ensembles, a Finale from Wind Quartet and Dvorak’s String Quintet in G Major round out the evening.

On the final Friday it is Back to the Future and includes two more Beatle selections, In My Life and She’s Leaving Home with Levin once again on piano with six other faculty members. Students filter in with Charles Wetherbee, violin for Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Major. The talents of Thomas Robertello on flute and James Buswell on violin will combine with one student on viola to perform Reger’s Serenade in G Major. Levin returns on piano for the finale, an energetic performance of Piano Quartet No. 2 in G Minor composed by Faure and includes violinist Buswell, Robert Vernon on viola and Brinton Smith on cello.

The best in chamber music, the Saturday Symphony

Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and former Festival student Noah Bendix-Balgley combines with Larry Rachleff, conductor, Alexander Kerr, concertmaster and Australian soprano Susan Lorette Dunn for the first Saturday Symphony, Tour de Force. The program begins with a Brahms’s composition, with variations on a Haydn theme. Dunn takes the stage for Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne and concludes with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Saturday Symphonies begin at 8 p.m. in the Opera House.

Europe Meets America is the theme for the second Saturday Symphony with former Festival student and world renowned Moran Katz on clarinet as a featured artist for the evening. Katz performs Coplands’s Clarinet Concerto, which instills memories of a lost love. Hugh Wolff is the featured conductor and David Coucheron is the featured concertmaster June 18 that includes Haydn’s Symphony No. 86 in D Major and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A Major.

The Festival concludes on Saturday, June 25, with a salute to Mozart and Levin. Featured artists are Levin, Nicholas McGegan, conductor and Charles Wetherbee, concertmaster performing Concerto in F Major by Vilvadi, Symphony No. 6 in C Major by Schubert and Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor by Mozart performed by Levin.

Lectures and Sunday student recitals

The first two Sundays are reserved for Student Recitals starting at 3 p.m. in Holley Hall. These recitals are chamber music works selected by the students. Festival lectures by Levin the first two Festival Saturdays begin at 1 p.m. in Holley Hall.

The fine culture and arts draw many people who want to vacation and live in Sarasota. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Legacy of John Ringling

by Roger Pettingell

John Ringling, his legacy in Sarasota

Tuesday is his 150th birthday celebration at The Ringling

Lush landscaping
Lush landscaping - Mable Ringling designed much of the landscaping on the grounds around Ca' d'Zan.

In the soul of John Ringling there was an entertainer. On the surface there was an elite businessman, art lover, world traveler and visionary. If he would have been alive tomorrow, he would be celebrating his 150th birthday. There will be celebrations and The Ringling will light up tomorrow to honor the man that once owned nearly a quarter of Sarasota land mass.

John the entertainer grew up in Iowa with seven siblings, five of which formed a musical group in which John would play the bass viol. At the age of 18, he was the youngest member of The Yankee Robinson and the Ringling Bros. Double Show. They would tour the countryside traveling great distances to perform.

The band transformed into a circus act. John was the act’s clown, but his business savvy had served him well and he became the advance man for the Ringling Bros. Circus. By 1907 he had learned the art of investing quite well, with his brothers purchasing the Barnum & Bailey circus that year. His investments were wide and included the Madison Square Garden in New York city.

In the 1920s he was part of the Florida land grab in which speculators were buying land at record paces. It was his vision to make the Sarasota area an attractive winter resort. It began with the purchase of 20 acres in northern Sarasota but eventually grew to include Bird Key and Lido Key. Myth or truth, it was said that he used his circus elephants to transport materials to build what is now the Ringling Bridge. This bridge would serve as the causeway between the main island and the two keys that he owned at the time.

At the same time he was building his wealth in the circus and purchased the American Circus Corporation in the same year the stock market crashed in 1929. It was also the same year that his beloved wife of 24 years, Mable, had died of diabetes and Addison’s disease. It was the beginning to the end of a great legacy.

Center for Asian Art
Grand Opening - The Center for Asian Art was designed to resemble jade sculptures.

John and Mable had amassed great wealth, building the famous home in which they lived. Mable was born in a small farm town between Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. The town is hard to locate on a map, either under the name of Buena Vista or Moons. While they were constructing their mansion on Sarasota Bay, Mable was heavily involved in the construction decisions. Their home on the expansive grounds of The Ringling, Ca’ d’Zan, is open for tours. Ca’ d’Zan is Venetian for The House of John. In 2001 the home underwent a major $15 million restoration, funded with generous public donations.

The two had also amassed a great collection of art work by the masters. They would travel the world to purchase directly from art owners or through auctions. The auction houses they frequented the most were around 636 Fifth Ave, New York, their northern home and now the site of Rockefeller Center.

Today, much of the grounds around the home remain as they were when John died of pneumonia in 1936. After years of neglect, Ca’ d’Zan was restored to its original grandeur. Also on the grounds is The Museum of Art, a dedication to the art collection of John and Mable. His education in art was formed with his association of dealer Julius Bohler and through his book collection that now makes up a large portion of the library within the museum. This month a special Center for Asian Art opened at the end of the museum. The 25,000 square foot, three story pavilion has a lecture hall with 125 seats and will display a rotation of art work.

Walker House
Special Paul Rudolph recognition - A replica of the Walker guest house was built on the grounds.

In 1948 the circus museum was opened with a collection of Ringling memorabilia, much of which was donated by circus performers who had moved to Sarasota when Ringling relocated the headquarters here from Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1927. When you visit the Circus Museum, be sure to catch the film Life and Times of John and Mable Ringling, narrated by the actor Hal Holbrook. A circus model of 44,000 pieces, special exhibits and an interactive gallery complete with high wire walk help celebrate the grand age of circus while John was The King of the Sawdust Ring.

The Historic Asolo Theater was built with décor from a theater built in 1798 in the Italian town of Asolo. The original theater was in Queen Caterina Cornaro’s castle near Venice. The queen had been married to the King of Cyprus.

Last year a replica of Dr. Walter Walker’s guest house on Sanibel Island was constructed on the grounds to demonstrate the skills of the Sarasota School of Architecture students and renowned architect Paul Rudolph. The original Walker House is still in use by the Walker family as a beach house where it was built in 1952 on Sanibel Island.

150th birthday celebration in the courtyard
Courtyard celebration - The 150th birthday celebration will be held May 31 in the courtyard.

Possibly one of the most important structures on The Ringling grounds is one that many visitors don’t see. It is the headstones of John and Mable in their burial grounds behind the Secret Garden. For 55 years the couple had been interred in different eastern United States cemeteries before they were moved to The Ringling grounds in 1991. John’s sister is also buried on the grounds.

The birthday celebration of his life will take place in the courtyard of the Museum of Art tomorrow from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets are required by calling (941) 358-3180 or visiting the website through the link here.

Hope you are celebrating a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. My new listing last week is new construction on the Gulf of Mexico beach. This 5BR/5.5BA estate is on target for an August completion date but ready now to make final design decisions. 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
6857 Gulf of Mexico Dr $3,995,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Bay Isles and its Amenities

by Roger Pettingell

Security and beaches for Longboat Key

Deeded beach access granted to Bay Isles homeowners

REALTALK™ #53 talk about Bay Isles Beach Club
Bay Isles Beach Club - In REALTALK™ #53 we discuss beach access and club amenities.

I have an alert for Longboat Key home buyers! There is a secure neighborhood on the island with 24/7 manned guard gates, golf, tennis, swimming, a private Gulf of Mexico beach club and with a selection of single-family homes, maintenance free homes, villas, condominiums and townhouses on the market. With this much variety and amenities you may wonder how you may have overlooked this community.

Fact is, if you were looking to buy in places like the Harbor Section, Sabal Cove, Queens Harbour or Grand Bay you were looking at real estate that has deeded access to one of the most encompassing clubs on the island. Bay Isles on the southern end of Longboat Key is a neighborhood of communities behind a southern gate that serves communities such as the single-family homes in the Harbor Section or the townhouses and residences of Fairway Bay. The north gate near the Publix grocery provides access to the single-family homes in Sabal Cove, Weston Pointe, the maintenance-free homes in Queen’s Harbour and Coreys Landing, or the condominiums of Grand Bay.

Besides the security of this gated community, members of the Bay Isles Beach Club also have access to the private white sands of the Gulf located at 2111 Gulf of Mexico Drive. With your personal key card you open the gates to the beach with its outdoor pavilion, showers, restrooms, barbecue grills, picnic facilities and beach volleyball.

Also behind the north and south gates are the facilities of the Longboat Key Club, which expands your horizon with access to the moorings marina and Portofino Restaurant & Grill. Members of the Longboat Key Club can enjoy a challenging round of golf on the championship course at Harbourside Golf Course. This tree-lined course opened in 1982 and now consists of three nine-hole courses, the White Egret, Red Hawk and infamous Blue Heron.

Bay Isles Beach Club
Beach Access - Residents of Bay Isles have deeded access to the Bay Isles Beach Club.

All of these neighborhoods are near some of the finest shopping and dining that is available on Longboat Key, St. Armands Circle and Sarasota. Opera, orchestra, musicals, ballet and plays add to the thrill of living at Bay Isles. And no visit to Sarasota would be complete without a tour of the Ringling Museum of Art and the home of John and Mable Ringling, Ca’ d’Zan.

In the mid-70s Arvida Corporation, a developer that was responsible for a large portion of the southern end of Longboat, Bird and Lido keys, recognized the potential for this area of the island. In 1976 the company filed documents with the state of Florida under the chapter name, Bay Isles, realizing the market was in need of a secure neighborhood with amenities. What formed were the homes and residences that followed. Here is a look at some of the communities of the Bay Isles Beach Club.

Harbor Section: Take a right turn past the southern gate to navigate through the Harbor Section of Bay Isles. Each lavishly landscaped single-family home backs to a canal structure that leads to Sarasota and the Gulf of Mexico open waters. You can review the current set of CMAs and the inventory that is available in this section.

Fairway Bay: A community of 288 residences comprised of mid-rise buildings and townhouses in three separate associations. The community shares a pool, tennis courts, clubhouse and exercise room. Fairway Bay residences are access through the south gate along Harbourside Drive and is across the street from Harbourside Golf Course.

Emerald Pointe: Three homes of its total 16 have been sold this last year in the community of Emerald Pointe. Emerald Pointe is a pet-friendly community consisting of mostly two-story villas built around the year 2000 on Harbour Links Drive, easily accessible through the south gate. Properties also back up to the Harbourside Golf Course.

Marina Bay: Near Fairway Bay and Emerald Pointe is Marina Bay, 60 condominiums on Sarasota Bay in three buildings constructed in the early 1990s. Residents have access to a heated pool, spa, fitness facilities and tennis courts centrally located near the middle building. One small pet is welcome.

Weston Pointe: Weston Pointe, Winding Oaks, Bayou, Sabal Cove, Queen’s Harbour and Coreys Landing are mostly single-family homes located around a series of canals and lakes inside the north gate. Each single-family home owner in Weston Pointe has deeded rights to their own private boat slip on a canal that leads out to Sarasota Bay. This community is located within a short walk of the Publix and Amore By Andrea Restaurant, which serves some of the finest Italian cuisine on Longboat Key.

Winding Oaks: Continue up Harbourside Drive inside the north gate and you will find the community of Winding Oaks. Many of these single-family homes built on two small lakes were built in 1988 but have been updated for a more modern lifestyle.

Sabal Cove: Directly across the street Sabal Cove homes offer many of the luxuries that comes with a single-family home ownership. Harbourside Golf Course winds its way around the lake that backs up to the homes in Sabal Cove built in the early 90s. Some homes on the interior face a cul de sac, offering more privacy. The listing I have at 3340 Sabal Cove Lane faces the lake and greets you with manicured landscaping and a brick-pavered driveway.

Queen’s Harbour: Many of the homes built in Queen’s Harbour were constructed between 1995 and 2000 but have also been updated with modern technologies, appliances and building codes. Homeowners here can enjoy a good second home in the winter, as most of the exterior maintenance and landscaping is handled by the local association. Many of the homes in Queen’s Harbour have their own private dock on a canal that leads to Sarasota Bay.

Coreys Landing: Most of the exterior maintenance of homes in Coreys Landings is also the responsibility of the association. As with Queen’s Harbour some owners with homes on Mistletoe Lane have their own private boat dock on a canal that winds out to Sarasota Bay. Coreys Landing residents enjoy a community pool with spa and tennis courts.

3040 Grand Bay #215
Grand Bay #215 - Our new listing overlooks Harbourside Golf Course.

Grand Bay: Continue up the road to its end to find another set of 24/7 manned guard gates at the six-building community of Grand Bay, a masterful collection of residences that overlook Sarasota Bay. Grand Bay is the highlight of condominium living on the bay with many amenities starting with on-site management. The heated pool and spa, tennis courts, fitness center, clubhouse, path structure and picnic areas exist with the community that is wonderfully landscaped and well maintained. The 271 luxury condominiums were built between 1994 and 1999. The inventory is rich, check the history and pricing through our current CMAs.

I have my most current listing here at Grand Bay, a wonderful three bedroom, 3.5 bath Biscayne floor plan in building II at 3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #215. Enjoy a wrap-around terrace facing the Blue Heron nine of the Harbourside Golf Course and Sarasota Bay on the west side of the building. I also listed a stunning Beachplace residence atr 1115 Gulf of Mexico Dr, $503 that is offered furnished on the fifth floor. 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
3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #215 $829,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1115 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #503 $599,000   Photo Slideshow


3-dimensional floor plans

by Roger Pettingell

Newest evolution in home photography

Three dimensional walk-throughs are the new floor plans

213 N Washington Drive 3D home virtual tour
Technology update - We present this home at 213 N Washington Drive in Lido Key as our first 3D tour.

In the evolution of listing real estate on the Internet, the addition of photos started a technological revolution that replaced binders of photos to show a home to a client. Home buyers from any country that had Internet access had the ability to pull up any property, see the photos, and determine which homes would be suitable for first-hand review. Over the years there have been funny photos, sexy photos and exceptionally bad photos. I have always liked the photos of bathrooms where the photographer can be seen in every mirror. Professionally prepared photos sell homes.

Then slideshows and virtual tours guided a client through the home as the real estate listing agent wanted to present the home. There was little interaction other than pausing and starting the tour. Then video was useful to give a better sense that each home had life and a home tour was no longer a set of static images. There are some funny videos too. A friend sent me a video once that showed a videographer walking through a home, the housing appeared in the bottom of the frame. It reminded me of the commercial where the dog’s nose was shown searching the home for Beggin Strips. Bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon…I like bacon.

In our quest to present our homes for sale in the best light, we started using helicopters to get great aerial shots. Drone technology extended those visuals for even more dramatic effect. Drones can get into areas that a helicopter can’t. Their limitations are defined by FAA scrutiny so we know homes within five miles of the SRQ airport in Sarasota can’t be photographed with drone technology.

REALTALK™ #86 on May 5, 2016
Matterport System - I demonstrated this new technology in REALTALK™ #86

We recently started using three-dimensional floor plans where the home buyer drives the views and the walk-through of the home. The company we are using has its headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, creators of the Matterport system. I provided a description of the process in REALTALK™ #86 and demonstrated our first home using this technology at 213 North Washington Drive near St. Armands Circle.

The photographer requires approximately one hour for every 1,000 square feet of floor space. In that time the camera is set up in one location to photograph a portion of the room by rotating the camera 360 degrees on a special tripod. The camera is stopped, then moved to a different small room or section of the same room in larger living spaces.

The operator remotely controls the camera so they are not seen in the resulting images. The camera records the floor, ceiling, walls and furniture. The images are stitched together to form two complete different tours of the home. The virtual floor plan that is created displays the home as you would see it on a paper floor plan. On homes with multiple floors you can select the floor you want to see in the lower right corner.

1372 Harbor Drive, Sarasota
Two views - This home at 1372 Harbor Drive in Sarasota can be seen in dollhouse or floor plan view.

You can really see the advantage of this system in dollhouse view. Select this view and you zoom into a point of origin. You are presented with a starting point where you can walk through the home at your own pace, stop and view the flooring in that room and even gaze at the architecture that is on the ceiling. A single click of the mouse in the direction you want to move takes you to the next point.

A dramatic demonstration of ceiling architecture is in the living room view of this home at 670 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key. While standing in the room, hold your mouse button down and scroll toward the ceiling. As with the virtual floor plan you can move to a different floor with one click. You can also walk up and down stairs to continue the tour at your own pace. The tour is very intuitive but there is a help system by clicking on the ? in the upper right corner.

What’s up next? Where is my virtual headset so I don’t need a mouse or touch pad?

Growing list of homes with 3D views

The Sanctuary - Community Spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Amenity-rich Sanctuary beach residences

Community spotlight on the southern end of Longboat Key

The Sanctuary buildings
The Sanctuary - The Sanctuary five buildings were built in four phases, completed in early 1990s

Imagine this lifestyle. Playing golf on a championship course that is outside your front door, strolling on white sand with the sounds of waves curling up on the beach, having a fine dinner cooked by magnificent chefs at a nearby restaurant, then completing nearly every night gazing at a stunning sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. This is a life of an owner in the Sanctuary community on Longboat Key.

Throw in some great amenities and your life gets even better yet. Relax in the resort style heated swimming pool or keep up your stamina with a short course Olympic length lap pool of 25 meters in the center. You can stay active on two lighted Har-Tru tennis courts, half-mile jogging path and fitness center. When it’s time to relax, consider the wading pool, sauna, spa and clubhouse with social rooms. Owners have the opportunity to join the prestigious Longboat Key Club with two championship golf courses, marina, restaurants and tennis courts. Security is controlled with two 24/7 manned guard gates, one at the entrance to the Longboat Key Club and the second into the Sanctuary community.

The Sanctuary heated swimming pool
The Sanctuary heated pool - The resort style swimming pool has a 25-meter lap pool in the center

With all the amenities offered at the Sanctuary you may never want to leave the confines of the property that rests on 18 acres at the southern end of Longboat Key. It is close to fine dining and shopping in St. Armands Circle and the cultural diversities offered in the Sarasota arts center. The community is friendly to small pets and owners have the option to rent their residences.

The Sanctuary, built in four phases over three years beginning in 1989, offer condominiums in five buildings with six different floor plans ranging from 1,785 to 3,115 square feet. Depending on the building, there are five to seven floors with under-building parking for the residents that own one of 181 units. The Ascot, on the beachfront corners in Sanctuary II, III and IV offers the largest of the floor plans. The master suite has direct access to 800 square feet of open terrace for beach and sunset views.

The Dorchester floor plan in the center of the Sanctuary IV building has a wonderful layout with split bedroom plans and two terraces totaling 460 square feet, one facing east for the morning sun accessible from the guest bedroom and den, the other facing west from the master bedroom for glorious sunsets. The Dorchester has the second highest amount of floor space at 2,590 square feet.

Similar in size and layout is the third highest amount of floor space is the Carlyle at 2,580 square feet. The Carlyle also flows through the building at the center of Sanctuary II and III and next to the Dorchester in the larger Sanctuary IV building.

575 Sanctuary Dr, #A202
Residence for sale - My 3BR/2.5BA listing at 575 Sanctuary Dr, #A202 is selling for $899,000

The Brittany is next in size at 2,375 square feet under air and 725 square feet of wrap-around terrace space. These floor plans were constructed in the east-facing residences of the buildings in Sanctuary II, III and IV next to the Ascot floor plan.

My listing in the Sanctuary I building at 575 Sanctuary Dr, #A202, has an Essex floor plan of 1,823 square feet and overlooks the Islandside golf course of the Longboat Key Club. This magnificent residence offered furnished is visually stunning with walls of glass and mirrored walls in the living room, extending the outdoor scenery of lush landscaping. The master suite has his and her walk-in closets, whirlpool bath tub and separate shower.

The Monaco floor plan, opposite the Essex in Sanctuary I is 1,785 square feet with two bedrooms and a den that can be converted to a third bedroom. Sanctuary I has two of the five buildings mentioned earlier.

Consider purchasing in the Sanctuary, on the beach and with all of its amenities. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing here at the Sanctuary or if you have a property to sell or buy.

UIPM Modern Pentathlon

by Roger Pettingell

World class athletes from 28 countries

Final Modern Pentathlon qualifier for the 2016 Olympics

Equestrian events at the 2015 Modern Pentathlon
Equestrian jumping events at the 2015 Modern Pentathlon #1 last February in Sarasota

On Thursday Sarasota will once again become the center stage for competing world class athletes. On that day the 72 participants from 28 nations will open the ceremonies for the 2016 pentathlon World Cup Finals, four days of competition in fencing, swimming, horse riding, running and pistol shooting. This is their last stop before the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Greek Olympic games introduced the pentathlon in 708 BC and consisted of a series of running the length of the stadium, jumping, throwing a spear, throwing the discus and wrestling. The pentathlon resurfaced in the 1912 Olympics with its current series of five events. In that first year a young George S. Patton finished fifth. He later went on to become one of the most decorated generals in United States history while serving in both WWI and WWII. The governing body for the modern pentathlon is the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) with its headquarters in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The festivities begin Thursday with the opening ceremony on the grounds of the Ringling Museum of Art. When the doors open at 5:30 expect a flurry of special guests and pentathletes among all the fanfare of an opening ceremony. Performances of the Players Flash Tappers along with the Manatee High School Choir and Band will highlight the musical extravaganza for the evening.

Fencing: The opening ceremony follows the early morning start of 8 a.m. that day at one of the two competition venues, the YMCA at Potter Park in Sarasota. The women compete in a round robin tournament in bouts of one-minute each where a single hit of the épée sword will determine the winner. If neither record a hit both actually are scored with a loss. The men compete with the same rules, beginning their tournament at 1 p.m. Thursday. The objective is to accumulate points from each competition, points are awarded based on a formula associated with each discipline.

The competition shifts to the second of the two venues, the 600-acre Nathan Benderson Park near the Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota. This community park is suited for these competitions and also features a 2,000 meter International Federation of Rowing Associations Congress Class A training center on its 400-acre lake. The 2017 World Rowing Championships will be held there in the early fall. But on this Saturday the women complete their final day of the pentathlon here starting at 12:30 p.m. with the final fencing bonus round.

The men have their final fencing bonus round at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park, before they return to the YMCA at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday for the final fencing round, then back to NBP on Sunday for their final bonus round at 1 p.m.

Swimming: On Friday a 200 meter freestyle set of heats will begin for the women at 10 a.m. in the 50 meter outdoor competition pool at the YMCA Selby Aquatic Center. Swimmers who finish under 2:30 will receive the maximum of 1,000 points in these events. The men compete in swimming the following day at 10 a.m., their final is Sunday at 9 a.m.

Equestrian jumping: All other events take place at NBP, with the women on Friday at 2 p.m. who begin their completion in the equestrian jumping events. Athletes participate on horses selected at random by the judges. They each receive 20 minutes to learn their horses and can earn up to 1,200 points by jumping over 120 centimeter hurdles on a 350-450 meter course. The course also requires these horses and riders to jump over 12 obstacles with 15 jumps total. The men compete in the final equestrian jumping contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 2:45 p.m.

Running and shooting: The last competition in the pentathlon is a combination of running and laser pistol shooting. The athletes start with a 25 meter run, then compete in laser pistol shooting which consists of a series of four sequences of five targets each, with a run of 800 meters between each of the sequences. Athletes compete in a relay with teams of two or three and can accumulate up to 2,000 for the combined event. The women’s final combined run and shoot is at 4 p.m. on Saturday, completing their competition in the pentathlon. The men compete at 4 p.m. on Saturday, with their last competition on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

There are many other events that coincide with the pentathlon at both venues. The awards ceremony for the women takes place at 4:30 p.m. following their full day of competition on Friday, while the men have two awards ceremony with the first on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and the second on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Pentathlon Village at NBP is open from noon to 4 p.m. each day. It is included in the your ticket price to the competition and features exhibits and performances by the Garbage Men or Jazz Quintet. You can receive up to two free tickets by donating books at either venue. Donated books will go to the Ashton Elementary School and Booker Elementary School.

A free athlete welcome party will be held Saturday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Evie’s Tavern in Sarasota, in cooperation with Gold Coast Eagle Distributors. The closing ceremonies is to include the marching band and choir from Manatee High School A parade of flags and Cirque Sarasota will be held Sunday after all events have completed at 6:30 p.m. in NBP.

It was reported that the pentathlon event in Sarasota last February had a $5.7 million impact on the local economy, with over 13,500 guests attending. Sarasota continues to provide world class events in sports and the arts. The real estate market thrives. Last week we listed three new properties for sale, a wonderful Brid Key estate on the water and two residences on Longboat Key. 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
670 Mourning Dove Dr $2,999,000 Video Photo Slideshow
2016 Harbourside Dr, #334/335 $749,000 Video Photo Slideshow
3070 Grand Bay Blvd, #642 $659,500   Photo Slideshow


Home security systems

by Roger Pettingell

Alarm systems help protect your home

DIY to full-home monitoring services are available

Smart Home Design, REALTALK™ #42
REALTALK™ #42 - Smart home demonstration.

Many communities on Longboat Key are safe and secure with 24-hour manned guard gates. Neighborhoods such as Queens Harbor, Corey’s Landing, Grand Bay, Fairway Bay and Harbor Acres in Bay Isles are collectively protected with a north and south gate. Police protection here is top-notched and license plates are scanned entering or exiting the island. With the wealth that exists here homeowners feel more secure by adding another level of security through third-party monitoring systems.

With modern technology you can set up a system that monitors for fire, water intrusion, and any intruder that might be bold enough to test the barriers. These systems can also be tied to the lighting, entertainment and temperature control. Some of the smart home systems can easily be set up by an average homeowner while complex systems require the experience of professionals. I spoke with Mark Bolduc, president of Wicked Smart Homes, in REALTALK #42 while recording in a home he designed. The system he demonstrated was complex but made very easy to operate through a touchscreen tablet.

Some companies provide 24-hour monitoring for security. ADT has been in the security business for 140 years and has grown to be one the most reliable home monitoring companies in the country. Their theft protection guarantee will provide up to $500 toward the insurance deductible if the home was broken into while the alarm was set. They have grown to include fire and smoke detection, water detection and thermostat controls.

Frontpoint is a new company in the business of providing whole house security protection. Their claim is that their system is the only provider that is 100% cellular. The disadvantage for wired systems is that an intruder could potentially cut wires entering the home and disable the service. Copper phone lines and cable lines that connect to Wi-Fi are susceptible to signal disruption.

Their system has cloud storage of images, has a 100 decibel alarm and 24-hour power backup. The service is notified immediately if it senses that the equipment is destroyed with their crash and smash feature. Other systems rely on a 30-second delay to disarm the alarm and the bad guys know that.

SafeTouch Security out of Jacksonville has been spending a lot on radio and TV advertising. Their system also claims crash and smash protection, along with many of the features that the other top tier programs offer. Their $24.95 per month service plan is available to anyone who wants to pay three years in advance.

Cable and Internet providers have also entered the game. Comcast and Bright House both provide alarm systems with monthly service charges around $30. With Comcast’s XFINITY you can arm your system remotely over the phone and has battery back-up. It also detects water intrusion and smoke in the home. With XFINITY you can use your own equipment so that you can take it with you if you move. Options include lighting and temperature controls.

The Bright House managed system is similar. With the basic package you get two door and window sensors, one motion sensor, touchscreen modem and router. You must subscribe to their Internet service but a dedicated wireless network is secure for monitoring and control.

Ring doorbell
The Ring installs easily, reacts like a doorbell and homeowners can respond to visitors anywhere they have smartphone access.

There are systems that do not require a monthly monitoring fee. Of course, the homeowner is responsible for contacting the police or fire department in an emergency. Verizon has all but abandoned its monitoring service but instead offer the Canary for sale. For $199 the device will send HD video to your smartphone if it detects an unusual event. It claims it has the ability to learn so that it reduces false alarms. It sounds a 100 decibel alarm when activated. The camera is wide angle at 147 degree field of view and has night vision capability. Video is stored in the cloud with 12 hours for free.

Ring has a video doorbell that responds to visitors by motion activation. It also records to the cloud and is nice in that you can respond to the doorbell from anywhere with your smartphone. It connects through your home Wi-Fi. The cost is $199 and for an additional $30 you can purchase a Chime that plugs into a wall outlet with an audible sound when a visitor pushes the button on the front, a doorbell.

You can purchase wireless and wired home video cameras that record full video or only when motion is detected. They can be installed outside while some are mainly for indoor use. If they record to a DVR or tape, I recommend putting the recorder in a secure location. It would be too easy to steal the recording device and you would have nothing.

If your motive is to prosecute, consider placing one camera on the inside of your home. It is more difficult to pursue a burglary charge if you only have evidence of the intruder on the exterior of your home. Even then I would hope police would have enough to pursue the stolen goods.

Security systems aren’t at the top of everyone’s home buying checklist. Many buyers contact us for the spectacular sunset or sunrise views. 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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  • Over 32 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.
  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Number 1 Realtor on Longboat Key and Bird Key for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013 and 2014
  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014 and 2016 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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