Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Mote Marine changing quickly

by Roger Pettingell

Information update on the local facility

Research funding increases and Mote SEA gets closer to a start

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium - The programs started 64 years ago and the facility on City Island is receiving greater recognition at all levels.

Last year I did an update on Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. But events are happening quickly at the research facility on City Island and much of it has to do with the leadership of Michael P. Crosby, Ph.D. The President and CEO of Mote has been out in the community educating the public on the research while lobbying hard at all levels of government to fund programs to help revitalize the oceans and sustain life in the seas through its research.

The Waves of Support effort is a fundraising initiative to solicit the philanthropists of our world with seven different “Waves”, from Friends donating under $1,000 to those who make a significant donation of $75,000 or more and become members of the William R. Mote Guild. William R. Mote and family made large donations to the research facility that was renamed in his honor in 1967. It was founded in 1955 as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory and a vision of the “Shark Lady”, Dr. Eugenie Clark.

Problems in the seas these past decades is bringing together scientists to research programs, including 30 Ph.D. researchers at Mote studying different programs that require these skills. Florida appropriated $500,000 last year for coral restoration research. The goal was to restore 50,000 corals in the Florida Keys. It was a continuation of state funding for coral restoration. Last November three national organizations partnered to issue $1.5 million to restore 130 acres of coral reefs. The initiative brought attention to the program and multiple grants matched. Coral reefs grow slowly from polyps that attach themselves to subsurface natural structures and provide an environment for other life.

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.

Harmful algal blooms became a big concern in Florida starting with a major outbreak in 2017. Mote has become one of the nation’s leaders in the research because of the effect it was having on our coastal wildlife. Mote became a partial beneficiary of an $8 million federal appropriation and provided research to congress for the legislation to pass. Last year State Executive Order 18-221 directed $100,000 to Mote for its responses to marine mammal, sea turtle and other fishes affected by the outbreak. While Governor Scott was in office last year he directed $2.2 million to Mote Marine Research. Earlier in 2018 the state divided $1.6 million between and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Florida Wildlife Research Institute.

Mote has 22 different programs of research, each receiving its own funding of grants, appropriations and donations. Some of these research programs may seem obscure but are vitally important to the future of the oceans. Consider Benthic Ecology, or the study of organisms on the bottom of sea, led by senior scientist Jim Culter. The Ocean Technology Research program provides a database of local coastal environments and has deployed an optical instrument to detect algal blooms. The Ecotoxicology headed by Dr. Richard Pierce relies on the data to study harmful toxins. The Environmental Laboratory for Forensics in Dr. Dana Wetzel program has studied the effects of petroleum in the water and has received $16 million over 18 years. Dr. Catherine Walsh of the Marine Immunology program is responsible for the health of marine life.

The vast other programs mentioned above combine with different research programs for phytoplankton, dolphins, manatees, fish, rays, sea turtles, sharks: well, just about anything in the oceans. They do this from field stations around the globe.

Upcoming events at Mote support World Oceans Day

An array of events surrounding World Oceans Day starting Saturday will be held at Mote. The day before on Friday the International OCEAN FILM TOUR, volume 6 is a big screen presentation starting at 7 PM, a film for all who have a fascination with the ocean. Saturday events start with the FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshop, hosted by Mote and held twice a year. It is followed by the World Oceans Day Family Festival 2019 from 10 AM to 1 PM. This is a full day of photo opportunities, vendor booths, presentations and entertainment. Check out all the events at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium website.

Update on the Mote Science Education Aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park

Mote SEA
Mote SEA - Dream gets stronger for education center

Last month more news of the Mote Science Education Aquarium surfaced when a construction management team was announced for the new site of the Aquarium to be built between the Mall at University Town Center and Nathan Benderson Park off Interstate 75 in Sarasota. The project is proceeding with Willis A. Smith Construction which has had previous projects with Mote. A national firm The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company with an office in Tampa will work with Massachusetts based architect CambridgeSeven as the second and third triad in its construction.

The 12 acres of Benderson Park was allocated in January by Sarasota County and has a request to fund $20 million of the estimated $130 million cost. Private donations have totaled $34. Manatee County is studying the legality and feasibility of providing $15 million from funds raised by a 5 percent tourism tax on hotel stays.

When finished the Mote Science Education Aquarium will be an icon for the two counties and the state. It will become an education and marine outreach center with displays that have originated from around the world. Over 1 million gallons of water will host aquatic life and technology used throughout the 110,000-square-foot facility to educate with labs and even on-site scuba diving training center.

The location was selected for its proximity to I-75 and the increased traffic that is brought in through shopping mall visits. Last month the Benderson Development Company announced plans for 1,750 apartments, office space and a 900,000 square foot entertainment center with multi-screen theater. Three hotels, restaurants and shopping stores are also planned in the East District.

Last week I listed a fabulous, coastal contemporary home at 658 Mourning Dove Drive with updates found throughout this Bird Key waterfront estate. It should be one of those on your list worth looking at. 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
658 Mourning Dove Drive $1,895,000 Video Photo Slideshow


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


Wide range of pricing in single family homes

by Roger Pettingell

Home Showcase XXVIII - Good variety

Inventory is growing with something for most in price and home type

675 Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key, Sarasota
Bird Key - 675 Mourning Dove Drive

Last week I discussed new listings that met the criteria set for the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury brand in my Home Showcase XXVII article. This week I highlight three communities and single-family home new listings that show the range of prices, from $779,000 to $6,795,000, and from Sarasota to Longboat Key. Our inventory is swelling to include a wide range of prices, locations and home types.

The paradise centrally located between downtown Sarasota and the beaches

There was a master plan when land fill was used to start the formation of Bird Key and the first home was built. Canals were formed so most homes on this 250 acres of island would have boating access to Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Arvida Corporation, developers of many area communities, purchased Bird Key and began its process of building over 500 homes on the island in 1959.

Automobile access to downtown Sarasota and the beaches was possible by traveling over the John Ringling Causeway and bridge, the second of three bridges that would span the two land masses. The most current bridge that is a landmark for Sarasota was built in 2003. The roads that wind through the community are named after popular Florida birds. Many of the original homes on Bird Key have been replaced with modern mansions. Others have been updated so today Bird Key remains an exclusive luxury neighborhood, complete with a park and yacht club.

Fabulous features abound throughout this designer residence. Ideally situated just three homes in from Sarasota Bay is the home for sale at 675 Mourning Dove Drive, on one of the widest waterways in Bird Key. Offering unobstructed access to the Gulf of Mexico, the avid boater will appreciate the 100’ of bay frontage on sailboat-deep waters, newer seawall and dock with shore power, plus a 16,000-pound lift. Built in 2006, this specially-designed estate of 4,000 SqFt will impress you at every turn, featuring custom, imported finishes inside and out and priced at $6,795,000.

Over 285 homes, most with Sarasota Bay boat access on Longboat Key

592 Ranger Lane in Country Club Shores on Longboat Key
Country Club Shores - 592 Ranger Lane

The same Arvida Corporation that developed Bird Key also was responsible for the beginning of over 285 homes in Country Club Shores. While Bird Key roads are name after birds, Country Club Shores roads are named for nautical and golf terms. Many of the original homes in in this community were constructed as single level, ranch style buildings in the 1960s through five phases of development. On the south end of Longboat Key, this community is popular for its proximity to St. Armands Circle and the Publix shopping center to the north. Across Gulf of Mexico Drive is the Links on Longboat, the very popular championship golf course of the Longboat Key Club. With the exception of Bogey Lane that runs parallel to Gulf of Mexico Drive, the neighborhood is unique in that canals were formed off each street so that nearly every home has boating access to Sarasota Bay.

Wonderful waterfront value! This charming three bedroom, pool home in Country Club Shores is primed and ready to enjoy, rent or renovate at 592 Ranger Lane. Just a stone’s throw away from Sarasota’s open bay, offering deep-water dock and beach access only a sunny bike ride away. Recent updates include a brand-new seawall in 2017, adding great value to this home listed at $895,000.

Privacy and large parcel of land in Hidden Forest near shopping and recreation

4646 Hidden Forest Drive, Hidden Forest community of Sarasota
Hidden Forest - 4646 Hidden Forest Drive

Hidden Forest is a quaint community with lush foliage and larger homes in Sarasota heading toward Interstate 75. Buyer interest increased in this area, first with the building of the Mall at University Town Center just three miles away and then the many shopping plazas that line University Parkway. Homes are close enough to enjoy the many benefits of this shopping mecca, but secluded to avoid the hustle and bustle. Nathan Benderson Park, now a world-class venue for rowing championships is near the mall, and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium have plans to move most of its activities to this site. The very fine and public, Groves Golf Course, is also nearby.

The private residence at 4646 Hidden Forest Drive is perfectly situated on a one-acre parcel, surrounded by lush vegetation. Completely upgraded, inside and out, this beautiful, custom-built four-bedroom ranch home with nearly 3,500 SqFt of living space priced at $779,000 in Hidden Forest is immediately ready for the entire family to enjoy. It has a three-car attached garage and pool with a screen enclosure for relaxing or entertaining.

Please check my website often in October as I will be bringing on more new listings. Contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of these properties or if you have a property to sell or buy.



UIPM Modern Pentathlon

by Roger Pettingell

World class athletes from 28 countries

Final Modern Pentathlon qualifier for the 2016 Olympics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was reported that the pentathlon event in Sarasota last February had a $5.7 million impact on the local economy, with over 13,500 guests attending. Sarasota continues to provide world class events in sports and the arts. The real estate market thrives. Last week we listed three new properties for sale, a wonderful Brid Key estate on the water and two residences on Longboat Key. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
670 Mourning Dove Dr $2,999,000 Video Photo Slideshow
2016 Harbourside Dr, #334/335 $749,000 Video Photo Slideshow
3070 Grand Bay Blvd, #642 $659,500   Photo Slideshow


National Events Showcase Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Another Superboat Spectacle Put to Rest

Positive Image Projected with Televised Grand Prix

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

Congratulations to local Phantom 9 boat owner Kim Niemann for taking first place in the Vee Lite division of the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix this past weekend. While the power boaters were wrapping up their races on Sunday another national tournament had its teams entering town for today’s opening ceremony on the beaches of Siesta Key. The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) begins its nationals for baseball in Sarasota in the home of the spring Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium.

Teams from around the country are in town to participate in the tournament for ages 14-19 in pool play and then the championship round that concludes next Sunday on July 12. The AAU has been inspiring girls and boys amateur athletes since 1888 in a variety of sports. To have the baseball championships here in Sarasota is quite an honor. Teams will also participate at the Buck O'Neil Complex diamonds off Hummingbird Avenue and Clark Road. The AAU also has many national events in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

In June Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O'Neil Complex was host to the Florida Finals of baseball’s Prospect Wire circuit. Prospect Wire was started in 2004 as an organization that participates in scouting events for high school athletes that have a path to major league baseball.

There were many area fireworks on Saturday
There were many opportunities to view fireworks once the rain subsided on Saturday.

And there is more than baseball here in Sarasota. The Florida State DanceSport Championships will be held at the Ritz-Carlton later this month and Nathan Benderson Park is set to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Last month the Ski-A-Rees Stadium on Ken Thompson Parkway by Mote Marine and Aquarium was host to the Southern Regional Championship for skiing.

These activities draw attention to Sarasota in a very positive way. The nationally televised Super Boat Grand Prix showcased the beauty of Sarasota and the surrounding waters. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

World Class Nathan Benderson Park

by Roger Pettingell

Rowing Park Officially Opened in 2014

2015 Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 held this weekend

Nathan Benderson Park on 600 acres south of the Mall at University Town Center.
Nathan Benderson Park - The park serves the community as a county park when not used for competition. The Circus Sarasota tent was set up this weekend in the background.

Nathan Benderson Park south of the new Mall at University Town Center is hoping the venue will be considered as one of the top locations in the world for rowing and other world-class events. From the reception of the Pentathlon last week they are well on their way.

The 2015 Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 was held in Sarasota Tuesday through Sunday with 201 athletes from 35 different countries participating in five sports of swimming, fencing, equestrian jumping, and combination of running with laser pistol shooting. It was the first modern pentathlon world cup final the United States has hosted since the 1970s. The Selby Aquatic Center in Sarasota hosted some of the events including preliminaries for fencing and swimming.

Benderson Park was built around the purpose for being a world class event center and team training site. When there are no world class events there, the 600-acre park is enjoyed by local residents as a county recreational, jogging and biking facility.

Equestrian events at the 2015 Modern Pentathlon
Equestrian events at the 2015 Modern Pentathlon #1 this past weekend at Nathan Benderson Park

The park is already booked for international rowing events. Starting June 12 the 2015 USRowing Youth National Championships will be held there. Next year the 2016 FISA International Regatta is scheduled for a Spring-time event. However, the best is yet to come. In two years, September 1 through October 1, the 2017 World Rowing Championships with the top athletes from around the world will be participating there. The following year, the 2018 NCAA National Championships for rowing will be there.

Leading up those events there are many running, rowing, sculling and triathlons scheduled, almost one every weekend. The training schedule is almost as complete with universities using the facility to practice their rowing skills. Already scheduled are Yale, Columbia, Harvard, Michigan, Georgetown, Northeastern, Washington, Bryant and Dayton universities this year.

Most of the activities center around Regatta Island with the finish lines for the 1500 and 2000 meter rowing events on the Albano Course. A TV lane runs parallel to the course. Warm-up and cool-down lanes are there for the athletes just south of Regatta Island. A total of 500 acres of the park are water. A 5 KM track is opposite Regatta Island and also runs parallel to the rowing lanes.

All these activities are promoted by the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA), falling squarely on the shoulders of event coordinator Sarah Kupiec. SANCA is the non-profit organization that promotes Benderson Park. There are local outreach, safety training and education programs mostly staffed by volunteers from the community. Even the Benderson Park website is set up for world class, Considering the park officially opened in June of 2014, a lot has been scheduled to make this a top location for world-class athletes.

Rowing and sculling
Rowing and sculling championships are scheduled on the 2,000 meter Albano Course in the foreground

New University Mall Opens in 2014

by Roger Pettingell

New Sarasota Mall Will be an Attraction

Mall at University Town Center Set for Luxury and Unique

Mall at University Town Center offers luxury shopping opportunities such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, and Dillards as anchor stores.
Newest glamor mall: Opening of the new Mall at University Town Center adds luxury shopping to our Sarasota lifestyle – REALTALK 19, October 14, 2014

Call it a grand experiment or you can call it the eighth wonder of the world, but the new University Mall is a grand statement for luxury in the Sarasota area. It will also be a series of firsts for Florida including a new diamond shape traffic pattern and also a recreation area for world class sporting events.

Retail companies are already putting their efforts into using this mall at University Parkway and Interstate 75 as their testing ground for luxury sales. The official name is the Mall at University Town Center, set to open in October of this year. It will be one of the largest malls to open in the Unites States since 2007.

You will be able to shop Macy’s, Dillard’s or 80,000 square feet of retail space filled with luxury goods at Saks Fifth Avenue. These big box stores with luxury retail sales are expected to inventory a wider selection than any of their other stores. Expect a more elegant selection as well. Or you can expect to pay $400 for a pair of shoes at Stuart Weitzman, another of the luxury boutique stores that has announced their presence in the mall.

Mall graphic of all stores as of August 2014
Click the image for stores listed August 2014.

When finished, word of the experience for shopping the Mall at University Town Center is expected to spread wide across the country. Icing, a teen jewelry store and division of Claire's, announced last week they intend to build a retail store within the mall. Their likely position will be in store 190 as presented on the map at left. Bose will have its presence too with its own store. Last month Papyrus and PacSun (Pacific Sunwear) filed building permits. All the big retailers in elegant shopping have considered their options in the mall.

The mall will also be a testing ground for many products and retailers. Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels is intending to test market Rise Pies, a new concept in pizza. Tesla is opening a showroom for its electric cars, more electricity in the air. Bass Pro Shops won’t have a presence in the mall, the outdoor retail giant elected to open its newest shopping experience one exit to the south off Fruitville Road.

On the subject of the outdoors, Nathan Benderson Park held its grand opening last month. The lake near the interchange is ready and already announced it will co-host the NCAA Rowing Championships and the World Rowing Championships in 2017. In late October Benderson Park will host the 2014 International Breast Cancer Paddler's Commission Dragon Boat Festival.

Diamond shape interchange will be a first for Florida roads
The new diamond shape interchange will be a first for Florida roads. Click the image for the interchange video put out by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Putting it all together will require a different infrastructure. Plans to restructure the entrance ramps to I-75 with traffic flow in a diamond shape will be the first of its kind in Florida. Traffic from the east and west bound flow of University Parkway will cross over at the interchange for a more efficient entrance to, and exit off the interstate. The new design is expected to be safer than the current configuration. A YouTube animation video shows the traffic patterns, definitely worth looking at. Expect mass transit to pick up, literally. A free trolley service from retail malls in the area is also expected to reduce congestion.

While the Mall at University Town Center may not be as large as the proposed mall in Dubai, expected to be the largest in the world, it should draw a lot of interest and shopping dollars to the area.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6




Why Choose
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
  • 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.

Personal Consult Today

Sign up here and receive a personal consultation with Roger today to buy your next home or sell your existing property.

Free Home Value Analysis (Selling)

Receive your FREE Home Value Analysis for your real estate property on Longboat Key or surrounding area.

FREE Home Value Analysis

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.