Real Estate Information Archive


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Condo on the Bay community overview

by Roger Pettingell

Amenity-rich community has a lot to offer

One of the first communities to change the skyline of downtown Sarasota

REALTALK™ #186, Condo on the Bay
Condo on the Bay - This unique community was disussed in REALTALK™ #186 last week.

When it comes to sunset views of the Ringling Bridge and Sarasota Bay, there is nothing better than the Condo on the Bay community downtown. Add in the amenities and proximity to the best that downtown Sarasota has to offer, and your life is good. The twin towers of these large high-rise homes at 888 Boulevard of the Arts in Tower I and 988 Boulevard of the Arts in Tower II, are flanked by a row of townhouses, with deep-water marines on both sides of the peninsula.

These structures changed the skyline of the bayfront with 19 floors erected on the waterfront. Consider that many of these 272 residences have been upgraded from their 1982 beginnings, there is plenty of value in these properties with prices under $1 million. You can lease out your residence, one time a year in both towers for a minimum of four months in Tower I and one year in Tower II. The larger townhouses can be spacious with over 5,000 square-feet of living space.

Your community is secure with a 24/7 manned guard gate and under building secure parking with electric vehicle charging stations for your convenience. Guest parking is also available. If you need to park your boat, dock space with electric is offered on a first-come, first-served bases. Relax while fishing from the pier that is on the grounds, protected by a seawall.

For a more active lifestyle, owners have access the two tennis courts, two resort style heated swimming pools and spa, and three fitness rooms with contemporary exercise equipment. There are social rooms with library for some downtime. Take advantage of the generous concierge service. And a short drive to the keys for the beaches or to St. Armands Circle is a delightful adventure of fine dining and boutique shopping.

But you might think, what about the barren 15 acres between the Condo on the Bay community and Tamiami Trail? It is the old Quay, soon to be alive with new residences, hotels, restaurants and businesses in a multi-use development program. It may become the new entertainment center of Sarasota, but is certainly exciting to watch the area grow. Even the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall that is within a short walk is in the revitalization discussion.

Upgraded two-bedroom for sale on fifth-floor at 888 Boulevard of the Arts, #506

888 Boulevard of the Arts, #506
The sunset and panoramic views of the Ringling Bridge and Longboat Key are highlights of this two-bedroom residence at 888 Boulevard of the Arts, #506.

I have a listing in Tower I, one of 10 active properties for sale there. Primed and ready for you to make it your own, this two-bedroom open concept plan is on the fifth floor at 888 Boulevard of the Arts, #506. It offers lovely upgrades including oversized diagonal tile and hardwood flooring, newer bathrooms and eat-in kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, inset solid wood cabinetry, crown molding and tile backsplash.

The master suite is in the northeast corner, offering two standard closets and one walk-in closet. The guest suite is down the hall on the west side. Idyllic bay breezes and breathtaking dusk views on the terrace can be the perfect ending to any day.

Penthouse at #1906 in preparation for the market

888 Boulevard of the Arts, #1906
REALTALK™ #186 - The residence at 888 Boulevard of the Arts, #1906 was discussed in this video last week.

A second residence on the 19th-floor is being prepped for the MLS as an active listing. Every aspect of this downtown penthouse residence at 888 Boulevard of the Arts, #1906 has been meticulously upgraded. Walk in and fall in love with the direct bay views, hardwood floors, modern all-white kitchen, LED lighting, custom built-ins, beautiful tile work in both new bathrooms and tiled terrace space. The residence was discussed in this REALTALK™ #186.

This is a holiday week, many wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. We will be here during the week and this weekend, ready to take your call and set up an appointment. I know some of you may be in for just the week so we can accommodate you if you are looking to buy or sell in the Sarasota area. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of any homes on the market including this new listing last week at 236 Tremont Lane.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
236 Tremont Lane $3,495,000 Video Photo Slideshow


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


Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2




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.

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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.