Real Estate Information Archive


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Beachplace community spotlight

by Roger Pettingell

Beachplace, spotlight on the Gulf of Mexico

Wonderful amenities and rental policies attract buyers

REALTALK™ #76, the Beachplace community spotlight
Beachplace - I highlighted this Gulf-front community last month in REALTALK™ #76.

In the last 12 months I sold seven residences, have one pending and one active listing at Beachplace. That is a lot of sales for one community. What makes it good for sellers and buyers, there are many opportunities here in the expansive grounds with 11 buildings, four right on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. It is also a wonderful community as I pointed out in my REALTALK #76 video last month.

The 11 buildings, with a total of 336 residences, took three years to construct beginning in 1979, built on 31 acres of lush landscaped land by the Arvida Corporation. Arvida had been the developer of many communities on the southern end of Longboat Key and was responsible for the growth of Bird Key. I worked for them in the mid- 1980s after the construction was completed on Beachplace. I transferred that experience to Coldwell Banker when Arvida was sold to them in 1989, and I continued with the new company.

By then Beachplace was well established as the place on the beach that was family oriented, had many amenities and has great rental policies. The first set of four buildings were laid out in an L-shape around the tennis courts. Buildings 1 and 2 are on the beach, lifting their value to homeowners that enjoy the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. And there are plenty of beautiful sunsets.

Beachplace listings
Four buildings at Beachplace are on the Gulf shores. Other buildings surround the great facilities.

Owners in buildings 3 and 4 have direct access to 1,450 feet of beach frontage. That is nearly the length of a five football fields. Owners in these two buildings step out of their residences onto the swimming pool area that is also the great social activity center with on-site management, social gathering facilities and fitness center. These residences also overlook a magnificent pond with stunning views from their balconies, with quick access to the Beachplace amenities. Buildings 5 through 11 were completed in 1980 and 1981, and privileged owners in building 8 and 9 are on the beach in much the same manner as building 1 and 2.

Buyers with families looking to purchase a residence on Longboat Key may start their search in other communities, but they seem to favor Beachplace when they narrow their final selections. It truly is a family atmosphere with plenty to do for children, and to bond with other children their ages.

The rental policy at Beachplace is one of the least restrictive on Longboat Key. With a one-month rental owners have the ability to stack rentals throughout the 12-month period. In other communities the minimum rental period is three months. That will allow an owner to rent for one month, then use it for a month. Friends and family can stay for a month with this more liberal rental policy. There is also 24-hour manned gated security.

I like Beachplace for all of these reasons. I did purchase a place here that serves as a wonderful getaway for family or rental. Each building is six stories with under-building parking available. Guest parking is also set aside with an ample number of spaces. Beachplace is on the southern end of Longboat Key, close to the shopping and fine dining experiences at St. Armands Circle.

1085 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #205
Active Beachplace listing - This is a rare 3BR/2BA residence for sale in Building 11.

The residence I have for sale here is an end location with a wraparound terrace in building 11, #205. It is also rare because it is a true three bedroom, and has two full bathrooms. The third bedroom has its own terrace, overlooking great landscaping. You can get a glimpse of pricing and review the pricing history back four years on my Beachplace CMA history page.

Last week I listed four homes with a good variety of locations and configurations. The home at 3303 Gulf of Mexico Drive is right on the beach and the townhome at 1245 Derby Lane #A has direct deep-water access to Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in Siesta Key. The turnkey furnished beach getaway at the Players Club on Longboat Key is a great value, as is the Fairway Lakes home on the Palm Aire Golf Course in Sarasota, 5807 Fairwoods Circle, for the golfing enthusiast. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
3303 Gulf of Mexico Dr $3,995,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1245 Derby Ln, #A, Sarasota $1,500,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1445 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #203 $699,000 Video Photo Slideshow
5807 Fairwoods Circle, Sarasota $429,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Transportation Options in Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota Thrives with Travel options

SCAT, MCAT, SRQ and taxis are prevalent

Ford Tri-Motor, the Tin Goose, tours at Sarasota Bradenton Airport on February 2, 2014
Tin Goose - The Ford Tri-Motor vintage plane only occasionally is in Sarasota with a flyover of SRQ.

We have a great transportation system in Sarasota, especially for the size of the city. We don’t have an “L” train as in the Chicago elevated system, nor do we have the type of subway systems as in New York city or Washington, DC. We do have a public transportation that reaches into most areas of Sarasota County and we have an airport that is large enough to serve our needs, but small enough for more personal service.

Getting in and out of Sarasota by air is easy when in comparison to other cities. The runway at SRQ is large enough to accompany Air Force One and did so on September 11, 2001. Press accounts of that takeoff described it more as a liftoff, leaving vertically as the nation was under a terrorist attack that day. In 2014 the airport reported 596,341 enplanements, or passengers that board a plane in a fiscal year. Delta, JetBlue, American Eagle, United and Delta service the airport. Destinations vary, but you can fly non-stop to Charlotte in just under two hours, or fly to Atlanta in just over 1.5 hours, to connect to just about any destination in the world. Then of course there is Venice airport to the south and Tampa International with its direct flights to more cities.

SCAT and MCAT bus systems
SCAT and MCAT bus systems have a far reach.

Public transportation by bus is unique in that Manatee and Sarasota counties cooperate to extend the reach of their services. The MCAT service in Manatee makes it possible to travel as far north as Palmetto, or North Port to the south through the SCAT system in Sarasota County. The Chamber of Commerce on Anna Maria Island supports their trolley system with no fares from Coquina Beach to the upper tip of the island. SCAT plus, MCAT handy bus and ITN Suncoast for residents over 60 years of age offer more personal service. Reservations should be arranged up to two weeks in advance for some services.

For even more personal service consider a limousine or taxi service. Longboat Key and Sarasota has a number of limousines to choose from. There are a few taxis as well, with most companies originating in Sarasota.

One of the more intriguing alternatives are the ride sharing programs offered by Uber and Lyft. Available through a smartphone app you can request a ride through these independent contractors who are available for low fares. I checked Uber today for a trip from our office in the Chart House to Sarasota Airport and was quoted a fare of $14 to $19. With the app you can see the proximity of the closest driver and had seen one entering St. Armands Circle at the time. The fares vary by environmental factors such as weather and traffic conditions, or peak times such as New Year’s Eve. Learning the system can save you even more money. After the first ride and the uneasy feeling of the unknown is over, you may be hooked. Drivers and riders are rated to help with security and they carry insurance for your protection. I have found the drivers to be friendly and very open to questions, they may offer suggestions on how to save on fares. I have heard Uber is experimenting with helicopter ride sharing in overseas market. I suggest they look at Sarasota with boat service across the bay.

Ringling Bridge on February 19, 2016
Travel by car or boat - Beat the Traffic, there is an iPhone or Android app for that. Websites compete with free ad supported or subscription services.

I like technology to make my work and personal life easier. I read that the time traveling to work in Sarasota is 25% less than the national average. There are times when traffic is heavier and I found some good online programs to gage your trip time. Beat the Traffic is used by television stations in the United States. It offers desktop views of traffic congestion and has apps for iPhones and Android devices. There are others but you may be satisfied with the free website. Most offer color coding with green for easy travel to shading and red for high congestion. The data is provided from a variety of sources and drivers can report accidents and congestion through the app. I will always remember that congestion is a sign of community or city prosperity. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Community spotlight - Bird Key

by Roger Pettingell

Bird Key, rich in local Ringling history

The island exemplifies the luxury waterfront lifestyle

Highlights of Bird Key
Bird Key spotlight - I explore the highlights of the island in my video of Bird Key last year.

When I think of the definition of luxury property, I would put it in terms of a good community, safe lifestyle, quality homes and kind neighbors. That is how I describe the Bird Key community in this YouTube video I uploaded last year in July. I’ve recognized Bird Key for these features, I’ve lived there for the last eight years.

Bird Key also has one of the best locations in Florida. It is just minutes to the heart of Sarasota with its bustling lifestyle, turn west out of the Bird Key entrance and you are close to St. Armands Circle with its fine dining and shopping experiences. You are close to the best beaches in the world and some of the finest cultural arts in the United States.

It is also a luxury to have one of the finest school districts in the state. Southside Elementary has a 10 rating out of 10. Students then graduate to Booker Middle School and Booker High School with its fine academics and sports programs. The high school is a National School of Merit "A" School, A 5-Star School. The Tornadoes have five state basketball championships to boast.

Entrance to Bird Key
There are multiple levels of security on Bird Key beginning with the front gate.

The small island was home to many seabirds when it was discovered for its land value by Thomas and Lindsay Worcester in 1917. Thomas purchased the entire 13-acre island from the state of Florida for a mere $25. The famous circus family, the Ringlings, also played an important role in the development. John Ringling purchased Bird Key from the Worcesters in 1922, and the family lived on the estate until its sale in 1959 to the Arvida Corporation. Arvida was responsible for much of the island development and construction on the south end of Longboat Key. I began working for Arvida in the 1980s.

Conceived with the idea that deep water canals would bring more value to the land, the Arvida Corporation built up the island, turning it into 250 acres of prime real estate when it began its expansion after the sale. The island is now accessible from the mainland at the western edge of the Ringling Causeway bridge.

This is a place where apparent value is ever increasing. Those with wealth seek Bird Key for their permanent homes or as a winter haven from the cold. Notables such as TV host Jerry Springer, tennis star Martina Navratilova and AC/DC rock star Brian Johnson have all called Bird Key their home.

Camaraderie exists among the residents. There may be a vintage home next door to new construction, keeping the community quaint but constantly on the move with modernization. I present comparative market analysis (CMA) reports back to 2008 on this website. Buyers and sellers have access to market trends through a history available in these reports and can track the value in these properties over the last eight years.

Boating is a good pastime for residents. Bird Key supports its own yacht club with its fine tennis courts, professional instruction, marina and dining facilities. Weddings with their receptions are common on weekends in the space provided at the private yacht club.

604 Mourning Dove Drive, Bird Key, Florida
Immaculate waterfront home on Bird Key - This updated home for sale is on one of the most prestigious streets on the island.

There is one entrance to the island, a manned guard gate. Security is also enhanced through regular patrols of its own security team. In many aspects homeowners feel safe, protected from the mischief they witness on television.

In the last year I sold five homes on Bird Key, including one for $4.5 million at 602 South Owl Drive. I currently have one home for sale on the island, an immaculate waterfront home with designer finishes on my street at 604 Mourning Dove Drive. It lists for $2,995,000, another good value on the island.

I have three new listings from last week that I have to announce. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
6855 Gulf of Mexico Dr $3,999,000 Video Photo Slideshow
3010 Grand Bay Blvd, #461 $1,795,000   Photo Slideshow
2350 Harbour Oaks Drive $599,000   Photo Slideshow


Community Spotlight - Grand Bay

by Roger Pettingell

Spectacular views from Grand Bay homes

Different floor plans that fit your budget and lifestyle

Grand Bay - REALTALK™ #4
Grand Bay - The views and amenities of this community make it very attractive for buyers as I highlight in this REALTALK™ #4 video.

Looking out over the Sarasota Bay in the morning to view the sunrise is surely a stunning sight. Our photographer captured this beautiful scene in a time-lapse series while recording the residence at 3030 Grand Bay Boulevard, #345. These sunrises occur nearly every day in any of the homes in the six buildings that make up Grand Bay. When the sun rises more overhead, the Harbourside boat moorings and Harbourside golf course display their splendor. It doesn’t end there. As the sun falls in the sky Grand Bay owners with wraparound terraces are able to relax and witness this spectacle over the Gulf of Mexico while sipping on a good glass of wine. The views make this community one of my favorite places to sell on the bay side of Longboat Key.

At that point I don’t have to mention the vast amenities that come with ownership. In just one building you have access to the fitness center with a separate section for aerobics. Women and men have separate shower areas each equipped with sauna and steam rooms. The second floor has a large meeting room accessible by elevator. The lounge with bar is also located on this floor. A kitchen area is sufficient enough to support large gatherings.

sunrise over the bay
Imagine waking to this bay sunrise every morning.

There are many opportunities for recreation. Two on-site Har-Tru tennis courts are open for use daily, as is are the heated swimming pools which are conveniently laid out on the grounds between the two sets of large buildings. The Harbourside Golf Course of the Longboat Key Club wrap around all six buildings.

If you are into boating, the Longboat Key Club Moorings is one of the finest marinas in the area. The marina can accommodate up 291 boats with long-term and overnight rentals. These slips up to 150 feet offer Cable TV, slip telephones, WiFi with electricity and water service. Showers, saunas and laundry service are also available to guests of the marina. The Portofino Ristorante & Bar is a great place to relax and have a fine Italian cuisine dinner.

Security and privacy is also a top concern in Grand Bay. There is a manned guard gate past the convenient shopping at Publix, just off the Gulf of Mexico Drive. You are greeted with another mechanical gate before arriving at a second manned guard on the grounds of the Grand Bay complex.

Six buildings in one community
There are 271 residences in the six buildings that make up Grand Bay on Longboat Key.

These luxury condominiums have mostly been updated, built from 1994 to 1999 by the Arvida Corporation. I was selling for this company at the time, and had a great deal of the original sales here. Arvida was responsible for much of the development on south Longboat Key and Bird Key until the merger with Coldwell Banker in 2002.

To understand what you are buying in Grand Bay you might research three of the most popular floor plans, beginning with one of the most popular Antigua floor plan. My Antigua for sale in Building I is on the ninth floor and has all of the spectacular views that I describe in the opening paragraph above. It is complete with three bedrooms and three baths, plus a half bath with 10-foot ceilings in this spacious residence of 2,925 square feet commonly associated with Antigua floor plans.

The Cayman floor plan was constructed as another 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath floor plan at 2,550 square feet of living space. These are very popular; I have one pending, two active and one sold Cayman just this month. Another popular floor plan with over 2,200 square feet of living space is the Biscayne. These were originally constructed as two bedrooms, 3.5 baths and a den. Since many of these residences have been updated, you can typically find one that has the configuration that meet your requirements.

Grand Bay Antigua #196
This ninth-floor Antigua offers stunning views.

The granddaddy of all floor plans in Grand Bay are the penthouses. I sold a stunning penthouse last year with four bedrooms, and 5.5 baths with 4,413 square feet of living space. The wraparound terrace was spectacular with top floor views, hot tub and totaled 9,756 square feet of space.

Under 2,000 square feet are two bedroom residences with Aruba, Bimini and Capri floor plans. These are a good value and I have a Bimini listed to show. For references on pricing I have links to Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) reports for Grand Bay back to the year 2009. Here are four Grand Bay residences I currently have listed.

Address List Price Floor Plan Media
3060 Grand Bay Blvd, #196 $1,485,000 Antigua Video
3080 Grand Bay Blvd, #512 $649,000 Bimini Photos
3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #233 $999,000 Cayman Photos
3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #243 $999,000 Cayman Video


My most current listing last week is this lavish luxury home behind the gates of the Longboat Key Club. It is just steps from the Gulf of Mexico beach and overlooks the Links on Longboat golf course. This single-family home has an attached three-car garage, open pool deck and heated swimming pool. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1011 Longboat Club Road $2,995,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Big Cat Habitat

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota's Habitat for Animal Preservation

Mardi Gras benefit this weekend supports rescue shelter

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary lion feeding
Animal education - Feeding a lion at the sanctuary is a learning process, with safety as a priority.

When the revelers at the Sarasota Mardi Gras Music and Food Festival put on their party hats this weekend, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. Is it a zoo? Is it a sanctuary? I can tell you one thing, it’s a good place for the family. You can get close to the animals in the habitats, and they call it a safe place for animals in their tagline. That is all animals, including humans.

What began as a love for animals by Kay Rosaire, the sanctuary became a non-profit center for rescued animals in 2005. The staff at the sanctuary have taken on many different types of animals and given them a home where they are safe when they may not have been in their original environment. They claim the life of these animals have been doubled had they remained there. These animals are born to live free, but human neglect or abuse have required the need for rescue.

All of their big cats are addressed by names. You can get closer to these magnificent animals than you would at a zoo. For a small donation you can actually feed the lions, ligers and tigers. Yes, even children are allowed to feed the lions with a portion of food attached to a pole for everyone’s safety. The handlers and barriers add another level of safety.

Dog training demonstration - Special acts on special days
The sanctuary brings in special acts on special days.

So then it becomes all about education. Kay and her son Clayton have a special relationship with the big cats that they share with the public through demonstrations and educational performances. These two often circulate among the crowd, highly visible in order to answer questions.

The habitats are arranged in three complexes of indoor and outdoor facilities are carefully prepared to best provide a natural environment for the animals. Near each home is an exercise area and swimming pool to help maintain a healthy animal.

On display are rare animals that need our help from extinction. Their world famous white tiger, Samson, appears on t-shirts to help spread the word and good efforts of the sanctuary. The Claytons are their own evangelists for the cause of preserving exotic animals.

So, there are lions, and tigers, and bears. There are lemurs, tortoises, camels and birds. But this isn’t a zoo. You can meet Mikey, a vervet monkey that was donated to the sanctuary by a couple who moved to Florida. They had Mikey as a pet but had to give the 15-year old up due to Florida’s exotic animal laws. The couple visits Mikey regularly.

Up close to the camels at Big Cat Habitat
Mikey, Mikey, Mikey. - Mikey is a vervet monkey at the sanctuary, not a talking camel from a TV commercial asking for Mike's response.

The sanctuary is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. During the summer season their days are cut back and are mostly open Friday and Saturday. Their calendar is available online, with show-times for demonstrations and the Big Cat Encounter Animal Show. On special days they will bring in additional acts to enjoy. Active military are admitted to the complex free, and ticket prices are available online. The Big Cat Habitat is located in Sarasota near I-75 at 7101 Palmer Boulevard.

Attractions such as the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary add to the pleasure of living in Sarasota. I added one new listing last week at Beachplace on Longboat Key, but it was sold in the same week. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
* 1075 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #604 $679,000   Photo Slideshow


* Property listed and sold in the same week


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




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.