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Good news and announcements at Mote Marine

by Roger Pettingell

Many things to many ocean species

Since 1955 this organization has been at the forefront of marine research

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium - The Aquarium was added in 1980 for a public view of the research.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium has been in the news a lot lately. The base campus and aquarium on City Island is notably the most visible of their research facilities but there are four other facilities in Florida that research on the oceans is an ongoing effort. The Mote Aquaculture Research Park on Fruitville Road, Mote Boca Grande, Mote Eco-Discovery Center in Key West and the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration in Summerland all have different perspectives on the Mote ocean research mission. These are the field stations that support research that is ongoing in all seven continents.

And now we are pondering what happens to City Island if Mote Marine moves its aquarium to a proposed site that is between the rowing lake of Nathan Benderson Park and the new Mall at University Town Center. For Mote it is in an ideal location for the view of 43 million travelers each year on Interstate 75. The announcement in February caused a stir in the community that Mote was abandoning Longboat Key. An article in the Longboat Observer newspaper on April 1 reported plans that the laboratory and aquarium would be replaced by a 400,000-square-foot modern shopping complex. Please note the publication date of the news article before writing any letters or emails.

In any event though Mote Marine is not abandoning their facility on City Island when the new aquarium opens, expected to be in 2021. Instead the new aquarium will expand again and add a sixth facility to its field centers. The new aquarium will be a highly visible tourist attraction for Sarasota while the research laboratories on City Island will be transformed into attracting more scientists that have been looking for space to conduct their lab research.

Most research as reported by Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Dr. Michael Crosby, Mote Marine President and CEO - "This study reflects our dedication to innovative and meaningful research," on the AZA report.

Since its beginning in 1955, Mote Marine has been a leader in marine research and is the oldest such facility in Florida. In 1980 the aquarium was added to give a public view of the scientific examination of oceans, from the smallest to largest creatures that live underwater. In March Mote Marine was recognized the second highest research production among the 228 non-profits in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). On April 2 the same organization awarded Mote Marine accreditation as a leader in providing animal care and a meaningful experience for visitors. Mote Marine applies for this distinguished award every five years before an audit and inspection. This is the fourth accreditation since its first in 2003.

Mote Marine has extensive data on manatees, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, coral reefs, and more than most on just about anything else under the sea. Recently Mote Marine scientists published a new procedure for taking the temperature of manatees, oral thermometers are just too impractical for this procedure. Trained resident manatees Hugh and Buffett were involved in this study. Mote Marine maintains a statewide catalog of manatees and shares that information with two other organizations in Florida.

To celebrate and raise funds for protecting nesting turtles Mote Marine this month held its 32nd annual Run for the Turtles. Turtle nesting season runs from May 1 to October 31. Residents are asked to help in the protection of eggs through a series of requirements so the turtles have a safe journey to the nesting area and that the hatchlings can safely make their first entry into the Gulf of Mexico. Education flyers and kiosks provide information on ways to help and laws that are enforced during this period. In 2017 new rules were announced to increase the safety of nesting turtles. Turtle watch organizations supported by Mote Marine identify and mark the nesting areas during the season. They also report this information, the 2017 summaries are available online at the Mote Marine website and also reported in local news organizations.

One of the many exhibits at the aquarium open to the public
Educational Exhibits - High quality displays at Mote Marine provide a vast amount of information.

Mote Marine researcher Dr. David Vaughan, executive director of the Summerland coral field office reported this week in the Yale Climate Connections a new procedure for growing coral. His discoveries in the lab are now transferrable to the world’s oceans. Mote Marine has also developed other methods to speed the expansion of slow-growing brain, boulder and star corals through micro-fragmentation and fusion. Mote Marine has planted 20,000 of the faster growing staghorn corals into the reefs of the Florida keys. Last year Dr. Erinn Muller was the first to report the effects of low pH on the increase of a world epidemic of black band, a disease affecting 42 different species of coral.

Scientist Carl Luer is researching the intensifying evidence that sharks have the potential to save human lives by examining their metabolisms. For decades scientists have looked at the ability of sharks to heal their wounds. Over the years shark fin has been sold by Japanese herbalists to promote well-being but their finning process of catching sharks only for their fins has been criticized world-wide.

Over the years Mote Marine scientists have given testimony and reviewed pending legislation before congress. The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act was reviewed by Dr. Bob Hueter, senior scientist at Mote Marine. Dr. John Reynolds was appointed to lead the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission from 1991 to 2010. He passed away on December 23, 2017. This commission was responsible for manatees, whales and polar bears. Dr. Kevan Main served as president of the World Aquaculture Society.

Sarasota Lionfish Derby
Sarasota Lionfish Derby - Volunteers weigh and measure this invasive species at the 2016 derby.

There are many programs offered at Mote Marine to educate the public on the world oceans. The problems of marine debris presentation will be held at 6 PM today. The Environmental Summit by the Science and Environment Council kicks off with a keynote address by Jack Davis, author and professor at the University of Florida. The keynote will be held at 5:30 PM on April 25 at Mote Marine while the summit runs April 25 to 27 at New College of Florida. World Oceans Day is celebrated June 2 with an all-day family festival. A three-day Sarasota Lionfish Derby that begins July 6 is one of education, collection and research on this invasive species of fish. A list of events for fundraising and education is available on the Mote Marine website.

Mote Marine receives its funding through donations and fund-raisers, with door and event gate receipts. It also receives a portion of its operational funding through grants. Memberships and venue rentals add to the revenue of this non-profit. Volunteers are needed to support the staff and help with educational programs. Valuable training is also given to volunteers. Contact the office to get involved with this valuable program that means so much to this community.

It's Festival Time in Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Upcoming events in the next two weeks

Featuring Film, Whiskey, Chamber Music and Shark’s teeth festivals

Sarasota Opera House
The four concert programs of the 2018 La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, now in its 32nd season, will be held at the Sarasota Opera House.

Sunday closed on a very successful Sarasota Wine Festival Auction to benefit organizations that support children. By the end of this week four more festivals will be in full swing featuring film, whiskey obsession, music and even a celebration of shark’s teeth. There should be something for everyone. There are many single-day celebrations so you can stay busy for the next few weeks. Below is information on the four festivals in the order of their start date, with links and times for the major events of each festival.

La Musica International Chamber Music Festival begins tonight with Program I

There are four full symphony concerts during the days of the La Musica International Chamber Music Festival beginning tonight at 8 PM with Program I, a concert of two string quintets and a piano trio conclusion composed by Schubert in E flat major. In Program II on Thursday a Mendelssohn string quartet is featured, with a Popper composition, Requiem in F# minor concluded with a dramatic piece from Rachmaninoff. Composers Paganini, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Shostakovich will be featured in a Sunday matinee at 3 PM. The concluding program on April 18 begins with a Bernstein piano trio concerto, a Brahms viola version followed by a Schubert composition string quintet in C major for the conclusion of this year’s festival.

Two rehearsal dates have already been completed for the 32nd season of the festival, this year under the direction of Bruno Giuranna, a Milan Italy born accomplished musician and artistic director. Rehearsals are open to the public, see the schedule below. Also open to the public is a free panel discussion with three musicians and composer Jerry Bilik, tomorrow at 4:35 in the Mildred Sainer Pavilion on the New College of Florida campus. The associate director Derek Han, who has performed piano concerts in prestigious halls of five continents, will be among those attending a musician greeting in the Dolphin Aviation Hanger at the SRQ airport on Wednesday. Go to La Musica Festival for more information and ticket purchases.

Monday, April 9

Start time Event Location
8:00 PM Program I Opera House, Sarasota

Tuesday, April 10

Start time Event Location
9:30 AM Musician rehearsals Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota
4:35 PM Musician panel discussion Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota

Wednesday, April 11

Start time Event Location
9:30 AM Musician rehearsals Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota
5:30 PM Meet the musicians Dolphin Aviation Hanger, Sarasota

Thursday, April 12

Start time Event Location
8:00 PM Program II Opera House, Sarasota

Friday, April 13

9:30 AM Musician rehearsals Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota

Saturday, April 14

Start time Event Location
10:00 AM Musician rehearsals Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota
6:00 PM Musical Chefs (sold out) Michael's Wine Cellar, Sarasota

Sunday, April 15

Start time Event Location
3:00 PM Program III Opera House, Sarasota

Monday, April 16

Start time Event Location
9:00 AM Musician rehearsals Felding Hall, Opera House

Tuesday, April 17

Start time Event Location
9:30 AM Musician rehearsals Felding Hall, Opera House

Wednesday, April 18

Start time Event Location
8:00 PM Ballet Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Michael's on East, Sarasota
8:00 PM Program IIII Opera House, Sarasota

Whiskey Obsession Festival, four days of tastings and classes for a local charity

Whiskey Obsession Festival
The kickoff dinner for the Whiskey Obsession Festival will begin the tastings and classes at the Sarasota Yacht Club and ends here with one of the final events on Saturday, the Women of Whiskey Brunch.

Starting Wednesday with a Bartender Academy at the Aloft Hotel, the Whiskey Obsession Festival kicks off four days of social events, classes, whiskey tastings and parties. The timing is perfect for child abuse prevention month, as the proceeds benefit the Child Protection Center. But this is not a festival to chug down glasses of whiskey in a style typically associated to a frat party, this is serious business with 18 events devoted to connoisseurs of fine whiskeys and scotch liquors.

The Master Classes are presented as a means to learn about different blends, the first is a focus lunch of fine dining and class at The Francis in downtown Sarasota on Thursday. An intimate dinner discussion with Raj Sabharwal of 16 guests follows at 5 PM. The discussions continue at The Francis with a distinguished panel of international whiskey experts including distillers, academics and distributors. On Friday the classes change venues for the Pre-Show Premium Master Class at Michael’s Wine Cellar, featuring tastings of single malt scotch. The Master Classes continue at Michael’s on East at 8 PM, for those with a more professional approach, divided into four sessions of seasoned professionals.

There is time to let loose a little and enjoy some social interaction. The first best time for that is the after party at MADE Restaurant in downtown Sarasota that starts at 10:45 PM on Friday. Saturday is a day devoted to the Women of Whiskey Brunch, beer, bourbon and cigars at the Gator Club at 4 PM and concludes with a free block party at Lemon and Main in downtown Sarasota, starting at 6:30 PM. For more information on the festival go to the Whiskey Obsession Festival website.

Wednesday, April 11

Start time Event Location
1:00 PM Bartender Academy Aloft Hotel, Sarasota
6:30 PM Kickoff dinner Sarasota Yacht Club

Thursday, April 12

Start time Event Location
12:00 PM Master Class - Breckenridge Bourbon The Francis, Sarasota
5:00 PM Panelist Dinner with Raj Sabharwal The Francis, Sarasota
7:00 PM The Panel of Whiskey Experts The Francis, Sarasota
10:00 PM Brand Showcase The Gator Club, Sarasota

Friday, April 13

Start time Event Location
5:00 PM Pre-show Premium Master Class Michael's Wine Cellar, Sarasota
7:30 PM Grand Tasting and Master Class Michael's On East, Sarasota
10:30 PM After Party MADE Restaurant, Sarasota

Friday, April 13

Start time Event Location
5:00 PM Pre-show Premium Master Class Michael's Wine Cellar, Sarasota
6:30 PM Grand Tasting and Master Class Michael's On East, Sarasota
8:00 PM Master Classes Michael's On East, Sarasota
10:30 PM After Party MADE Restaurant, Sarasota

Saturday, April 14

Start time Event Location
11:30 AM Women of Whiskey Brunch Sarasota Yacht Club
4:00 PM Beer, Bourbon & Cigars The Gator Club, Sarasota
6:30 PM Street Party Lemon Avenue and Main Street, Sarasota

Sarasota Film Festival celebrates 20 years

50 Words film
Look for films with a Sarasota theme including 50 Words created and starred in by local actress Kathryn Parks.

Don’t let Friday the 13th scare you for the start of the Sarasota Film Festival. This is ten days for devoted fans of the art and this year celebrates the 20th year of the festival. The opening night film of Class Rank sets the tone for this year, a film by director Eric Stoltz. You can catch a glimpse of the director on the red carpet of the Sarasota Opera House starting at 6:30 PM. There are two parties opening night, a kickoff party at Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton and the block party at Selby Five Points Park in Sarasota starting at 9 PM. Stoltz will be available on Saturday for a noon discussion at the Florida Studio Theatre. There are more discussions at the Florida Studio Theatre on Saturday with film stars beginning with Steve Guttenberg at 11 AM, Virginia Madsen at 1 PM and Rory Kennedy at 3 PM.

This year we celebrate locals who have created films or there are films about Sarasota. Sarasota resident, Kathryn Parks, created, wrote and stars in the film, 50 Words, as Lilly Green, who is presented with many admirers after writing a personal ad and finds the one she has been pining for. It is one of eight films in the Shorts II: Florida Showcase. A short film of 12 minutes follows the professional orchestra in preparation of out-of-town concerts in Sarasota Orchestra: A Week in the Life. There are two showings of both films, 3 PM on Sunday and 11 AM on April 21 in the Art Ovation Hotel. A Frenchman in Florida on April 19 at 8:45 PM in the Art Ovation Hotel is a mystery film about a suspicious man in a Sarasota hotel that may be linked to the disappearance of two young girls.

Be prepared to sit for long periods of time to enjoy all the films and screenings, mostly at the Regal Hollywood II Cinemas. The red carpet rolls out the final day for coach Nick Bollettieri and director Jason Kohn at 1:30 PM for the movie, Love Means Zero, a documentary about local famed tennis coach, Bollettieri, a founder of IMG Academy in Bradenton. The main feature on closing night is the movie, Above and Beyond, NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow. Director Rory Kennedy and Producer Mark Bailey will be on the red carpet starting at 5 PM for the 6 PM showing.

Party Out of This World from 8 PM to midnight in the ballroom of the Art Ovation Hotel on April 20, it is the anniversary party for the film festival. Chill Under the Stars on Saturday night at Selby Five Points Park starting at 6 PM. Planned is a Brazilian Samba Parade, fashion show and live bands. For ticket information and movie schedules go to the Sarasota Film Festival website.

Friday, April 13

Start time Event Location
6:00 PM Bradenton Kickoff Party Motorworks Brewing, Bradenton
6:30 PM Opening Night Film, Class Rank Opera House, Sarasota
9:00 PM Opening Night Block Party Selby Five Points Park, Sarasota

Saturday, April 14

Start time Event Location
12:00 PM Media Brunch Panel Fogartyville Community Center, Sarasota
12:00 PM In Conversation With, Eric Stoltz Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
6:00 PM Through the Tunnel, screening Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom, Sarasota
10:00 AM Through Womens Eyes Regal Hollywood II Cinema, Sarasota

Sunday, April 15

Start time Event Location
5:45 PM Hollywood Nights Regal Hollywood II Cinemas, Sarasota
6:00 PM FACEing Mental Illness premiere Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom, Sarasota
7:00 PM Hollywood Nights Regal Hollywood II Cinemas, Sarasota
Films Through Womens Eyes Regal Hollywood II Cinema, Sarasota

Wednesday, April 18

Start time Event Location
7:00 PM Riverview Awards Show Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom, Sarasota

Friday, April 20

Start time Event Location
8:00 PM Out of This World, party Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom, Sarasota

Saturday, April 21

Start time Event Location
11:00 AM In Conversation With, Steve Guttenberg Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
1:00 PM In Conversation With, Virginia Madsen Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
3:00 PM In Conversation With, Rory Kennedy Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
5:00 PM Closing Films, Red Carpet Opera House, Sarasota
6:00 PM Closing Films, Above and Beyond Opera House, Sarasota
6:00 PM Chill Under the Stars, closing party Selby Five Points Park, Sarasota

Sunday, April 22

Start time Event Location
11:00 AM Sensory-Friendly, LU Over the Wall Regal Hollywood II Cinema, Sarasota

A celebration festival of shark's teeth on the airport fairgrounds in Venice

Shark teeth
With a Florida Snow Shovel (straining basket on the end of a pole) and a keen eye you can pull small fossilized shark teeth out of the sand at the Venice shoreline. Keep a watchful eye out for a megalodon tooth. Divers like the depths between 18 and 35 feet for their search.

Maybe this festival starting on Friday the 13th may frighten you. Venice has been known by locals, travelers and scuba divers as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World. There are several theories as to why you can gather many teeth on the shoreline or in the depths off the coast of Venice. Some predict there were ocean waters that converted to land masses, then flooded in a process of the ice age over millions of years. Estimates are that sharks lose and replace nearly 10,000 teeth in a lifetime, adding to vast numbers of this deposit. The sharks died in the shallow waters, their teeth preserved and fossilized by the land that filled in the seas. As the seas once again encroached what is now Florida, a gradual slope to deep waters around Venice held these fossils in place.

Most teeth you find will be dark colored, the fossilization process converts white teeth to black. The early earth masses that extended out to the Gulf may explain why you can find an occasional fossilized bone of some land animal. Don't dismiss any dark object that resembles a bone, it could be that of a fossilized ground sloth or whale. There are other theories too, depending on which local you speak with. Now, find a megalodon tooth and you have a true treasure.

In order to celebrate its namesake, for the past 25 years Venice has thrown a festival in honor of the teeth that lie in the Gulf of Mexico surf. The Shark's Tooth Festival starts Friday at 4 PM on the airport festival grounds in Venice. The Gator Creek Band performs at 6 PM on the main stage Friday night. Look for booths that display their shark teeth for sale. A large 6-inch megalodon tooth might be on sale for hundreds of dollars. Among the food vendors and activities, there are also a Special Olympics Fishing Presentation at 2 PM and Special Olympics Weight Lifting Demonstration on Saturday. The Curry Creek Cloggers perform from 10 to 10:45 AM on Saturday. Also on Saturday The Rockin Rogues start at 11 AM, the Beatles tribute band the Glass Onion takes the stage at 12:45 PM, followed by Maiden Cane from 6:30 to 8:45 PM. Paisley Craze starts the festivities on Sunday morning at 11:15 AM. The Boogiemen are set to perform for three hours starting at 2 PM to close the show. Go to the Shark's Tooth Festival website for more information.

More upcoming events and three new listings last week

FSU Center for the Performing Arts
FSU Center for the Performing Arts - The final Inside the Studio series of the Sarasota Ballet this year will be here April 18, Bugaku, Blending Subtlety and Strength.

The Sarasota Ballet Principal Film Series and Inside the Studio series started late last year concludes with its final presentation April 18, Bugaku, Blending Subtlety and Strength. Inside the Studio at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts gives patrons a look at the rehearsal and interpretation process of upcoming performances. The final Program 7 of the 2017-2018 ballet season is set for April 27-28 at the Opera House, Great Masters of Dance: Tudor, Balanchine & Ashton.

Updated on most Thursdays in time for the weekend, our upcoming events page features over 400 festivals, expos, plays, concerts, cultural arts and musicals from the Manatee Performing Arts Center in the north, Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch venues, and the Venice Performing Arts Center in the south. Nearly every show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is on the schedule with tickets available through their online box office. The highly acclaimed musical, Jersey Boys, is currently running there through Thursday. Plan your days with this upcoming events schedule, now with listings through April 10, 2019.

Check out my three new listings last week at Beachplace, a buildable lot near Mar Vista Restaurant on Longboat Key and a townhome on Evergreen Way 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
1055 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #106 $1,599,000   Photo Slideshow
6941 Bayside Drive $995,000   Photo Slideshow
810 Evergreen Way $379,000   Photo Slideshow


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


Florida Winefest Auction Starts Thursday

by Roger Pettingell

Four days of wine, food and good times

Support good children charities through ticket and auction proceeds

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Winefest Events - Some Florida Winefest events will be held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

We love our festivals here in Sarasota. There is typically one every weekend at this time of year and most center on seafood or drinks. The vintners and chefs are gearing up for this week’s Florida Winefest Auction that begins Thursday with four days of events that features the Pique Nique Sur la Baie Winefest Style, Banquet on the Block of Lemon Avenue and the Grand Tasting, Brunch and Charity Auction on Saturday.

Two events starting at 11 AM on Thursday kick off this year’s Winefest. The Bayfront Consumer Lunch Tasting is open to the general public at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. A tent will be set up on the bayfront grounds where four of the Winefest events will be held. Enjoy good food, an excellent wine selection and music from Steel Pan Dave. Half of the $50 ticket cost is tax deductible. At the same time the Business Trade Tasting is by invitation only to those in the trade with licenses.

The Winemaker Dinner Party at Sunset on Thursday features the wine tastings from over eight wineries and chef preparations from four of the finest local restaurants on Longboat Key, Siesta Key and in Sarasota. The party starts at 6:30 PM and costs $125 each. Sunset is at 7:50 PM, enough time for dining and listening to the music of the Souls on Soul band. The signature cocktail during the wine reception hour is served in a souvenir Tervis Tumbler.

Souls on Soul band
The Souls on Soul band will perform at sunset on Thursday during the Winemaker Dinner Party.

One of the main events of the four days occurs on Friday, the Pique Nique Sur la Baie (Picnic on the Bay), Winefest Style. Walk the grounds of the south lawn of the Van Wezel starting at 11 AM with a sparkling wine reception and continue with good conversation, and seating at noon with fine dining and some of the best wines that Florida has to offer. Half of the $175 ticket cost is tax deductible and provides scholarship funds for the New College Foundation, a partner of this event.

Dining follows at 6:30 PM in downtown Sarasota with a table seating 200 guests on Lemon Avenue. A six course dinner of local seafood and cuisine will be prepared by some of the area’s best chefs from six fine restaurants, some of which participated in the sunset dinner party on Thursday. Tickets are $200 each.

Create fond memories with new friends while supporting good charities at the Grand Tasting, Brunch and Charity Auction, a Winefest signature event Saturday morning. The festivities begin at 11 AM with the Grand Tasting and Brunch. Wine will be served from over 65 wineries and dishes prepared by chefs from local restaurants. The brunch and auction tickets are $125 per person.

Longboat Key sunset
Winefest Sunsets - Enjoy the start to your evenings with the sunset events at the Florida Winefest Auction.

The charity auction begins at 1:30 PM with an entertaining David Elswood of Christie’s London as auctioneer with wines from over 42 vineyards. There will also be a silent auction that coincides with the wine auction and feature exotic get-aways to places like Grand Cayman Island, Aspen, Mediterranean, Tuscan, Vermont Lake or NASCAR races and even the Indianapolis 500. Or bid on some tangible collectibles such as sports memorabilia, sunken treasure artifacts or even a slate-top billiards table.

Wine on the Water at the Van Wezel Bayshore is the finale event of the Winefest this year. Dance to the upbeat blues and jazz ensemble Kat Crosby Band starting on Sunday at 1 PM. This event is free to the public unless you want to participate in the tasting under the tent, a cost of $25 per ticket. BulGoGi Korean BBQ and Mother Truckin Good will serve luncheon plates for a cost.

Proceeds from the Winefest benefit the New College Foundation scholarship fund and 84 charities assisting children with special needs, which has provided 8.3 million dollars over the past 27 years since 1991. The charity funds are provided by a portion of the event tickets and auction, 50 percent of ticket costs are tax-deductible. More information and tickets can be purchased online at Florida Winefest Auction. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.



Home Showcase XXII

by Roger Pettingell

Two Global Luxury Waterfront Homes

New listings in Harbor Acres and Oyster Bay top the list

1352 Harbor Drive in Harbor Acres
Harbor Acres Home - This home for sale at 1352 Harbor Drive features four bedrooms, attached three-car garage, deep-water boat dock with lift and room for two boats and 40-foot waterside heated swimming pool.

The theme this month for the Home Showcase series is new listings that meet the criteria of Coldwell Banker and its Global Luxury brand. Global Luxury homes are selected based on their listing price and features that are in high demand by homebuyers. I have two Sarasota single-family homes on the water, from Harbor Acres and Oyster Bay for this Home Showcase XXII article. They are luxurious and in exclusive communities.

Harbor Acres is in a great location within the southern Sarasota city limits with few encumbrances of road access to areas of the city and beyond. The homes here are on the water of two peninsulas that make up most of the community. Boat owners have direct ingress into Sarasota Bay. A community that was established in 1951 with the sale of 171 lots, many of the homes are newer. A home that has not been rebuilt recently can be looked at for its land value. The original homes that are still standing are purchased as a potential tear-down. A listing I have at 1571 Hillview Drive built in 1954 is still livable by some standards, but potential buyers consider the cost of construction and look at the land to determine the size of a new home when making their decision. I am preparing to list another property in Harbor Acres, a home that is under construction at 1333 Vista Drive. Look for an upcoming episode of REALTALK™ for more details on its progress. There is great wealth in this community, many with a front security gate to their estate on the water.

The luxury home I have listed for $3,795,000 in Harbor Acres is located at 1352 Harbor Drive. This is exclusive waterfront living at its best. Perfectly positioned just two homes in from the open bayfront, offering stunning views of Sarasota Bay and John Ringling Bridge, this newer four-bedroom home is ready for you. Built to the highest standards in 2009, its features include impact doors, windows and sliders, elevator, 14’ ceilings, Travertine flooring, coffered ceiling treatments, waterside swimming pool and deep-water dockage.

Extend your luxury lifestyle with a Field Club membership in Oyster Bay

1235 North Lake Shore Drive, Sarasota
Home for sale in Oyster Bay - The many pleasures offered at 1235 North Lake Shore Drive is for the homeowner's enjoyment. Relax or entertain on the open lanai with heated swimming pool and waterfall feature.

Looking for luxury living with great amenities available? The community of Oyster Bay may have what you are looking for. The neighborhoods have sidewalks that are lined with multi-bedroom homes that are mostly custom built. This is a family- and pet-friendly community in Southern Sarasota. Members of the Field Club have access to the marina, tennis and wellness programs and dining in one of five restaurants on the grounds. Members that own boats can rent a slip at the fully equipped marina. Non-members with reciprocity agreements through Florida Council of Yacht Club membership can request mooring through their generous rates. Select from one of five restaurants depending on your occasion, casual to elegant dining. The bar and living room is a full-service bar open before and after your lunch or dining experience. Watch my REALTALK™ #150 video for an overview of Oyster Bay.

Water views in the front and back of this four bedroom plus family and bonus rooms at 1235 North Lake Shore Drive create an idyllic backdrop for tranquil family living. This private residence is surrounded by lush foliage, with a charming courtyard entry, pavered walkways and wrought-iron fencing. Interior upgrades include wood and stone flooring, newer kitchen and baths, custom built-ins and French-door access to the open pool deck. Boat dockage offers deep-water access to Sarasota Bay. This home ready for any family is offered at $2,725,000. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.


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


New community developments

by Roger Pettingell

Updates and new developments added

4,000 new downtown Sarasota residences are completed or planned

New condominium construction in downtown Sarasota
Construction - A new downtown skyline is emerging that is different than in this photo taken on Tamiami Trail in 2016 that shows the Embassy Hotel and Vue

The residence construction page on our website tracks new community developments that are in the planning, under construction and recently completed stages. Currently there are 41 new developments on the list from Venice to Bradenton. There is a brief description, photo and more information on listings if they are in the Multiple Listing Service. There is contact information to reserve a unit if they are not in MLS. When available there is a link for more information and floor plans.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune this month reported that 4,000 new residences are completed or planned in the Sarasota downtown area. In that total are units planned on the existing Quay site, just north of the Ritz-Carlton, that may take a decade to complete. On the new construction page I added 11 new communities last week. These new developments will add 1,664 of residence inventory, the boom is continuing in Sarasota.

And infrastructure continues to improve to support these new structures at Tamiami Trail and Ringling Boulevard. An extra lane was added to turn left on Tamiami coming off the bridge from Bird and Lido keys. A roundabout is planned at the Fruitville intersection one block to the north that will support additional traffic created by new residents of the VUE, Quay and Golden Gate Point. Additional lanes are in progress for Tamiami Trail heading north out of town.

BLVD Sarasota
BLVD Sarasota will have 51 luxury residences

Groundbreaking is expected within the next couple of months for 51 luxury residences in 18 stories in the BLVD Sarasota at 540 N. Tamiami Trail downtown on the old CoCentrix property. Developers want new owners of these residences to have everything they need in one building with entertainment, restaurant, dog park and rooftop infinity pool. There are four different floor plans ranging in size from 3,550 to 3,900 square feet of living space. Currently there are three listings in MLS with an expected move-in date in 2019.

Across the street on Tamiami Trail, The Grande is expected to be the first residence building on the vacant Quay lot. Planned by the developers of the recently completed VUE Sarasota Westin Hotel and residences, the Kolter Group of West Palm Beach will lead the Quay development and extend the amenities of the Ritz-Carlton through an elevated pedestrian bridge connecting the two communities. They are now accepting reservations but there is no completion date set for The Grande. Plans are to use 73 of the 695 total residences approved for the Quay property. It will be another 18-story complex with room for a 9,500 square-foot restaurant. In February it was announced that Ashford Hospitality Prime Inc. of Dallas purchased the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, beach club on Lido Key and the Ritz-Carlton member golf course on University Parkway.

One of the newest communities announced in downtown Sarasota is 605 Gulfstream. Reservations will open next month and advertising is ongoing with information about this new building. In a press release by Seaward Development, the floor plans and common areas are inspired by the infamous Sarasota School of Architecture and the firm of Nichols, Brosch, Wurst, Wolfe & Associates. There will be private elevator access to the 24 half and full-floor residences. Amenities are to include an oversized lap pool, wellness center and rooftop terrace.

Whitaker Lofts in Sarasota
Whitaker Lofts - Modernistic design for 21 residences near Whitaker Gateway Park and Rosemary District

Yet another community of 21 residences on Tamiami Trail downtown is an announcement from the AIA Tampa Bay Firm of the Year in 2016, Halflants + Pichette Studio for Modern Architecture. This planned community, Whitaker Lofts, near Whitaker Gateway Park and the resurging Rosemary District does not have a completion date set. The two story units of 1,500 square feet will have a private rooftop terrace in this modernistic designed building.

Another Rosemary District enclave was announced for 1st and Audubon, with 32 townhomes south of 1st Street in Sarasota. Icon Residential from Tampa is the developer of these homes that have two-car garages and rooftop terraces. The company has not listed a start or completion date.

Plans are moving forward in other areas around Sarasota too. On Friday the Longboat Key town commission approved development of the vacant site of the old Colony Beach & Tennis Resort, shuttered for over a decade. The commission approved the 166 room luxury St. Regis hotel and 78 condominium community on the 17.6 acre site. With the vote the complex will drain the tourism pool of units created by a referendum of Longboat Key voters, but a hint of adding more with another referendum will be introduced to voters at a future date.

Lakewood National Golf and Country Club
Lakewood National Golf and Country Club

Large community development is underway in Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton. Under construction are 1,100 residences built around a 36-hole championship golf course designed by Arnold Palmer at The Lakewood National Golf and Country Club. A development project of 207 residences that started in 2015 is nearing completion at the Palma Sola Bay Club in Bradenton. And the theme of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville casual lifestyle at Harbour Isle is set for the 132-unit complex on Perico Island at 12300 Manatee Avenue, Bradenton. Floor plans of two and three bedrooms are listed and owners have access to an on-site deep-water marina.

Reservations this year will open for four residences on Lido Key at St Armands Place. Each four-bedroom residence will have 2,742 square feet of living space, three outdoor terraces and five-car garages. The Oceane residences on Siesta Key has active listings for its six luxury floor plans of four bedrooms each and two or three car garages. Completion is set for the summer of 2019. Views of Venice Beach is the lifestyle set for 15 two-bedroom luxury units at Che Vista. A room listed as a den can be converted to a third bedroom.

I added three new listings to my inventory of homes and condominiums for sale. Harbor Acres is an enclave of luxury homes and my listing at 1352 Harbor Drive is a wonderful example of living the good lifestyle on the Sarasota Bay waterfront. A seventh-floor Carlyle floor plan residence at 535 Sanctuary Dr, #C707 overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, with Sarasota bay and city views, ready for your enjoyment. The third is a beautifully updated and charming two-bedroom residence at 603 Longboat Club Rd, #504N, Longboat Key Towers. 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
1352 Harbor Drive $3,795,000 Video Photo Slideshow
535 Sanctuary Dr, #C707 $1,499,000   Photo Slideshow
603 Longboat Club Rd, #504N $999,000   Photo Slideshow


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


Community Spotlight - Corey's Landing

by Roger Pettingell

Behind the secure gates of Bay Isles

Community and roads named for its first homesteader, Byron Corey

Amenities in Corey's Landing
Amenities - The community pool, spa and tennis courts are centrally located within Corey's Landing.

If you want to escape the cold harsh winters of the north and have an active lifestyle, the community of Corey’s Landing on Longboat Key may offer the best of all worlds for you. While you are away in the summer months your landscaping is part of the maintenance free arrangement with the community. Boating, swimming or relaxation in the spa is available in a centralized location or can be part of your home.

Many of the 72 homes in Corey’s Landing were built in the three years of 1989 to 1991. And over half of the homes in the community are on a channel that hugs the shoreline of Sarasota Bay. Your morning coffee break on your back deck of Mistletoe Lane faces a splendid view of the sun rising over the bay, a luxury lifestyle worthy of the pursuit.

The community and streets of Byron Lane and Mistletoe Lane owe their names to the first 1895 homesteader, Byron Corey. Byron had 154 acres of land on Longboat Key but lived in a home that was part of Byron’s dock. The acreage was fertile soil used to grow vegetables, which he transported to the Tampa market by means of the steamship Mistletoe. In 1998 land development was granted that followed an archeological survey which authorized home construction. The survey concluded that there was no significant prehistoric resources but noted future stabilization of an Indian shell mound around the perimeter of the channel. Shell mounds were ceremonial and common in Florida, a popular one is located in the Historic Spanish Point of Osprey.

Today there are modern amenities that exist for homeowners in Corey’s Landing. Membership in the Longboat Key Club grants you access to the resort championship Harbourside Golf Course which is steps out the back door of homes on Byron and Fair Oaks lanes. If your super-yacht is too big for the private dock of your back yard, space is available for the largest of private boats at the full service Longboat Key Club Moorings. The marina is within a short bike ride of Corey’s Landing.

Bay Isles Beach club
Homeowners in the Corey's Landing community have deeded access to the Bay Isles Beach Club

The community is behind the secure gates of Bay Isles and homeowners in Corey's Landing have deeded access to the Bay Isles Beach Club. On the white sandy Gulf of Mexico shoreline, the beach club is a private oasis with pavilions, showers, grills and beach volleyball courts. Members of the beach club have a security key to get on the beach and use the facilities at 2111 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

Grocery shopping at Publix and a CVS pharmacy is within short walking distance of Corey’s Landing in the Town Shoppes of Bay Isles. Fine dining is available nearby or within a short drive to famous St. Armands Circle. Continue over the Ringling Causeway Bridge to a world of boutique shopping, dining and entertainment arts. Downtown Sarasota offers opera, symphony concerts, theater, ballet and world renown artists who are ushered in daily at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Sarasota is the spring training ground of the Baltimore Orioles. Every March the professional teams from New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Toronto and other cities of the Grapefruit League hone their baseball skills at Ed Smith Stadium or at the home of the Pirates at LECOM Park in Bradenton.

3426 Mistletoe Lane, Longboat Key
Corey's Landing - 3426 Mistletoe Lane

Over the past three decades I have sold many homes in Corey’s Landing and currently have a bayfront listing at 3426 Mistletoe Lane, priced at $1,349,000. Extensive updates, inside and out, adorn this gorgeous three-bedroom home. Located directly on a stretch of Harbourside Golf Course, overlooking Sarasota Bay, this move-in ready home with 4,809 square feet of living space is waiting for you to begin enjoying. A protected outdoor entertaining area offers a resurfaced heated swimming pool and spa. I invite you to watch the video or take a virtual 3D walk-through of this wonderful home in Corey's Landing.

Last week I listed two residences for sale on Longboat Key. The first has mesmerizing 8th-floor vistas of downtown and Sarasota Bay that welcome you in this lovely three-bedroom Biscayne #285 residence in Building II of the Grand Bay community. Gorgeous beach-to-bay views welcome you to the second listing, a charming two-bedroom residence at the Beaches of Longboat Key Club, 775 Longboat Club Rd, #705. 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, #285 $929,000 Video Photo Slideshow
775 Longboat Club Rd, #705 $895,000 Video Photo Slideshow


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


Fast-paced action at the polo grounds

by Roger Pettingell

Put Sarasota Polo on your bucket list

Great weather, friends and fast action make for a good Sunday

Prime viewing at the Sarasota Polo Club
Preserving your spot - Arrive early for prime viewing as these spots are on a first-served land grab.

Sunday afternoons in Sarasota with great weather defines this area as the land of paradise. And in the months of January through April there are plenty of Sunday outdoor activities to keep you busy. You can visit the Pirates in Bradenton or the Orioles in Sarasota to catch a spring training game. The Ski-A-Rees show off their water skiing acrobatics at their water arena off Ken Thompson Park in City Island. But the Sport of Kings should also be on your bucket list.

The value is great for the show, $12 per person buys your admission to the polo grounds for the day. Start your day early for the 1 PM match start to preserve prime viewing. At 10 AM the pop-up canopy tents begin to go up and spots are generally full by 11 AM. Once your position is established you are free to wander the many sites that make this a great sport entertainment venue. Or in your own portable chair you can enjoy your own beverage and brunch while visiting with neighbors and friends.

Behind the scenes look before the match
Check out the preparations that take place before the match. A new horse shoe is going on this pony.

You can use this time to walk the 300X160-yard field of the polo grounds. You can visit behind the scenes as the riders and ponies prepare for the match. Each player travels with several ponies and interchange them throughout the match. At this time they are also busy changing out horse shoes and tying up the tails, a kind of braiding so the tails don’t interfere with the play. It’s a pony tail. There is much to see behind the clubhouse where the pony trailers are parked.

There are two clubhouses, one for the sponsors or members and another for the general public. Drinks are served at both and short order food is available to purchase. The gift shop has an excellent assortment of light jackets, sunglasses, hats and souvenirs that display the Sarasota Polo Club logo. Artwork and photos are available to purchase in many price ranges. It is a popular place to visit when there is no play on the field. For kids or kids at heart you can jump in a wagon drawn by a pair of Clydesdale horses. How time does fly when you have so much to do.

Fun times for kids as carts are drawn by Clydesdales.

The players and horses arrive before the start. They pose for pictures, ride the field to warm up the ponies, and then assemble by the announcing stand as the time approaches 1 PM. Excitement builds with veteran and rookie spectators. On this breezy and cool day on March 4 the National Anthem is sung with such grace the crowd responded with a rounding applause. Both teams of four circle the perimeter of the field to give low-fives to spectators with their high-fives as it is the last time before play they are allowed to approach within 10 yards of the field.

The size of the field is three times the length of a football field but the eight players, ponies and two umpires on ponies take up a larger portion of the field than expected. The pace is fast and furious as it seems that each player teams up with a player of the opposite team as players would in man-to-man basketball defense. The mallet is roughly six feet in length and the ball that is used is made up of hard plastic that is 4.5 ounces and 3.5 inches in diameter. The umpires carry several as balls that go into the spectator area are not returned, similar to that of a professional baseball game. The only barrier that keeps the ball in play is a series of 11-inch high boards that surround the perimeter of the field.

It didn’t take long to catch up with the terms and objective of the sport as the similarities were many to other top sports you may be familiar with. The object is to hit the ball through a goal that is eight feet in width and has two retractable posts for safety. Even the six chukkas are similar to four quarters in basketball. Each are seven minutes in length but can be extended by 30 seconds if warranted by the two umpires and one judge on the sideline. The sideline judge may also be referred to if the field umpires disagree. There is a goal judge at each end of the field. At the end of each chukka the players use that time to switch to a well-rested pony. You may also see chukka spelled chukker.

The players on the two teams had such skills that they could hit the ball at full speed while on the back of their pony, catch up to it as a fast break in basketball and with a few knocks on the ball are able to go a great length and score a goal. There are fouls by players that can result in a penalty shot by the offended team. When a team scores at one end of the field, the ball is put into play and the goal direction is reversed.

Divot stomp at half time
Puppies and humans stomp the divots at half time.

And then at the end of the third chukka the spectators are allowed to roam the field. This half-time ritual has a purpose as demonstrated by Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman. The stomping, or treading-in, of the divots help smooth out the field for pony and player safety. Half-time is also good for more cart-drawn rides, socializing and more refreshments.

The second half begins in much the same way as the first. The announcer, Cuko Escapite, on this day kept us informed on the rules and plays that we may have missed. He would roll his Rs in his Mexican accent to accentuate player's names and bring laughter throughout the crowd. With some names during play he provided some alliteration that took on a rhythm of its own. He had well-rehearsed jokes that fit in well with the play on the field. After a goal he would excitingly announce that the “Crowd is going wild” while we were witnessing only golf claps. His constant use of the word “tweeter” when a foul was whistled had regulars scrambling with their smartphones researching the polo glossary equivalent. It turns out Cuko made up the word. His excitement and clear speaker system in the park increased the enjoyment.

Ponies on the field
The action is fast and sometimes close on the field.

If there was an away team on Sunday it was New Hope, Pennsylvania who won the match 11-8. Only Tim Cheromcka was from New Hope. Marcos Bignoli hails from Argentina, Luis Galvan resides in South Carolina but remains throughout the season and Dennys Antonio Santana is from the Dominican Republic. The home team Whiskey Pond fielded Brent Hamill and Charly Quincoces, residents of Lakewood Ranch. The team was rounded out by Nick Johnson of England and Stuart Campbell of Tallahassee, both are here for the season.

Only a number of Sundays are left on the schedule as the season begins to wind down. There is a sponsor for every weekend and a theme for some. This Saturday, the Ninth Annual Ponies for Pups is a special date on the schedule as a Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue charity event. Gates open at 11AM for this special date. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

Show up on March 18 with your best Celtic cocktail, Blarney bites or Pot of Gold décor and you could bring home a prize for this themed St. Patrick’s Day. The Asolo Repertory Theatre sponsors this event and three of the four remaining match dates, including March 25 when the theme is Hollywood. Winning categories include the best Rick’s Café Casablanca cocktail, La La Land décor and Citizen Kane confection. The Asolo also sponsors the last match of the season on April 8 with the theme Around the World. The best international décor, global cuisine and international cocktail will be recognized with awards. Easter on April 1 is sponsored by its own Sarasota Polo Club where prizes are awarded for the best Easter bonnet and best decorated Easter egg.

One of two clubhouses on the grounds.

The grounds are busy other days of the week. Polo lessons are available taught by professional instructors and catered to your level of riding ability, age and health. All lessons of the game are taught and advanced students progress to a level of match play in the Sunshine league. They provide the basics that includes a specially trained pony, mallets, tack and helmet. Visit for more equestrian activity on the grounds and in the area.

The Sarasota Polo Club had its beginnings in 1991. In 1992 the grounds were carved out of 28,000 acres of land acquired by the Uihlein family, founders of the Schlitz Brewing Company. Back then travel to the grounds consisted of a gravel University Parkway. Now travel to the polo grounds is easy. Drive past the Mall at University Town Center and I-75 on University Parkway toward Lakewood Ranch. Look for signs of the polo club that appear on directional posts on the right about four miles past UTC mall.

Last week I listed a new Beachplace residence for sale at 1075 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #101. This light and open, 2BR walk-down is waiting for you to make it your own. You will adore this lovely beachfront community, offering charmingly sunny views. 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
1075 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #101 $685,000   Photo Slideshow


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


Home Showcase XXI - Bird Key

by Roger Pettingell

Homes for sales on this historic island

Bird Key homes that meet the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury standard

History of Bird Key
Bird Key - Video chronology in REALTALK™ #99

Bird Key, an unpretentious 12-acre plot of land that was inhabited by waterfowl and grass flats in 1911, may have the most celebrated history of the barrier islands. It is a history that started that year with the construction of a single home that was developed from land that was dredged out of a channel that split the island. The New Edzell Castle was ahead of its time in building technology with hot and cold running water and lighting that could easily be seen from the mainland.

Famed circus magnate and land developer John Ringling purchased the castle and the land in 1920 to help support his quest to grow Sarasota as the vacation spot of the world. His focus was in land development from Sarasota to Longboat Key, with Bird Key between the two in Sarasota Bay. He was responsible for building a bridge connecting Sarasota through Bird Key to his newly developed St. Armands Circle on Lido Key. It would be the first of three bridges that connected the land masses.

Arvida Realty was buying up land in the area and in 1959 purchased Bird Key. It would transform Bird Key into the luxury hotspot in the area with 511 single properties with its growth to 250 acres and a series of interconnecting canals. A trip by boat around the island today will show off the wealth and luxury lifestyle that exists on the island.

It has been highly sought for its proximity to the mainland and St. Armands. Residents find a family atmosphere where couples can be seen regularly walking the streets with their pets and children. There is one manned guard gate as an entrance to Bird Key and patrols combine for additional security. The Bird Key Yacht Club is of the highest marina standards. It is a social club with swimming pool and tennis courts.

670 Mourning Dove Drive
Direct bay access at 670 Mourning Dove Drive

I currently have seven active and pending listings on Bird Key and all meet the standards that Coldwell Banker has set for its Global Luxury brand. These homes are marketed world wide through Coldwell Banker system. My most exclusive home for sale is an estate on one lot and a second lot that has been preserved for its lush landscaping. The asking price for 622 South Owl is $8,995,000. Today I introduce two waterfront homes with direct boat access to the bay, one on coveted Mourning Dove Drive and the second is a custom-built home on Partridge Circle.

Overflowing with charm and allure, this stunning home, offering more than 4,000 square feet of designer living space will impress you at every turn. This estate at 670 Mourning Dove Drive is ideally situated just three homes in from Sarasota Bay. The avid boater will enjoy the 100-feet of frontage on sailboat-deep waters, a newer seawall and dock with shore-power, as well as a 16,000-pound lift. Built in 2006, this beautiful estate features custom finishes inside and out, including imported stone accents, ceiling treatment of exposed maple beams, Fine Art chandeliers and sconces, handscraped solid-wood maple and Travertine tile flooring, impact-glass windows, French doors and much more. It is offered at $2,895,000.

438 Partridge Circle
Custom built home at 438 Partridge Circle

From the stone marble accents, 14’ ceilings and luxurious finishes, to the private garden portico with heated swimming pool and spa, you will fall in love with every aspect of this custom-built waterfront home at 438 Partridge Circle, listed at $2,195,000. Built by luxury home builder Las Casitas in 2004, the expansive floor plan features a living/dining room with double-sided gas fireplace, Travertine tile flooding, gourmet eat-in kitchen, home theatre, office and four bedroom suites. You will appreciate the open pool deck, private outdoor dining and lounge areas, 28’ boat dock, lift and two Jet Ski lifts as the perfect finishing touches.

Last week I listed a gorgeous five-bedroom home in Corey’s Landing behind the secure gates of Bay Isles. It is located directly on a stretch of Harbourside golf course at 3426 Mistletoe Lane. You can see this home as a 3D virtual floor plan tour to look around this home as though you were walking through it. 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
3426 Mistletoe Lane $1,349,000 Video Photo Slideshow


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


Classic winter and spring events

by Roger Pettingell

Upcoming events for an active lifestyle

Ballet, orchestra, opera, plays, black-tie benefits and sports are highlighted

Upcoming events Sarasota
Art Festivals - There are many shows featuring artists from around the nation with their works in Sarasota, Lido Key, Venice, Bradenton and St. Armands Circle

The 36th annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival and the annual Thunder by the Bay ended this weekend, but this is peak season and there are many more to fill its place. There are mini-festivals such as the two events this past weekend. There are operas, ballet, orchestra Masterworks series, plays, musicals and sports that create a national buzz, if not international attraction to Sarasota and Manatee counties. And most are within the next couple of months while the weather is attractive for those who have the ability to spend a few months enjoying the sunshine.

Currently running is OVATION, a celebration of the modern circus. Now in its second week, world class performers from around the globe have traveled to Sarasota to display their acrobatic artistry. Put on by our own Circus Sarasota, Ringmaster Joseph Bauer, Jr. will guide you through the acrobatics, juggling, high wire acts and of course a little clowning around performances. There are animal acts too. The Anastasini Soccer Dogs flip, jump and roll and the Liberty Horses combine form with the grace of their trainer Sylvia Zerbini. You have until Sunday to catch these performances under the Ulla Searing Big Top in Nathan Benderson Park.

The Sarasota Film Festival has been acclaimed as one of the top film festivals in the world. This year the SFF will celebrate its 20th year for attracting celebrities and high quality films. Although the films will be announced in the next few weeks, you can set your dates of April 13 through 22 for parties and film premieres. Last year the festival kicked off with a luncheon with film star Rory Kennedy, a block party around the Opera House, and an Opening Night Film with a film by Rory. There were film screenings with premieres and a closing night block party, film and awards.

Black-tie events
Charities - Many black-tie charity events such as the Blue Ties and Butterflies benefit co-chaired by my wife Alisa are listed on the upcoming schedule.

Likewise, the Sarasota Music Festival is three weeks of professional guest artists in concert and student showcases in June for those who enjoy classical music at its finest. Just 60 students are accepted from applications sent in worldwide to join the masters as students and performers. Guest lectures by renown artists and local chamber music celebrities together form a festival of education and listening delight. The concerts are highlighted with theme-driven concerts on Thursdays with Artist Showcases, Friday Festivals and Saturday Symphonies. The students generally perform on Sundays are asked to perform alongside the accomplished artists. Most of the events take place in our Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center and the Sarasota Opera House. Although the exact dates have not been set, I expect the festival to run from June 3 through June 24.

Andy Warhol is celebrated in exhibits and workshops through June 30 dedicated to the pop culture icon at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens near the southern edge of downtown Sarasota. The gardens have six of Warhol’s original 10,000 images of flowers on display. The Sarasota Opera last Wednesday kicked off its monthly series of Warhol Nights. Guest performances by some of Sarasota’s classics are lined up on Wednesdays. The famed Perlman Music Program on the Suncoast alumni, with its stringed foursome artists of violins, viola and cello will continue its Around Series at the gardens under the stars on March 14. An exciting evening of dance is set for April 11 with the Sarasota Ballet and compositions by the Valet Underground, songs that were written for Warhol. Life’s a Beach is a theme for the May 16 Florida Studio Theatre improvisational comedy performance. The Sarasota Music Festival takes a break with a special one-night concert at the gardens on June 13.

The Sarasota Orchestra and its Masterworks Series runs through May 12 with three performances in one week at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, the outdoor Pops Field of Dreams concerts. Violinist Midori Honors Bernstein is featured with conductor Michael Balke Thursday at the Neel Performing Arts Center in Bradenton and Friday through Sunday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. Sarasota Orchestra Music Director Anu Tali will conduct the next of two Masterworks series. Lift-Off, with soprano Pureum Jo follows a similar four-day schedule as above starting March 15 at Neel. Anu will conduct the three-day series starting April 6 featuring violinist Elina Vӓhӓlӓ in The Red Violin.

Asolo Repertory Theatre
Asolo Repertory Theatre - Considered for its beauty, the threatre on the Ringling grounds hosts many performances throughout the year.

Catch some long runs of plays and musicals at many of the fine theatres in Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton. Four local productions run through March 4. The drama Heisenberg is at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a play based on the Disney production of the same name and is currently running at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton. The Morning After Grace at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota and the Toxic Avenger at the Venice Theatre are two plays also running through Sunday.

Northside Hollow, the dark humorous play at the Urbanite Theatre in Sarasota, is currently running through March 11. Native Gardens, the drama with a comedic twist is running through March 25 in the Gompertz Theatre of the Florida Studio Theatre. The play, Shakespeare in Love, based on the 1998 Oscar-winning film, completes its run on March 28 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Travel to the famous fictional land of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a play every Saturday through March 31 at the Florida Studio Theatre. You might be able to guess whose music is featured in the musical Blue Suede Shoes, now through April 1 at the Florida Studio Theatre. The well-received political farce, Rhinoceros, completes its run at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota on April 14.

Four long running performances open this week. The Rehearsal, a period piece based on French relationships is a play written in 1950 with tones that fit today’s schemes for desperate couples. It runs through March 11 in the Asolo Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Also running through March 11 is the play Bullets Over Broadway at The Players Centre for the Performing Arts in Sarasota. The play, Constellations, is a story about the collision of romance and science that runs through March 16 at the Florida Studio Theatre in downtown Sarasota. Now through March 18 catch Dream Girls at the Venice Theatre. It is a Tony Award winning musical that features Motown and Broadway hits with a story line that portrays a part of the music industry.

LECOM Park in Bradenton is home for the Pirates in spring training and its farm club in the summer.

Professional major league baseball players are in town for spring training with 16 Baltimore Orioles home games starting Friday at Ed Smith Stadium in downtown Sarasota. Catch your favorite players in the Grapefruit League from Tampa Bay, Minnesota, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, New York Yankees and Mets. The Tampa Bay Rays actually have their spring training in Port Charlotte and the Atlanta Braves are moving their spring complex in 2019 from Kissimmee to North Port. To the north in Bradenton, the Pittsburgh Pirates have 16 home games starting Saturday with the same Grapefruit League teams in their newly named LECOM Park, formerly McKechnie Field. The Marauders, a farm club of the Pirates, plays in the summer at LECOM Park

There are over 500 events in the upcoming schedule on our website. Concerts, upcoming long running plays and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall shows are listed there. The complete list of events for the annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix from June 23 to July 4 will be listed there. Watch for news of the Ringling International Arts Festival in October and the Sarasota Chalk Festival and Sarasota MOD in November.

Check out the three new listings last week at the Beach Residences on Lido Key, Country Club Shores and Bay Harbour 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
1300 Benjamin Franklin Dr, #1201 $5,495,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1055 Bogey Lane $939,000 Video Photo Slideshow
448 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #A306 $549,000   Photo Slideshow


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


Lido Shores Community Spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Iconic community planned by Philip Hiss

Many homes in Lido Shores influenced by Sarasota School of Architecture

Hiss Studio on Lido Shores
Hiss Studio - 1310 Westway Drive

As you leave St. Armands Circle and head toward Longboat Key you may notice a wonderland of homes on your left before you reach the New Pass Bridge. It is the community of Lido Shores, with 116 unique homes that is the showcase for the Sarasota School of Architecture alumni. The homes here have their own charm and are named for either their unique feature, sleek lines or the color of paint on the exterior walls.

Those familiar with architects in the area will recognize those names that make up the A-list and have their signatures on many of the homes in Lido Shores. Turn left off John Ringling Parkway to Morningside Drive to get past the walls that protect the homes and offer privacy to the homeowners. You become privy to these elegant homes that were built shortly after World War II.

Lido Shores Umbrella House
Rudolph's Umbrella House in this 2015 renovation photo

One of the more visible homes is the Umbrella House, designed by famed architect Paul Rudolph. A large awning keeps plenty of shade on the pool below it. Originally designed for Lido Shores developer Philip Hiss in 1953, it had 3,000 square feet of lattice for an umbrella-like awning. The parasol was destroyed by a hurricane and storms twenty years later. The umbrella was restored in 2016 with modern construction techniques and has become a perennial favorite on the Sarasota MOD week tours in November.

Another home on the Sarasota MOD tour is the building next door, which was the studio of Hiss. Built in 1952 Hiss made most of his plans for the new community in this studio. While working on the iconic umbrella house Rudolph would walk next door and leave notes on blueprints of an aspiring architect, Tim Seibert. Seibert would eventually would go on to his own fame in the world of architecture and was the honored guest at last year's Sarasota MOD. The former studio at 1310 Westway Drive is now a private home.

Homes not on the Gulf of Mexico beaches in Lido Shore have mostly kept their original charm. The homes on the waterfront have been replaced with more modern styles, but still maintain the Lido Shores charm with influences by new architects that have their own rights to worldwide fame. The legacy of Lido Shores design was passed on to these new talented architects such as Guy Peterson, Clifford Scholz and Jonathon Parks.

REALTALK™ community showcase on Lido Shores
The Lido Shores community in REALTALK™ #133.

I described Lido Shores last summer in REALTALKplus™ #133 when I discussed the cool modern look of the newer homes. They continued the climate-sensitive designs of the 1950s and are built with clean lines and plenty of glass. They were built for form and possess a delicate blend of function. The location is wonderful as well, with St. Armands Circle within walking distance to the south and the Publix shopping complex just a short trip up Longboat Key. There is a private beach club for all homeowners in Lido Shores to enjoy.

There are currently 12 homes for sale in Lido Shores including a wonderful home I have listed at 1222 Center Place. Charm and history abound at this well-maintained, updated 3BR plus office mid-century modern, which was designed by famed architect Erwin Gremli II and was once the guest quarters for Dr. Marion Hoppin, a founding member of New College. The current owners have meticulously upgraded this residence inside and out, including a new roof in 2012, cedar wood exterior siding, three-car garage, new windows and sliders, new bathrooms with custom tile work and more.

1222 Center Place in Lido Shores
Lido Shores Listing - 1222 Center Place

Last week I have listed two homes in Bird Key, a residence in Beachplace and one home in Palm Aire. The first is a stunning three bedroom home at 670 Mourning Dove Drive, offering more than 4,000 square feet of designer living space in the exclusive community of Bird Key. The other Bird Key home is at 438 Partridge Circle. This stylish four bedroom waterfront home features a living/dining room with double-sided gas fireplace, gourmet eat-in kitchen, sound-proof home theatre and office. The third listing is a top-floor residence in building 6 of Beachplace with new windows and glass sliders throughout at 1095 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #602. My active listing at 5807 Fairwoods Circle is on the fourth green of Palm Aire Country Club, is maintenance free and has great curb appeal. 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 Drive $2,895,000 Video Photo Slideshow
438 Partridge Circle $2,195,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1095 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #602 $699,000   Photo Slideshow
5807 Fairwoods Circle $370,000   Photo Slideshow


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


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Roger Pettingell?


  • Over 33 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, 2015, 2016 and 2017
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About Roger Pettingell

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.