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Listings with buildable waterfront lots

by Roger Pettingell

The value of land with a home attached

Three homes where buyers are interested in the waterfront property

REALTALK™ #183 - We discuss when a home is purchased for its land value as a tear-down.

Last week I listed three homes at prices to consider them for their lot values. These are strategies when the land value is greater than the home value of the home, especially in aging structures. In Sarasota and Longboat Key there is a scarcity of A-quality lots so buyers are looking at properties for their waterfront views with boat access to Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

I reported on this land value proposition for buyers in REALTALK™ #183 and in REALTALK™ #54 while in a home in Harbor Acres. In that episode I followed up on a news story by Sarasota Herald-Tribune real estate editor Harold Bubil in which I was quoted in the article, Why tear down a perfectly good mansion? Because you can.

Harbor Acres is one of those prime communities where older homes sit next to mansions. I recently sold a property there on Hillview that the land was cleared as a vacant lot for sale. It sold for just under $2 million, I suspect even the dock that was left standing at the time of sale will be replaced.

Another community to consider is Country Club Shores on Longboat Key. Country Club Shores was developed by the Arvida Corporation in the 1960s with homes on man-made canals that stretched out to Sarasota Bay. Roads were added and given names that corresponded with golf and seamanship terms. Some of these homes are aging and are positioned next to the mansions that replaced their neighbor’s homes.

I have a listing there at 560 Putter Lane that I covered in the last Home Showcase XXXV article. It was finished early this year and is ready to take possession as a brand new home with nearly 4,400 square-feet of living space and 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms. Two of my listings last week that are listed as buildable lots with homes on them are also in Country Club Shores.

592 Ranger Lane in Country Club Shores
A combination of mansions and original homes looking down the new seawall at 592 Ranger Lane.

The first is at 592 Ranger Lane. A wonderful waterfront value, this furnished three-bedroom home is ready to rent, renovate or enjoy, ideally situated on deep sailboat waters that flow out to Sarasota Bay. The sea wall is new making it more suitable as a new construction home. The home and over 10,000 square feet of lot space is priced at $895,000.

A slightly larger lot is one at 570 Yardarm Lane in Country Club Shores that has over 11,000 square feet of lot space. It also has a new seawall, 100 feet of deep-water frontage and has a boat dock. It is just a stone’s throw from Sarasota’s open bay waters. The three-bedroom home with screen-protected lanai is ready to renovate or enjoy, listed comparably at $830,000.

Off the island and into a West of the Trail property in the Sarasota community of Kentwood Estates is a dream home waiting to happen, and is the third home priced last week as a buildable lot. This charming four-bedroom pool home at 1555 Eastbrook Drive is situated on a corner lakefront parcel spanning nearly a quarter-acre of lush, manicured property listed at $749,000. Waiting for you to renovate or begin a new build, its location in Sarasota is everything and this quiet community, bordering the deep-sailboat waters of the bay, is the perfect complement. This neighborhood is also home to the prestigious Field Club, where members enjoy private access to fine dining, swimming, tennis and the marina.

Over the years of REALTALK™ I have discussed similar topics on building homes in Sarasota. Here are just a few:

Episode Description Date
183 Choices between new, renovated or homes in need of updating October 25, 2018
173 Process for building a new home from start to finish June 28, 2018
84 Gulf-front property values on Longboat Key April 21, 2016
67 Florida home designs have changed over the years November 19, 2015
54 When a home is a tear-down for its land value July 30, 2015
43 Modern architectural design in Sarasota April 1, 2015
5880 Midnight Pass Rd, #905 - Siesta Key community of Casarina on the Number 1 rated beach in the world.

Last week I also listed a penthouse in the Casarina community on the Gulf of Mexico coastal beach of the famed Siesta Key. With nearly 1,700 square feet of updated interior, you will love the stunning ninth-floor views, wonderful amenities and proximity to the beach at 5880 Midnight Pass Rd, #905. 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
5880 Midnight Pass Rd, #905 $749,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

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

 

West of Trail has many offerings

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota area has many distinctions

Attractive for its proximity to downtown, Sarasota Bay and beaches

The Field Club
Field Club - Established with its purchase in 1957.

Bayfront homes in Sarasota have a charm that is representative of old Florida when the town was growing into a city. Travel north from downtown along US 41 and turn left on Indian Beach Road to find Bay Shore Drive where you will find beautiful older homes next to new or upgraded homes. You’ll see a similar setting of charm and new as you head south on US 41 and look to the bay side, commonly referred to as West of Trail.

The Tamiami Trail, or US 41, is so named for its Tampa to Miami passage. Homes west of the road, south from Mound Street and north of the Field Road area, are West of Trail. Their beauty in the communities of Harbor Acres, Southside Village, McClellan Park, Oyster Bay and Bungalow Hill reflect that charm while in close proximity, or right on, Sarasota Bay.

Homes on roads such as the north and south running Camino Real and South Osprey Avenue are preferred by professionals for their convenience in travel to downtown Sarasota. Bahia Vista Street, Hillview Street, Hyde Park Street and Siesta Drive are direct connections from the bay to the Trail. Once on the Trail, there are many fine restaurants and shops to explore.

Doctors prefer this area for its close proximity to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and medical corridor of urgent care facilities and specialty medical services that lines the Trail. Professionals are attracted here so they can conduct business through the banking and financial services on the Trail.

Bungalow Hill
Bungalow Hill community in REALTALK™ #172.

West of Trail is also home to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the only garden in the world dedicated to epiphytes. An epiphyte is a plant that grows on another plant but does not absorb nutrients from its host. The botanical gardens focuses on the study of two epiphytes, orchids and bromeliads, on its 15 acres of land on the West of Trail northern end. The property was once owned by William and Marie Selby of Texaco Oil fame and the mansion on the property was once the home of Christy Payne, a director and treasurer of Standard Oil. An extensive library and nine acres of gardens attract scientists from around the world to study these epiphytes.

Homes West of Trail are also south of the Burns Court District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Owen Burns and circus magnate John Ringling were significant developers for much of Sarasota’s growth, including the district designed by Owen Burns in the 1920s. Also on the National Register of Historic Places, the Southside Elementary School, was built in 1926 from the same architectural plans as another local school, Bay Haven. The highly respected Southside Elementary School is West of Trail on Webber Street.

The prestigious Field Club is in the southern area West of Trail. With its six dining areas from casual to formal dress, this private club has a marina, large swimming pool, tennis courts and a wellness center. Stanley and Sara Field of the Marshall Field department stores, started construction of their summer home in 1926. Members of the Sarasota Yacht Club purchased the home in 1957 to be used as a private member club.

The homes I have listed West of Trail have a higher property value for the reasons listed above. Shopping, dining, swimming on the beach attract the affluent to the area West of Trail. Four recent listings are in Harbor Acres and Bungalow Hill, with two in Oyster Bay.

1449 Hillview Drive
1449 Hillview Drive - Harbor Acres home for sale

Most of Harbor Acres homes rest on two peninsulas that extend into Sarasota Bay, with a natural harbor created between the land masses. The first home I highlight today at 1449 Hillview Drive exhibits exclusive waterfront luxury living in a stunning coastal contemporary estate home. Completely updated inside and out in 2015, the sprawling interior is a flourish of clean lines, modern upgrades, with a beautiful new pool deck, deep-water dock and lifts. You can be on the water close to downtown Sarasota in this home recently listed at $2.995 million.

A recent listing at 1024 Citrus Avenue in the Bungalow Hill community is a four-bedroom home waiting for you to make it your own. Located just minutes from downtown Sarasota, this Spanish Mediterranean-inspired home offers 3,400 SF of beautiful interior space, including cathedral ceilings, cook’s kitchen and plenty of outdoor entertaining space, listed at $1.395 million. Bungalow Hill is a unique community annexed to the city of Sarasota in the 1920s. Watch the history of Bungalow Hill in my REALTALK™ #172 video last month.

We did a community spotlight video on Oyster Bay in REALTALK™ #150 and highlighted the Field Club mentioned in this article. Both homes I have listed in this community are under $1 million and have all the wonderful features of homes in this area.

1331 Quail Drive
1331 Quail Drive - Oyster Bay home for sale

The unique design and exclusive location of the first listing at 1331 Quail Drive is a Mediterranean-inspired home that is sure to impress. Built in 2006, you will love the lush, Florida-sourced landscape and an open layout adorned with glass walls of sliders and windows in most rooms, allowing for seamless indoor-to-outdoor entertaining. Art enthusiasts will fall in love with the custom interior, offering two-bedroom plus loft-style office, cook’s kitchen overlooking living and dining room, 11-foot ceilings, Lutron/LED lighting and stone flooring throughout.

This charming four-bedroom Oyster Bay home at 4557 Camino Real is a flourish of fabulous finishes and custom details. It is only minutes from downtown Sarasota’s city life and unforgettable Gulf beaches at Siesta and Lido Keys. This home is surrounded by manicured foliage with a lovely courtyard entry. The open layout of this home’s interior offers beautiful hardwood flooring throughout with French doors leading out to the pool deck that create an effortless flow from room to room for the entire family to appreciate.

We have many homes to offer West of Trail. 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

 

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

 

Home Showcase XIX – The value of land

by Roger Pettingell

Vacant land or tear-down purchase

Buyers have some options with homes on high land values

Pettingell sets another Sarasota record
Congratulations from the Longboat Observer - The local paper had this advertisement on December 28, 2017

I hope your new year’s celebration was joyous and you were able to spend it with friends and relatives. We could see the fireworks from Bird Key and knew there were many celebrations around Sarasota with something for every member of the family. Happy new year! I have already set my goals for 2018 in luxury waterfront property sales and hope I can hurdle my $105 million record sales in 2017 for an individual agent in Sarasota.

Today I am going to focus my Home Showcase series on homes where the land value is more than the home on it. A wise investor can tear down the home and increase the property value for resale. I have also seen that the location of the home was more important so a buyer is content with living in the home. A third option is living in the home until the buyer has a financial comfort level to renovate in time. The three properties I selected today are in different stages of this process for my Home Showcase XIX article. Bargain hunters looking for a good value might be interested in these properties.


The value of a Gulf-front buildable lot on north Longboat Key

5809 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key
Vacant lot at 5809 Gulf of Mexico Drive

The first home is a Gulf-front site ready to build upon! Buildable lots are wonderful because the cost of tearing down the structure has already been absorbed by the buyer. The property at 5809 Gulf of Mexico Drive on the northern end of Longboat Key is in a wonderful location to begin your dream. This quarter-acre property is steps to the beach. You can work from own plans, but this one includes existing plans for a designer, two-story beach home, ready for you to customize. The importance of this home is that you have your own beach to watch the brilliant sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico waters. It is listed at $1,195,000.


Home in Harbor Acres, close to everything in downtown Sarasota

1571 Hillview Drive in Harbor Acres
Choices - 1571 Hillview Drive

Located on an oversized, corner homesite in the exclusive community of Harbor Acres, this 5BR garden home is in a prime spot. Harbor Acres is a private gem, nestled just minutes from the bustling city lifestyle of downtown Sarasota, as well as pristine beaches at Siesta and Lido Keys. Welcoming you with lush tropical landscaping, pavered walkways, the 3,300+ SF open layout of this home can be a great home improvement project or wonderful space for new construction. This is a good value considering the average asking price in Harbor Acres is $2.08 million for a vacant lot. The only vacant lot sale in 2017 here was $2.65 million and the highest home sale in this community was $6 million. The home at 1571 Hillview Drive is listed at just under $1 million.


Recently updated home in Weston Pointe, with dock and lift

610 Weston Pointe Court on Longboat Key
Updated - 610 Weston Pointe Court

Fall in love with the ease of maintenance-free living in the rarely-available Weston Pointe community of Longboat Key. This lovely 3BR/3BA home has recently been updated, newly-furnished, and is now ready for you to enjoy. Recent renovations include two new air-conditioning systems, upgraded eat-in kitchen, freshly painted walls, and newer pergola on the open lanai. Weston Pointe residents adore this special neighborhood, featuring its own marina, with deeded access to private docks and lifts. This home at 610 Weston Pointe Court is specially priced at $999,000, a good value for its upgrades and community amenities.


The Weston Pointe home is a new listing last week. It is a good addition to my inventory for sale, adding to a good variety of homes, prices and locations. I also talked about a residence makeover project in the Beachplace community on Longboat Key, with before and after photos last week in my REALTALK™ #152 video. It shows what can be accomplished to increase the value with a little vision of what buyers are looking for. I discuss this topic also in REALTALK™ #50 when I talk about pricing waterfront property and REALTALK™ #54 in a discussion of tearing down a mansion for the value of the land. Have a good year in 2018. 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

 

Home Showcase X – New listings

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota quality homes and residences

Three new listings that meet the high Global Luxury standards

Harbor Acres in downtown Sarasota
Harbor Acres - REALTALK™ #56 Showcase.

For the tenth article in my Home Showcase series I am pleased to highlight three new listings that offer high quality residences and homes for sale in Sarasota County. The location of these three properties provides a good variety of choices, complementing other listings in our inventory. All three meet the standards of a Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, surpassing criteria established in April that include homes that are listed at more than $1.2 million. Two were built in 2015 and the third is one of the most beautiful homes in Sarasota.


Harbor Acres, one of the oldest waterfront communities in Sarasota

1505 Hillview Drive in Harbor Acres
1505 Hillview Drive in Harbor Acres

Harbor Acres consists of two peninsulas off Sarasota Bay on the southern edge of the city. One of the oldest waterfront communities in Sarasota was formerly known as Doctors Acres for its close proximity to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Of the 160 homes in Harbor acres, many are new construction and on the water. There are garden home off the waterfront. I discuss the history and makeup of this community in my REALTALK™ #56 video.

One of the homes on the water is a five bedroom dream home recently completed in 2015 at 1505 Hillview Drive. The $4.695 million asking price is easily seen with a tour of this magnificent home. Designer finishes, thoughtful decor and custom construction built to the highest standards are the perfect introduction to this remarkable coastal craftsman in Harbor Acres. A John Potvin design and Murray Homes masterpiece, everything about this home is unique. From the hardy plank siding, pitched gable roof and extensive outdoor entertaining areas with separate cabana, to the pristine interior featuring vintage accents expertly blended with a modern flair, create an incomparable lifestyle, best experienced first-hand.


One of the most beautiful homes in Sarasota

136 Osprey Point Drive in the Oaks
136 Osprey Point Drive in Sarasota

In my REALTALK™ #139 video I highlighted The Oaks neighborhood in Sarasota while at the setting of my new listing in Sarasota. Homes built in The Oaks are constructed to the highest standards. Known for its location to tennis courts and two championship golf courses through the Oaks Club, this community has one of the best education systems in the country. U.S. News & World Report rated Pine View School as the top-ranked public school in Florida. Last month niche.com ranked the elementary school as number one in the United States, with the middle school ranked sixth. The high school was ranked sixth in the state for its quality of teachers.

One of the most beautiful homes in Sarasota at 136 Osprey Point Drive, where REALTALK™ was recorded, is an immaculate residence in the Oaks Bayside neighborhood, one of three communities in The Oaks. The estate is a flourish of custom finishes and designer upgrades inside and out. The expanse of the six bedroom layout encompasses more than 8,800 square feet of living space. Entertain with ease on the open terrace, offering an infinity-edge heated swimming pool, spa, fully-equipped summer kitchen and peaceful water views to enjoy at your leisure. The home is listed at just under $3 million.


One of the newest communities on Golden Gate Point

ONE88 #102 on Golden Gate Point
188 Golden Gate Point in Sarasota

ONE88 is one of the newest communities on Golden Gate Point, with spectacular views of the John Ringling Bridge and close proximity to downtown Sarasota. Developed by the VANDYK group in 2015, ONE88 is a community of eight luxury residences overlooking Sarasota Bay. Boat docks are available on-site and each residence has access to the pool, perfectly situated below each patio and sliding glass doors.

You will love every aspect of this residence at 188 Golden gate Point #102. Experience first-hand the 3,000 square feet of living space in this three bedroom open concept floor plan with modern designer touches in every room. This residence is a fully-integrated Smart-Home infrastructure with LED lighting throughout. Enjoy the beautiful interior features of oak hardwood flooring and soaring ten-foot ceilings, listed at $2.795 million.

This may be a two-part series as I plan to have three more new listings next week in my Home Showcase XI article. I also have three new listings on Longboat Key to report, two at Beachplace and one in the Promenade community. 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
1135 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #106 $1,150,000    
1211 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #609 $949,000   Virtual Tout
1105 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #103 $569,000   Virtual Tour

 

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

First quarter 2017 real estate market report

by Roger Pettingell

Sales picking up the pace on Longboat

Reports for quarter rolling in show strong sales, following national trend

REALTALK #123 (April 4, 2017)
First Quarter 2017 - March set the pace for strong sales as discussed in this real estate market report, REALTALK #123 (April 4, 2017)

With just a few weeks remaining in the peak selling season, 2017 is shaping up to be a strong year. Bolstered by last month sales, March came in like a lion and went out like one too. There may have been many reasons for home buying jitters and I typically point to the stock market when that occurs. But the stock market hit record highs so other factors must figure in to sluggish sales the first two months of 2017. It’s possible buyers were looking to the uncertainty that comes about with the inauguration of a new president.

So the figures are coming in for the first quarter. According to a report by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, inventory was the highest it has been since April of 2012. The National Association of Realtors painted a similar picture. Although sales actually slid, the organization reported that February’s mark was 5.4 percent higher than in the same month last year. Prices increased nationally to an average of $228,400, partially due to low inventories.

Evidence of price fluctuations is demonstrated in the chart below this REALTALKplus™ article, where home prices on Longboat Key took a dip in December of 2016 but rebounded to an median price of nearly $1.5 million by the end of March. I discussed this increase in my REALTALK™ #123 video on April 4, 2017. The average price for one of my sales in the first quarter was $1.4 million. If all my pending sales were to close today I would be on pace for another record setting year. The pattern was similar in 2016 when I closed $77 million in volume sales.

My average days on the market have followed a trend set in Sarasota and Manatee counties. In February, Manatee County reported an average of 76 days on the market, Sarasota reported 77 days on the market. My average days on the market is floating right around 79 for 2017.

So, is it a seller’s or buyer’s market? I would conclude that it is a good time for both sides. Sellers are getting near their asking price and buyers are getting a good value for money spent on homes. The sale to list price ratio is 95 percent in both counties.

Luxury homes are selling too. It might take a little more effort to sell waterfront property, finding that right buyer is always out there. I have seven properties over $1 million pending, the highest is a beautiful home at $6.495 million in Harbor Acres. This year I have also closed on seven homes over $1 million.

622 S. Owl Drive, Bird Key, Sarasota
New Bird Key listing - This home was featured in an article, April 2 in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

There are homes on the market here at or above $10 million. On Sunday Harold Bubil of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune wrote a nice article featuring my listing on Bird Key that is currently for sale at $9.995 million. It is a landscaped lot and a lot with a very warm and cozy home built by the owners at 622 S. Owl Drive. It could be separated into two lots. To ask that amount it has to be waterfront of which this property has 450 feet of it.

They all aren’t single-family homes. I have a residence at the Ritz-Carlton pending for $3.6 million and one at L’Ambiance on Longboat Key pending at $2.5 million. These two communities command high dollar for their residences as they are well-maintained and offer many amenities.

Please check out my newest listings that were put on the market last week. The home at 416 Bayshore Drive is on an acre of prime real estate in Osprey. The Little Sarasota Bay wraps around this parcel on two sides and the panoramic views are enhanced with walls of glass on this unique home. The second is in the Bayou Section of Longboat Key, behind the gates of Bay Isles. It’s a charming three bedroom home on the grounds of Longboat Key Club. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Address List Price Media Slideshow
416 Bayshore Dr, Osprey $1,395,000   Photo Slideshow
3490 Bayou Sound $850,000   Photo Slideshow
2016-17 Median price chart for Longboat Key
Median prices for homes sold on Longboat Key.

 

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

 

Harbor Acres - Sarasota community spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota's eclectic gem overlooking the bay

Inspired city leaders of the 1930s helped form Harbor Acres

Aerial view of Harbor Acres in Sarasota
Harbor Acres from the air - Waterfront dockage exists on many homes of Harbor Acres. Click on the image above to see the video in REALTALK™ #56.

Developed from dredging of Sarasota Bay, Harbor Acres was formed with two peninsulas that extend into the bay, creating a boater’s paradise with deep water access to the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This prestigious community overlooks Bird Key, which ironically was also created from dredging projects by some of the great city planners of the day. To the north, the structure of the Ringling Bridge can been seen through a panoramic view with all of its magnificence. All three of these projects were centered around the 1920s real estate depression in Florida that preceded the Great Depression, after the 1929 stock market crash and world financial crisis.

While the infamous John Ringling and Owen Burns were developing the land between mainland Sarasota and Longboat Key, Sarasota mayor Earnest A. Smith had his goal for enriching the city through opportunities created by the depression. Soon after the stock market plummeted, nature created another disaster in hurricane form that devastated Sarasota. The combination of the two initiated a trip to Washington by Smith in an effort to solicit funds under the New Deal and its “Alphabet Soup” programs created in the first hundred days of President Roosevelt's administration. At the time land was cheaply available as owners were unable to pay back loans, drastically dropping their value. Washington was convinced that Sarasota required Federal help to rebuild, and Smith returned to Sarasota with WPA funds to update public utilities and purchase the inexpensive land. He was also given funds to buy land and build a civic center, now the site of the Municipal Auditorium on Tamiami Trail at the Boulevard of the Arts intersection.

1378 Harbor Drive, Sarasota, FL
Many homes in Harbor Acres are new construction such as this new listing on Harbor Drive.

Smith had aspirations for the southern sections of Sarasota and wanted to expand to the area “West of the Trail.” Sarasota Memorial Hospital had been built in 1925 and the area toward the bay was ideal for the doctors of the hospital to build their homes. He served the citizens of Sarasota as mayor from 1931-1937 with an accomplished resume of projects that would inspire the next generation of city leaders. The city would soon change its charter in the 1940s to form a Commission-Manager form of government that holds true to today. A mayor is not directly elected by the people but a panel of five commissioners. At the time cities were evolving to avoid the corruption that was created under other administrations such as Tammany Hall of New York City.

The impetus for Harbor Acres was picked up again after World War II. Some of the first homes that were built in the late 1940s are still in existence today and because it is close to the hospital it was once referred to as Doctors Acres. Doctors still reside here, either as attending physicians or as retirees. The composition of different styles bring together old and new Florida for a quaint community that is preferred for its limited restrictions on deeds. Harbor Acres is also attractive to home buyers as it is close to the rich cultural life of Sarasota, fabulous dining, recreation and boutique shopping experiences.

REALTALK #56 - Harbor Acres
REALTALK™ #56 - Harbor Acres is spotlighted.

In REALTALK™ #56 last week I talked about the evolution of Harbor Acres and its transition to new construction with waterfront and luxury garden homes. Many of the homes here are now built to newer building codes and have many modern conveniences. Waterfront homes in Harbor Acres typically have boat docks and pools with square footage starting at 3,500. There was a sale recently of an updated home of 1,775 square feet, an original 1954 home on Orange Avenue that is the eastern-most boundary road of Harbor Acres. Because these homes are in high demand it was on the market six days. Even homes on the lower end of the scale in this community go quickly. I do not expect that the home I have listed at 1378 Harbor Drive on the water will stay on the market long either. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you would like a tour or have a property to sell or buy in Sarasota or Longboat Key. Click here for active listings in Harbor Acres.

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Roger Pettingell?

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  • 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
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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.