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Construction update on three projects

by Roger Pettingell

Two projects start, one in limbo

Quay, Resort at Longboat Key Club and Colony construction updates

New Quay project in Sarasota
Quay Rendering - A total of 695 residences in Sarasota planned for this mixed-use property downtown

Ground has been broken recently for two major hotel and residence projects that will significantly raise mixed-use property in the area. A more than symbolic groundbreaking off Tamiami Trail in downtown Sarasota sets in motion a series of development for the old Quay property. A diversion of the road around our offices and the Chart House will make room for the planned expansion of the Resort at the Longboat Key Club. And yet there is a third still in limbo, the old Colony Beach & Tennis Resort residences on Longboat Key.

Last Wednesday developers GreenPointe Communities LLC of Jacksonville staged a ceremony with city planners and high school students on the mostly vacant grounds, just north of the new Vue residences, to set in motion construction of residences, offices, retail shops and hotel rooms on the old Quay grounds.

GreenPointe purchased the 15-acre land in 2014 and have put forth different designs to city planners. Each incorporated the waterfront as a focal point for visitors and owners. The city had approved 695 residences to be available for this project and GreenPointe has incorporated those units into their plans. The company last year announced plans to use 73 of those units for The Grande, an 18-story building that will connect to the next-door Ritz-Carlton through an elevated walking bridge. A restaurant and parking garage are also planned for The Grande.

At the center of the Quay project is the Broadway Apartments building renovation of 20 units that was opened in 1925. It was later named Belle Haven and was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. That year the apartments were repurposed for use as office space. GreenPointe has made public comments that they plan to use the offices, then renovate and repurpose Belle Haven again for this project.

The groundbreaking on May 23 was a signal for construction crews to begin work on the horizontal ground structures that buildings are planned. A second groundbreaking is planned for that phase of the project. In all, eight blocks will be built around Belle Haven in different phases with a build-out date for The Grande at 2020. But first, GreenPointe made an agreement with the city to complete a roundabout traffic circle at the intersection of Fruitville Road and Tamiami Trail. The total project calls for the following:

  • 695 residences
  • 175 hotel rooms
  • Nearly 40,000 square feet of office space
  • Nearly 190,000 square feet of retail shops
  • Marina
  • Parking spaces
  • Roundabout at the intersection of Fruitville Road and Tamiami Trail

Plans for the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall are in debate. It is an entertainment venue with 1,736 seats that exists just north of the Quay on the bayfront. It is an icon for Sarasota but the big lavender building on the bayfront has its defenders in a debate with a side opposing its use in the current plans. Its color was picked out by the wife of Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect of the time. Entertainers from around the world perform at the Van Wezel. In the original bayfront plans, the building was to be demolished and replaced. Other options include complete demolition and use the land for different purposes. The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization has yet to issue its decision.

Longboat Key Club Resort begins its expansion

Resort at Longboat Key Club
Rerouting of Longboat Club Road has begun

In order to make space for the planned expansion of the Resort at Longboat Key Club, the Longboat Club Road required a reroute that is to run directly through the driving range at the Links on Longboat, formerly Islandside Golf Course. That work has begun following the planning and zoning board approval of the driving range and cart barn move to a more northern spot. It was a change originally approved by the board in December. A new Pro Shop is planned within the next two years that will be adjacent to the cart barn. The company has already brought in plants for the project and preparing them on one of the unused tennis courts.

All this is in preparation for the planned hotel that was approved by voters in a referendum in 2015. The referendum will allow the Longboat Key Club to convert 300 residences to tourism units to be used for the 259 unit hotel. Hotel plans also call for 10 to 12 more meeting rooms. A left-turn lane off Longboat Club Road will be constructed before the guard gate to help with traffic flow for hotel guests. Ocean Properties, the hotel management and development company of the Longboat Key Club, has not publicly announced a build-out date.

Developer faces off against owners at Colony Beach & Tennis Resort

Longboat Observer update
Colony Beach & Tennis Resort - Developers faced with obstacles to develop the abandoned property.

Unicorp National Developments and its chief Chuck Whittall are trying to develop the abandoned Colony Beach & Tennis Resort they purchased in 2014. The property has gone through voter rejection of an original plan of planned usage and final approval from the planning and zoning board this year of a change to a 166-room hotel with 78 luxury residences. A spa and ballroom are among the amenities planned for the resort. It will be operated by St. Regis, a management company of five-star hotels including the Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand.

But there are still owners of some of the condominiums and beach townhouses of the original Colony that are willing to fight in court to keep their property. They have rejected purchase offers from Unicorp. Even the existence of a Colony Beach & Tennis Association stalls the project, it must be disbanded first to continue. As it stands, the Colony continues to deteriorate causing a nuisance for Longboat Key.

I hope you are having a good Memorial Day and the rains haven’t dampened your plans. Last week I listed a Beachplace residence in building 10. It is a light and open layout with three spacious bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances, plus almost 2,000-square-feet of interior. 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
1065 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #105 $715,000   Photo Slideshow

 

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

 

Memorial Day 2018 weekend events

by Roger Pettingell

Parades to concerts this weekend

One of a kind dedication to those who sacrificed lives in submarine service

On Eternal Patrol
On Eternal Patrol - An exclusive to Sarasota, 66 On Eternal Patrol honoring submariners who lost their lives patrolling the world's oceans will be dedicated and deployed this weekend in the Gulf of Mexico.

This weekend we honor those who fought and made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. There are many ceremonies around Sarasota to remember those gallant men and women of the armed forces. You may be familiar with these ceremonies but there is a new one that stands out as the only one of its kind in the United States.

Out in the Gulf of Mexico and in Sarasota Bay there are areas dedicated to artificial reefs. Some of them are concrete blocks where the circle of life continues on a daily basis. There is rubble from old bridges hauled out to sea in support of these fish havens. Take your boat out 12.6 nautical miles in the 239 degree direction from the New Pass Buoy and you would find five Army Tanks in 65 feet of water. They were placed there in the Fallen Heroes reef, dedicated in 1985 as a memorial to those who fought for our country’s freedom as members of land forces. You would also see a landing craft and railroad box cars.

Round reef balls made of concrete are there. Holes allow aquatic creatures to pass through the exterior to the hollow center. This is a great location for anglers and few ever see the memorial that lies below the surface of the Gulf. These reef balls are manufactured in Sarasota by Reef Innovations. You can dedicate one to serve as a permanent legacy for a passed loved one. The memorial service can include scattering of ashes in a burial at sea ceremony.

The public is invited to Ken Thompson Park on City Island this Sunday to witness a one-of-a-kind ceremony when 66 of these reef balls will serve as a memorial to the sailors of each submarine lost at sea in combat or non-combat maneuvers. The program begins at 10 AM and each reef ball will receive full military honors. This On Eternal Patrol ceremony concludes with the playing of taps for the 99 servicemen of the USS Scorpion. Tuesday, May 22, 1968 will be the 50th anniversary date of its foundering. Sarasota Military Academy Prep School students will act as docents for the ceremony. One reef ball will honor those who died in non-sinking incidents.

Saturday you can tour the Reef Innovations manufacturing facility at 1126 Central Avenue but reservations are required for this free tour by calling (941) 330-0501. A deployment ceremony of a single eternal reef will take place in the Gulf on Monday. The remaining reef balls will be deployed at a later date. To help fund this $200,000 project the group is accepting donations through their Eternal Reefs website.

An Air Force flyover is expected at the 10 AM start of the All Gave Some, Some Gave All parade downtown at the intersection of Osprey Avenue and Main Street on Monday. The Sarasota Military Academy and the Blair High School band from Omaha, Nebraska will join other service organizations as they lead down Main Street to J.D. Hamel Park for the Memorial Day ceremony.

The Tribute to Heroes parade in Lakewood Ranch will begin at 7 PM Monday, travelling down Main Street to the party at the end featuring live music and concessions. The pre-parade party begins at 6 PM on Main Street.

Keynote speaker Brigadier General Richard Blunt will address the gathering at Veteran’s Monument Park by the Bradenton Riverwalk behind Manatee Memorial Hospital. The Manatee County Veterans' Council presents the ceremony that will also feature ceremonial wreath laying by local veteran service organizations beginning at 9 AM.

Also on Monday a Memorial Day Ceremony will be held in Patriot’s Park on U.S. 41 in Venice. The ceremony begins at 10 AM, sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 8118. American Legion NO-VEL, Post 159 will host an open house following the ceremony. State representative Dr. Julio Gonzalez will be the featured speaker, with other speeches from Venice Vice Mayor Bob Daniels, Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines and U.S. Army Master Sgt. Gordon Sherven. Lawn chairs are encouraged.

1331 Quail Drive
New listing - 1331 Quail Drive

There are a couple concerts on Monday with Memorial Day themes. The Myakka River Blues Festival at Snook Haven in Venice starts at 11 AM. The Rusty Wright Band from Michigan is the headline band with two stages devoted to non-stop music until 6 PM. The Sarasota Concert Band will be featured in the Memorial Day Concert starting at 5 PM in Philippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

Services will be held at local churches on Saturday, including Palma Sola Presbyterian Church in Bradenton and Sunday at St. James Methodist Church in Sarasota. The Sarasota Jungle Gardens is offering free admission this weekend with one paid admission. Participating restaurants and shops on St. Armands Circle are offering discount prices to veterans on Monday. Also, many government service offices and banks will be closed on Monday in celebration of Memorial Day. Have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Weekend, May 26-28, 2018 events

Event Location City Start
Honoring Armed Forces Jungle Gardens Sarasota 10 AM

Saturday, May 26, 2018 events

Event Location City Start
Memorial Day Show, concert Palma Sola Presbyterian Church Bradenton 4 PM
Eternal Patrol, facility tour Reef Innovations Sarasota Call

Sunday, May 27, 2018 events

Event Location City Start
Memorial Day, honors National Cemetery Sarasota 10 AM
On Eternal Patrol, dedication Ken Thompson Park City Island 10 AM
Memorial Day Show, concert St. James Methodist Church Sarasota 4 PM
A Tribute to Heroes, parade Main Street LWR 6 PM

Monday, May 28, 2018 events

Event Location City Start
Military Appreciation Day Shops and Restaurants St. Armands Call
Memorial Day ceremony Veterans' Monument Park Bradenton 9 AM
Memorial Day, parade Downtown Sarasota 10 AM
Memorial Day, ceremony Patriots Park Venice 10 AM
On Eternal Patrol, deployment Designated reef site Gulf TBD
Memorial Day, concert Philippi Estate Park Sarasota 5 PM

Last week I listed a sensational home in Oyster Bay at 1331 Quail Drive. Built in 2006, you will love the lush, Florida-sourced landscape and an open layout adorned with glass walls of sliders and windows, allowing for seamless indoor-to-outdoor entertaining. 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
1331 Quail Drive $999,500   Photo Slideshow

 

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

 

Community Spotlight - Oyster Bay

by Roger Pettingell

Close to attractions and Field Club

'West of the Trail' community of custom built single-family homes

Home for sale at 1235 N. Lake Shore Drive in Oyster Bay
1235 N. Lake Shore Drive - $2,495,000

Whenever you see a property for sale that is “West of the Trail”, meaning the Tamiami Trail, you are given the clue that this home is near the water. It’s a popular advertising statement whether the home is on the waterfront or is within a short distance. The community of Oyster Bay qualifies as “West of the Trail” and is a good location for a home.

But Oyster Bay has other amenities that make this community very attractive to home buyers and I outline some them in my REALTALK™ #150 video. Driving among the 168 custom built homes in Oyster Bay you have a feeling that this area is a wonderful place to raise a family. The large lots with unique homes grab your attention.

Anywhere between the Trail and Roberts Bay you are a short distance to the Field Club. This exclusive club is one of Sarasota’s oldest, named for Stanley and Sara Field who built a villa in 1925. Their wealth was amassed as heirs to the department store chain of Marshall Field, based in Chicago.

The home was purchased in 1957 to be used as a private club. Today members can reserve any one of nine tennis courts on the grounds. Lessons are available to individuals and groups of all ages by two of the area’s leading tennis professionals. Tournaments are held in the late winter and early spring. A wellness Center was added in 2015 with state of the art fitness equipment and group activity room.

The marina is open to Florida Council of Yacht Club and reciprocal yacht club members but must be reserved in advance through the dockmaster office. It is a full-service marina with electricity connections at the boat slips. Gasoline and diesel fuel is sold onsite. Fishing tournaments and poker runs are arranged on a regular basis by club members. A large pool with multiple swimming lanes is near the marina.

REALTALK #150 on the Field Club
The Field Club discussed in REALTALK™ #150.

There are five dining areas and one bar to choose from. The Grill Room offers a casual experience while the main Dining Room is the flagship experience. The Captain’s Room can be reserved for banquets or gatherings and the Commodore’s Room is for smaller groups. The Lagoon Terrace is a nice outside dining experience.

Oyster Bay is also known for its proximity to the Pine View School system, south in Osprey, a magnet school that attracts gifted children in grades two through 12. Any resident of Florida can apply to this school and demonstrate their need for an accelerated program. Living in Oyster Bay makes transportation to the school a little easier. U.S. News and World Report ranked Pine View as the number one in the state and number seven in the United States. In April a team from Pine View travelled to New York City and finished third in the National MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge.

If you are into golf, there are plenty of courses to choose from including the TPC Prestancia, a par 72 championship 18 hole course. TPC Prestancia has hosted a number of professional tournaments. Its social club is active and the 35,000 square foot club house offers the best in private meeting spaces and dining rooms.

The area has four fine nature parks. Phillippi Estate Park is on the southern edge of Oyster Bay across Phillippi Creek and includes such attractions as the historic Edson Keith Mansion, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A little further south is Oscar Scherer State Park, home to the threatened Florida Scrub Jay. Pinecraft Park is in the heart of Sarasota with hiking trails on 22 acres of land. Sand and water lovers will greatly appreciate Siesta Beach on the Gulf of Mexico.

4557 Camino Real
4557 Camino Real - $1,095,000

There are some good selections to purchase homes in Oyster Bay, I have two active listings and one to be listed soon. Water views in the front and back of this four-bedroom plus family and bonus rooms home create an idyllic backdrop for tranquil family living at 1235 N. Lake Shore Drive. You will love the charming courtyard, wonderful updates and boating access.

The home at 4557 Camino Real is a charming four bedroom Oyster Bay home for sale in a central location near the Field Club, only minutes from downtown Sarasota and unforgettable beaches. Move right in to this beautifully updated courtyard pool home.

Ready to be listed is a beautifully landscaped two-bedroom home for sale at 1331 Quail Drive. This light and open estate has a large home office on the second level. I recently sold a four-bedroom home at 4509 Camino Real that was designed by the famed architect Guy Peterson, closing at $2,295,000. Click here for a complete list of homes for sale in Oyster Bay. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of any homes for sale in Oyster Bay or if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

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

 

The Ringling Bridge - An icon for Florida

by Roger Pettingell

The third bridge is a visitor attraction

Designed as a transportation function but with beauty over Sarasota Bay

Ringling Bridge by Boat
View by Boat - The Ringling Causeway Bridge is majestic if viewed from the air, land or boat. The segmental box girder bridge has 11 spans for an official length of 3,097 feet. Its width accommodates two vehicle, bicycle and walking lanes in both directions.

Everyone has their favorite Sarasota icon to visit, whether it be Ca’ d’Zan at the Ringling Museum, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Opera House or Marie Selby Gardens. Most have at the top of their list the Ringling Causeway Bridge that provides the main thoroughfare between Sarasota and the barrier islands of Bird Key, Lido Key with St. Armands Circle and Longboat Key. It’s been photographed from almost every angle with spectacular shots at sunset or night. It’s been walked across, biked across, run across and driven across. There is even a Segway tour over the bridge.

Now it spans 60 feet high over the Sarasota Bay and in a 2015 count transported an average of 35,000 vehicles per day. And in peak season that means more cars travel the two lanes in both directions. The two draw bridges to the north on Cortez Road and Manatee Avenue are aging but still handle high traffic volumes. The latest proposal is to replace the Cortez Road bridge with a similar style bridge as the Ringling, 65 feet in height.

Original bridge built in 1925
The original bridge was built in 1925 as transportation between mainland Sarasota and the increasing popularity of the John Ringling attractions in the keys. Sarasota County Historical Resources photo.

The Ringling Bridge actually had been a draw bridge at one time. It was the second bridge in the history of the iconic causeway that first started in 1925, constructed by its namesake John Ringling. As it has been passed down through local lore, John Ringling used his circus elephants to pull the raw materials to its proper locations to build the bridge. He used his own money for construction of the bridge that would provide transportation to support his dream of Lido Key and Longboat Key development. It was one lane in each direction with a wooden divider separating oncoming traffic. Fishermen would line the bridge which Ringling donated to the city in 1927.

The first bridge would last a mere 34 years. One lane of automobile traffic was insufficient and boat traffic was increasing, in 1951 it was decided to take on a new eight-year project of constructing a drawbridge with two lanes of traffic in each direction at a cost of $20 million. Near the end of its lifespan the bridge was opening at a rate of 18 times per day to boat traffic, stifling both modes of travel around Sarasota and the Gulf of Mexico islands. The original bridge was razed after its completion in 1959.

Recent aerial photo of the John Ringling Bridge
The bridge is photographed from many angles.

With increased boat traffic, combined with the increasing popularity of the keys, a new solution was in the works near the turn of the century. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put forth a generic design for a new bridge. Citizens of Sarasota took sides, one supporting the original plan against a start-up organization that wanted to make a statement with a new bridge of its own design. One side of this five-year debate was concerned with cost and changes to the skyline. In opposition, community leaders argued that Sarasota would become a world-class travel destination with a spectacular looking bridge. The compromise may have offended both sides. That divide has coalesced over the years into a unified feeling that this structure is a source of pride for Sarasota.

The Ringling Bridge replacement project took two years and was completed in 2003 with a $68 million price tag. Its design is a segmental box girder with 11 spans for an official length of 3,097 feet. The 106-foot width accommodates four lanes of car traffic, bike lanes in both directions with a separation wall on each side for walking or running. The Florida Department of Transportation owns and operates the Ringling Causeway Bridge.

At the base on the Sarasota side there is a free T.J. “Tony” Saprito Fishing Pier where anglers regularly haul in their saltwater game. To support the fishermen, Harts Landing is a small bait and snack shop that is accessible from the pier or by boat dock. Its origination dates back to 1934 when the original Ringling Bridge started at Golden Gate Point before heading west to Bird Key and beyond. Harts Landing was moved to its current location following completion of the second bridge. This establishment serving the fishing community opens every day of the year from 6:30 AM to 6 PM. A park under the bridge is often visited by sightseers and locals exercising their family pets. Benches line the seawall.

Foot races challenge runners
Races over the bridge challenge runners twice a year.

There are two annual events for experienced runners that challenge your ability to climb the height of the bridge. For the past 15 years in January the YMCA has coordinated a four-mile route that crosses the bridge and returns to Sarasota at the half-way mark in Bird Key Park. A one-mile fun run uses the bayfront of Sarasota as its course. Both races start and finish around the area of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. In March, First Watch of Sarasota has a festival for its race, beer garden and concert for runners at the finish. There are three options to race. The half marathon has its runners climb the Ringling Bridge, circle around St. Armands, then return to Sarasota where they head north along scenic Sarasota Bay roads before returning to the Centennial Park area. A two-person relay option covers the same USAFT-certified course of 13.1 miles. The first runner in the relay has the option of joining the anchor within one-tenth of a mile at the finish and cross together. Runners in the 10K race travel the same route over the bridge but end near Centennial Park without travelling the full distance into northern Sarasota.

The Observer put together this video, the history of the Ringling Bridge with interviews. The Ringling Bridge is an attraction for visitors and fortunate Sarasota homeowners alike. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

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

 

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Roger Pettingell?

Experience

  • Over 33 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.

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  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Number 1 Realtor on Longboat Key and Bird Key for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013, 2014 and 2016
  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014, 2016 and 2017 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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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.