downtown sarasota

Create your own luxury lifestyle story - Auteur

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We like to be the first to tell you about new and notable happenings downtown, and the official opening of the Auteur sales center certainly is one to pay attention to! The ultra-luxury building, which is being developed by the same team that brought us Beau Ciel downtown and Orchid Beach Club, Aria, and En Provence on the barrier islands of Lido and Longboat, is truly not to be missed. We LOVE the chic and glam sales center itself, for starters, and the floor plans are unlike anything we have downtown now.

Allison at The View From The Top has just had the pleasure of working with one of the very first buyers of Auteur to make a reservation. Right now the building is available for reservations ($50k down for all but the highest floors, which command a deposit of $100k) and it is expected that these will be converted to contracts in mid-to-late summer. Auteur is expected to be delivered in 2022 but, for those who are planning ahead for their next move, now is the time to get in!


INTRODUCING AUTEUR

Rendering found on auteursarasota.com website

Rendering found on auteursarasota.com website

THE DETAILS

Auteur will be a 216’ tower with a projected 56 units priced from just under $2,000,000 to more than $3,500,000.  Residents of Auteur and residents of downtown Sarasota alike will benefit from the developer’s involvement in the community: when originally proposed to have over 85 units, the community of Sarasota voiced concerns.  The developers listened and reduced the number to 56, and by reducing the number of units, the builders were able to both set the structure back further from the street – adding aesthetic value - and increase the size of each home to an average width of 75 feet, something not commonly found in condominiums at any price point (even many single-family homes are on lots of a smaller width than this!).  Each residence will have a spacious, open floor plan and panoramic views of Sarasota Bay.

  • Four floor plans are available, ranging from 2915sq’ to 4219sq’

  • All feature approximately 500sq’ of terrace

The Location.

Auteur will be located at 1100 Boulevard of the Arts on the 1.25-acre site next to the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. The Hyatt parking garage will be torn down to accommodate the structure, and future parking for the hotel is incorporated into the plans for the building, though hotel and resident parking will remain decidedly separate. The close proximity to all of the current amenities of downtown and future The Bay project are a major draw for the building, especially since pedestrian overpasses at 41 are part of the plan! ;-)

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The Experience.

The features and benefits at Auteur are extensive and just exude the modern style of luxuriousness that discerning buyers today are seeking.  Coded access elevators will deliver owners to private foyers and interiors created by world-renowned designers.  Walls of glass span multiple rooms to create sunlit spaces where high ceilings and HUGE terraces add to the overall elegance of each home.  Kitchens come equipped with Sub-Zero® and Wolf® appliances.. and of course, each residence will be pre-wired with the latest smart home technology. Two sides of the Auteur building are expected to feature a vast assortment of fitness, social and general recreational opportunities. 

Other amenities owners will enjoy:

  • Attentive concierge staff

  • Tropical pool overlooking Sarasota Bay

  • Resort-style heated pool, spa and shade cabanas

  • Two assigned parking spaces per residence

  • Fitness center, message therapy, steam showers and yoga studio

  • Fenced pet play area and pet grooming facility

This is an addition to downtown that we at The View From The Top are seriously excited about and we think you will be too!



For all of your downtown real estate needs - in both the to-be-built and classic buildings - we have you covered! Please call us anytime for guidance on the right spot for you in fabulous Sarasota.

NEW SAGE IS ALL THE RAGE!

Ever since Ceviché departed in 2013, Sarasotans have wondered what is going to happen to the fabulous space located at 1216 1st Street, in the cool historic Sarasota Times Newspaper building. Finally, a new restaurant has opened its door here, still featuring 4 stories of dining space and the famous rooftop bar. Welcome to the scene, Sage! I had the opportunity to check out this swanky new world-cuisine restaurant recently and highly recommend you check it out.

Sage Restaurant & Rooftop Bar

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The Food.

The seasonal menu changes so often, it’s not even posted on their website. Their mission is to use fresh ingredients, unique flavors, and cooking styles from around the world to give their patrons the best dining experience. Bonus: They happily accommodate any dietary restrictions and many of their dishes are already gluten- and dairy-free. In addition to the exquisite flavors, their food presentation is some kind of work of art!

When I visited, I went straight to the fabulous rooftop bar - one of my favorites hang-outs from years past when Ceviche was there! - and I was certainly not disappointed! The vibe was sophisticated but not fussy and it was pleasantly busy but not so packed that I wanted to leave. The cocktail I had was delicious and my friends and I loved the various types of seating on the roof - bar, high-tops, and lounge areas and, of course, THAT VIEW is a major draw!

The Location.

As I said above, the building itself is a Sarasota historic landmark, formerly housing the Sarasota Times Newspaper. The 1st Street location is on the western edge of downtown, so it is easily walkable from the Bayfront condominiums, offering an alternative to Jack Dusty for dinner and a nightcap, as well as the Palm Avenue area of downtown. Also nearby: the Sarasota Opera and FST — which makes this a perfect pre-show dinner location!

The historic downtown building used to house The Sarasota Times.

The historic downtown building used to house The Sarasota Times.

Prime location right across from the bayfront in downtown.

Prime location right across from the bayfront in downtown.

The view from the rooftop bar overlooks the bright buildings of downtown. And you can even wave at the rooftop bar-goers on top of the Art Ovation Hotel right across the way!

The view from the rooftop bar overlooks the bright buildings of downtown. And you can even wave at the rooftop bar-goers on top of the Art Ovation Hotel right across the way!

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The Experience.

Despite the casual vibe of the rooftop bar, make no mistake, Sage is a fine dining establishment. The waitstaff is friendly, professional, knowledgable, and in uniform. Searching for the perfect place to grab drinks with the girls? The lively atmosphere on the top level is just right — absolutely beautiful décor with great views of the city that you can enjoy from beneath a mod chandelier or next to a roaring fire pit. And to top it off, pop star Pink has been seen there already, during her recent vacation to our area. ;-)

Sage Restaurant & Rooftop Bar | 1216 First Street | Downtown Sarasota | www.sagesrq.com | 941.445.5660

Best New Listings Downtown Now

Welcome to Season, where both housing options and potential buyers are on the rise. Check out some of the best condos on the market downtown right now!

Spotlight: New Construction

There is no shortage of new buildings available downtown, in various states of construction. For more information on each, click on the link below.

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Spotlight: Resales

Surprising Ground-Floor Unit in Condo on the Bay

888 Blvd of the Arts #102

What a refreshing surprise! We love the #viewfromthetopstyle, but this view from the ground is just lovely. It gives this condo a single family home-feel, with yard and trees viewable from the windows and the ability to walk right out to the waterfront, but retains all the worry-free amenities of comfortable and easy condo living.

  • 2 bedrooms

  • 2 bathrooms

  • 1,288 sq ft under air

  • Listed on Dec. 6 for $ 549,900

Panoramic Views in Embassy House

770 S. Palm Ave. #704

Embassy House is one of the best buildings from which you can get an amazing view of Sarasota Bay. The age of this building (1975) puts it out of the running for many people, whose attention is drawn to newer, more sparkly objects downtown (not that we don’t love those too!), but it should not be overlooked by anyone to whom space and view are important.

  • 2 bedrooms

  • 2 bathrooms

  • 1,625 sq ft under air

  • Listed on Dec. 3 for $749,000

Sleek on Sparkling Sarasota Bay

174 Golden Gate Pt. #23

Harbor House is an adorable mid-rise building on exclusive Golden Gate Point. The modernity of this residence is a true treat for the eyes, with waterfall marble, wood-look tile flooring, and clean lines that give way to the beautiful bay view right outside the large windows.

  • 2 bedrooms

  • 2 bathrooms

  • 1,388 sq ft under air

  • Listed on Nov. 26 for $699,000

Traditional Sophistication in La Bellasara

464 Golden Gate Pt. #601

There is something about classic décor that is…well, timeless. This elegant residence features stunning design elements such as mahogany molding, a clawfoot tub, an executive office, and even a built-in sauna! The kitchen is worthy of an HGTV special with modern touches in a classy and functional space. It also features nearly 1,000 sq ft of ourdoor terrace space from which to enjoy the view.

  • 3 bedrooms

  • 3.5 bathrooms

  • 3,384 sq ft under air

  • Listed on Dec. 4 for $2,799,000

Spacious Contemporary Haven in Sansara

300 S. Pineapple Ave. #401

2016’s Sansara is one of my favorite recent additions to downtown. Modern and chic choices were made in every detail of this prime location building, and this fourth-floor condo is no exception. The west-facing living space gets Sarasota’s spectacular sunsets every night and the bedrooms overlook the city.

  • 3 bedrooms

  • 3 bathrooms

  • 2,773 sq ft under air

  • Listed on Nov. 20 for $2,090,000


With the increase in options available downtown, let me be the trusted advisor that guides you through this process. For all your downtown Sarasota real estate needs, I’m here to help!

Just Listed: Fully Renovated Condo Alternative

There is more than one way to enjoy downtown Sarasota…You can visit it for a few months each winter, you can live in the heart of it every day, or you can simply enjoy all the amenities by living very near it! If single-family home living is more your style but you desire easy access to everything downtown has to offer, then we may have just the perfect option for you!

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3026 Pinecrest Street

Located 8 minutes from downtown, in South Gate.

more information

  • 2 bedrooms

  • 2 bathrooms

  • 1,174 sq ft under air

  • Large, brand-new deck sitting right on a pretty offshoot of Phillippi Creek!

  • Offered at $325,000

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Welcome home!

Walk right in to this open & bright creekside cottage and enjoy a full-scale renovation, which makes the adorable mid-century home feel like a new chic downtown condo! Fresh paint inside & out, new lighting & electrical, modern wood-look tile in all living areas, and contemporary-style updated kitchen and baths. You will be WOWed!

Light, Bright, Open Interior

Wide windows let the light into the main living space, which is open-concept, and sliders to the back deck provide beautiful views of Phillippi Creek, where you can watch the birds and turtles frolic! You will love to cook and entertain in the modern kitchen, finished perfectly with sparkling new granite, a marble backsplash, and all new stainless appliances.

Enviable Modern Kitchen

The island has convenient space for eating, so pour your coffee and enjoy the quiet tranquility of a waterside home. Shaker-style quiet-close cabinetry, sleek knobs, and new fixtures & lighting will please every home cook.

Cozy Yet Updated Master and Guest Suites

Features you have come to enjoy in your downtown condo, such as sliders from the master bedroom right to outdoor space and interesting finishing touches like the barn door to the master bath are both available here. Your single-family condo-alternative is awaiting you! The master bath feels utterly luxurious with the oversized walk-in shower and clean, modern gray tones.

Your guests can still come for a visit and enjoy the spacious second bedroom and nearby bath. The bedroom features new carpet and fan and two large windows, and the bath right around the corner is completely remodeled and updated with accent tile, new wood cabinetry, and granite counters.

The Joy of Being on the Water

And why would someone want to move away from the liveliness of downtown Sarasota? Here’s one reason… unless you are in one of the few waterfront condos, you simply cannot walk out your door and hop on your paddleboard and be out in the sunshine within minutes. You can do that here. The large yard is complete with a wide deck with plenty of room for entertaining, plus there is a poured slab on the side of the home for storing your boat and/or other outdoor playthings like kayaks or canoes.

Why South Gate?

It is close enough to enjoy everything about downtown but far enough away to have the peace and quiet of living in a neighborhood! Be at the Opera in 10 minutes or Selby Gardens in 5 (or jog there, if you’re ambitious, Allison does!). South Gate has easy access to the north bridge to Siesta Key, so everything you enjoyed about being minutes away from Lido Beach downtown is right here too - only to one of the best beaches in the country!

If you have been wondering how you can keep a downtown lifestyle and the low-maintenance you’ve come to appreciate, look no further than this home that needs absolutely nothing else to update it — inside OR out, viewable or not. Everything from the guts to the finishing touches is brand new. So relax & enjoy the post-downtown life!

Downtown Favorite: Beulah

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By Molly Russo

Classic & Eclectic Dining

Beulah landed on the cuisine scene in 2015, opening its doors on Main Street near Osprey Avenue on the east side of downtown Sarasota.  The name doesn't give much away but when you enter this eclectic establishment, the smells of authentic Italian food drift in your direction and the vintage-y, Bohemian interior is a treat for the eye.  Mismatched tables and chairs and well-placed comfy couches coupled with the ornate décor and chandelier lighting made this feel cozy to me, like I had wandered into a very interesting old woman's house, à la Great Expectations. 

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Head in for Happy Hour...

The happy hour menu, which is available at the bar only (as many a Yelp-reviewer informed me prior to my visit), features a small array of appetizers, cocktails, beer, and wine for under $10.  Not a bad deal!  Try the Margherita pizza, mussels, or eggplant rollatine for a flavorful snack from 5-7pm with your drink, or the Caesar salad if you're trying to be good. ;-)

...or an Authentic Italian Meal

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Seeing as I was there for dinner, I did not partake in the happy hour menu, but moved right in for dinner.  A friend and I each ordered -- what else at an authentic Italian place? -- pasta!  She opted for the lasagna, which was so light, yet well-spiced; it reminded me of the fresh-made pasta an old friend from Italy had made me once upon a time.  Hands down, this was the best lasagna I've ever had (thank goodness she let me share a bite!).  I had the ravioli of the day, this particular day the flavor was mushroom.  It did not disappoint.  The ravioli were set in a white alfredo-type sauce and were simply mouth-watering.  We both cleaned our plates.

Though Beulah has been a part of our scene for a few years, this was my first time there.  The food was spectacular, the service friendly and professional, and the ambiance was just cool.  Brick walls juxtaposed with elaborate fixtures and artwork set a perfect stage for the new twist on old world cuisine.  I highly recommend Beulah for your next date night!

Side note: As I was writing this, an article popped up on the Herald Tribune naming Beulah's Aperol the cocktail of the summer.  Check out their article here.

 

Brand New Resource: Current Market Update

We know you're savvy, in-the-know people who want the most up to date information on your homes and investments, and we are happy to oblige!  We just added a new feature to our website, Current Market, and we want you to have a look.

What's New

Every month, as soon as we have the stats on the prior month, so will you!  Take a look at this month's current market update below, and anytime you want the freshest, most current data on downtown Sarasota condos, visit seetheviewfromthetop.com/downtown-current-market!


downtown real estate

A market update just for your neighborhood, downtown Sarasota, as of the end of June 2018.

downtown condo inventory is down, but pending sales are up.

The seasonality of downtown Sarasota means we typically see a drop in sales and contracts over the summer.  Consequently, less people typically choose to list during this time because of the decreased buyer traffic.  This year, that still seems to be true, but 40% more houses have gone to contract in June than in May of this year, and this year is 20% up over 2017.  

price per square foot is down, but consistent.

Downtown condo prices historically rise to their highest heights during Season in the first few months of the year.  June's average is a bit lower than last month (by about 8%), but is up nearly 20% over last June's.  All in all, the year-over-year increase has been consistent in 2018, and we are happy with that!

number of days on the market is down, but so is list price to sale price ratio.

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In short, this means that listed downtown condos are spending less time on the market, but sellers are getting a lower percentage of their asking price.  Over the past 12 months, the LP:SP ratio was closely tied to seasonality, with sellers getting nearly 100% of their asking price during high season.  We have dipped to 84% as of June, which is a 9% decrease from May, and an 8% decrease from last June.  Days on market is  down about a month from this time last summer, and down 4% from May.


What does this mean for you?

The downtown Sarasota condo market breathes with the season, and we are stopping for inhale right now.  The summer can be a great time to prepare your condo for sale (we have suggestions on how to do that here) so it is fresh and ready to be listed in the mid-fall, when season begins picking back up. 

If you are anxious to sell right now, there is less competition on the market against you, but buyers are on the lookout for a good buy.  Be prepared to negotiate and stay realistic on your expected sale price.

If you are interested in buying right now, know your options might be more limited during the summer, but for the next couple of months, it's a good time to be a buyer.

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Just Listed: High-Level in Regency House

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Well here is a new View from the Top!  We just listed a beautiful 10th-level condominium in Regency House.  Located in the southern, artsy corner of downtown between Palm & Gulfstream Avenues, with sights of Burns Court, Palm Avenue, and Sarasota Bay, the view from this residence is a beautiful greenbelt that one may not have known existed within Sarasota's city limits.  Our eclectic sellers showcase a beautiful art collection with custom lighting in their main living space.

Regency House 10th Floor

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435 S. Gulfstream Ave. #1008

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1,705 square feet under air
  • Listed at $525,000
Spacious and open living/dining room features large windows and feature lighting to highlight the couple's amazing art collection.

Spacious and open living/dining room features large windows and feature lighting to highlight the couple's amazing art collection.

A cozy bonus space provides an extra seating area with gorgeous city views of Sarasota's Burns Court.

A cozy bonus space provides an extra seating area with gorgeous city views of Sarasota's Burns Court.

The fun, mod-style kitchen features modern fixtures with a 60s-chic style, and loads of smart storage!  Bonus: the custom mosaic above the cooktop is built in to the backsplash.

The fun, mod-style kitchen features modern fixtures with a 60s-chic style, and loads of smart storage!  Bonus: the custom mosaic above the cooktop is built in to the backsplash.

One of two master suites: this one features a large walk-in closet (so big that current owners use it as an OFFICE!), and an adorable European-inspired master bath, as well as enough room for seating!

One of two master suites: this one features a large walk-in closet (so big that current owners use it as an OFFICE!), and an adorable European-inspired master bath, as well as enough room for seating!

The second master suite has been turned into a den.  Inside this suite, you'll find another super-spacious walk-in closet and a beautifully adorned full bath.

The second master suite has been turned into a den.  Inside this suite, you'll find another super-spacious walk-in closet and a beautifully adorned full bath.

Recline in the den and watch the boats go in and out of Marina Jack's on Sarasota Bay.

Recline in the den and watch the boats go in and out of Marina Jack's on Sarasota Bay.

Walkable to the heart of downtown or Sarasota's bayfront in just minutes, you can truly find your perfect downtown life from this high-level condo.

For more information about #1008 in Regency House, please give us a call today!

Bayfront 20:20: What You Need to Know

The North Downtown Waterfront

Downtown Sarasota is undergoing a major transformation!  Redesigning Sarasota's bayfront area has been a topic of conversation for many years.  The land currently occupied by the Van Wezel and Centennial Park is part of a large conversation about the direction of Sarasota.  

The vision of Bayfront 20:20, which is the name of the initiative and team of industry leaders who are taking on the massive task of re-envisioning and executing a new waterfront destination in Sarasota, is to support the creation of a long-term master plan for the Sarasota Bayfront area that will establish a cultural and economic legacy for the region while ensuring open, public access to the Bayfront. 

Bridge the Divide Concept Chosen

Original concept of  Bridge the Divide

Original concept of Bridge the Divide

After years of public input, and a recent survey offered to the Sarasota community at large, the internationally-renown design firm Sasaki offered up the results of the survey: After proposing 3 different designs and allowing the community to vote not on overall designs, but on individual aspects of each design that they liked or disliked, the Bridge the Divide concept was selected as the final vision for the Bayfront.  Based on community comments, however, Sasaki is tweaking and adjusting their design to accomodate for aspects that were determined to be most important to our community in the survey:

  • Keep and repurpose Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.  
  • Increase waterfront access and recreational space.
  • Aesthetic focus of cultural amenities, such as the proposed amphitheater, to be the bayfront view, as opposed to canal.
  • Pedestrian and vehicular traffic concerns addressed.

Next Steps?

Sasaki plans on presenting the City Commission with a final master plan at their September meeting.  Stay tuned, for much is to come on the development and reimagining of what our bayfront can be.

For more information on Bayfront 20:20, click here, and for details about The Bay proposals and phases, click here.

Original concept of  Bridge the Divide

Original concept of Bridge the Divide

New Year's Celebrations in Downtown Sarasota

Happy New Year!  

We have the skinny on the best New Year's Eve events in and around Sarasota.  We hope you find the perfect way to ring in the New Year & cheers to 2018!

View from Siesta Key of the Downtown Fireworks

View from Siesta Key of the Downtown Fireworks

Downtown Sarasota

The Downtown Fireworks are shot off of the waterfront at Marina Jack's at midnight.  Of course, if you want to be on Marina Jack II, or viewing from one of the Marina Jack dining rooms, reservations are encouraged and cost of dinner would apply.  However, otherwise these are of course free to view from high-rises and penthouses near and far, as well as from Bayfront Park.

Downtown's Pineapple Drop

Downtown's Pineapple Drop

SRQ NYE is a massive party, starting at 9:00pm at the Municipal Auditorium.  Tickets cost $160 at the door (if it's not sold out) and DJ JAC of All Trades will be spinning music until 1:00am.  The all-inclusive ticket covers red carpet, valet service, a top shelf bar, champagne toast, catered appetizers, and dancing to the DJ and live music all night.  You can find more information on the event's Facebook page.  

The Pineapple Drop takes place on downtown's Main Street from 1:30pm on New Year's Eve to 1:30am on New Year's Day.  Free entry, with open access to bars, restaurants, food trucks, and carnival activities pay-as-you-go, this event attracts more than 20,000 people each year.  The pineapple drops at midnight and the aforementioned fireworks from Marina Jack's are visible from the event.

Siesta Key

As usual, tourist destination and #1 beach in America Siesta Key puts on a great New Year's Eve.  Local bars on the island are jam-packed and the downtown fireworks are viewable from the beach. 

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Don't miss Daiquiri Deck for live music, raw bar,  and of course, a bevvy of frozen drink selections.  Enjoy the tiki atmosphere while you toast to 2018.

Gilligan's will have a DJ spinning until 2am.  Visitors and residents alike who don't want to venture off the island will find a good time here.  

The Beach Club has a New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball, so if clubbing or dancing is what you seek on your New Year's Eve, grab a mask and head here!  There are two levels of tickets, depending on how much access you want, and prices are either $35 or $55.

For all your real estate needs in the upcoming year, please give me a call.

Enjoy your View from the Top this holiday season & cheers to 2018!

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Price Reduced: City View Penthouse

Christie's featured 6 penthouses with city views this week, and we have our own to feature right here in Sarasota.  The price has been reduced on this gorgeous 18th-floor penthouse in downtown's One Watergate!  

1111 N. Gulfstream Ave #PH-B

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1,575 square feet
  • Just reduced! Now available for $850,000

And now for Christie's line-up...

We know One Watergate has one of the best views in all of our town, but Christie's outlined some of the best city-view penthouses in the world in last week's blog, Luxury Defined.  Take a look, and read the full article here.

Luxury Defined: 6 Penthouses with City Views

Re-blogged from Christie's International Real Estate blog, 11/18/17.

1. Rome, Italy

The magnificent three-story, 3,767-square-foot penthouse is situated within a Renaissance palace overlooking the Piazza Venezia, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, and the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II.

The magnificent three-story, 3,767-square-foot penthouse is situated within a Renaissance palace overlooking the Piazza Venezia, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, and the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II.

2. London, United Kingdom

Mayfair's Luxury Quarter is the setting for this deluxe duplex penthouse.  Two terraces and a roof deck provide a bird's-eye view of Big Ben, the London Eye, and a city of landmarks.

Mayfair's Luxury Quarter is the setting for this deluxe duplex penthouse.  Two terraces and a roof deck provide a bird's-eye view of Big Ben, the London Eye, and a city of landmarks.

3. Miami, Florida

This designer duplex on the exclusive island of Brickell Key overlooks downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

This designer duplex on the exclusive island of Brickell Key overlooks downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

4. Athens, Greece

This elegant penthouse in the prestigious Kolonaki district was designed to take in the showstopping views of the Athenian skyline.

This elegant penthouse in the prestigious Kolonaki district was designed to take in the showstopping views of the Athenian skyline.

5. Sydney, Australia

If you're looking for views of Sydney Harbour, including the city's famous opera house, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Pacific Ocean, this contemporary duplex has them in spades.

If you're looking for views of Sydney Harbour, including the city's famous opera house, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Pacific Ocean, this contemporary duplex has them in spades.

6. Marina Bay, Singapore

The views of Singapore are without rival at this contemporary penthouse on the 47th floor of the Marina Bay Residences, a luxury residential skyscraper designed by starchitect A. Eugene Kohn.

The views of Singapore are without rival at this contemporary penthouse on the 47th floor of the Marina Bay Residences, a luxury residential skyscraper designed by starchitect A. Eugene Kohn.

For any and all of your Sarasota-area real estate needs, we are here to help!  If you are looking at luxurious penthouses or properties around the county and around the world, let us reach out to the extensive network of Michael Saunders & Company affiliates to connect you with a realtor who is working in the area you seek.  

Dolphin Tower: Can We Get Over It?

Dolphin Tower represents one of two things: the world's scariest condo owner's nightmare, or an investor's dream, depending on where you were in June of 2010.  If you were sitting in your condo, overlooking one of the best views in downtown, but tripping over a gaping crack in the floor of your home; or if you were the President of the Condo Association of the building, not realizing how many hours, weeks, months, and years you were about to spend trying to literally and figuratively pull a building out of a black hole; or if you were a snowbird home safe for the summer getting a phone call from said President that your second home was being evacuated... then you probably fall into the former category.  

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An Unexpected Nightmare

Dolphin Tower was many people's dream-turned-reality: center of downtown with views for miles, all at a relatively reasonable price-point thanks to the age and style of the building.  Retire early, enjoy life at the beach yet in a cultural epicenter.  Could it get any better?  Well, it certainly could get worse.

In the summer of 2010, dream-turned-reality became dream-turned-nightmare when the 36 year old building began the process of collapse.  Cracks appeared in floors and walls, temporary support was installed, and the building was evacuated.  What once was a premier address in Sarasota quickly became a derelict liability.  In addition to the obvious structural problems, it was quickly discovered that the building fell below current wind shear standards, and might likely topple right down in the event of even a low category hurricane.

Costly Renovations

Many owners quickly went upside-down, as their responsibility for monthly condo fees (and mortgage payments, if mortgaged), rent for a temporary living place, storage for possessions, and gigantic special assessments for building repairs veritably ripped the money from their pockets.  Many foreclosed and several sold for nothing more than closing costs; roughly two-thirds of the building turned over during what ended up being a five-year-long renovation project.  Special assessments for the renovations and repairs will continue through until the year 2020.

The View from the Top of Dolphin Tower remains one of the best in the city.  

The View from the Top of Dolphin Tower remains one of the best in the city.  

The Pendulum Swing of Dolphin Tower Property Values

Ten years ago, at the height of the market, before the recession, Dolphin Towers properties were selling for an average $425,000.  Five years ago, in the midst of the chaotic renovation, the average price dipped to a staggering 10% of that.  TEN. PERCENT.  The 2012 average sold price in the Tower was just $47,137, as owners sought to unload what they saw as a money pit with no bottom.  

Now, 10 years post-recession and 2 years since the first occupant was able to move back in, the average sold price has rebounded back up to $380,690.  There are currently 33 condos on the market at the moment, some being sold sight-unseen as they are not yet fit for occupancy, and some with Certificate of Occupancy already received.  The price range of those available is $279,900 to $695,000.  

Rebuilt But Not Forgotten

A recent renovation on Dolphin Tower's 14th floor.

A recent renovation on Dolphin Tower's 14th floor.

Given that the building has undergone one of the most rigorous and complete renovations in recent memory, we know it has the potential to be a solid part of the downtown real estate market once again.  Many residences are now beautifully renovated and still you can get a lot for your money in Dolphin Tower.  It remains one of the best-positioned buildings in downtown--Palm Avenue Shoppes beneath it, across from the water and the Marina, and in walkable proximity to everything.  

But will buyers ever trust the building again?  Only time will tell.


The factual content for this information was taken from this article in Sarasota Magazine, as well as by compiling data from many years in the Mid-Florida MLS.  

Downtown Hot Spot: The Fountain

Quaint Italian Charm, Delicious Food, & Great Specials at

The Fountain Kitchen & Wine Bar

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There has been a restaurant on the corner of Pineapple and Orange for quite some time.  That restaurant has changed frequently, never really finding one that could take root in the little niche corner by Burns Court of downtown.  That is, until now.  The Fountain Kitchen & Wine Bar opened in 2016 and seems to have been gathering a large, local, and loyal following ever since.

Italian Done Right.

I popped into The Fountain a couple of weeks ago for happy hour with a friend on a Monday, and surprise!  My original having-a-case-of-the-Mondays day turned into five-dollar-gourmet-pizza Monday!  (Which is obviously a better kind of Monday, to be sure.)  Every. Single. Pizza on their menu is $5 on Monday, and if that's not a way to start your week, I don't know what is.  

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With their excellent selection of wine, my companion and I settled into one of the outdoor seats overlooking the fountain and sipped our rose while we waited for our pizza.  The restaurant is inherently Italian, featuring the aforementioned pizza, as well as salads, toasted sandwiches, and small plates.  According to a multitude of online reviews, and our own experience, the food is something they do quite well.  The place smells fantastic, and every dish rolling out looked the same.  Our pizza was absolutely indulgently delicious.

Great Food.  Great Deals.

In addition to $5 pizza Mondays, The Fountain has Wine Wednesdays--where all wine is 50% off, (This is clearly the next time I'll be stopping by!), Thirsty Thursdays--where beer & wine is $2 off, and occasionally features live music on the patio.  If you haven't stopped in yet to this relatively new downtown gem, take a walk down Pineapple and check it out!

What You Need to Know Now Downtown

There are some very cool properties for sale downtown right now.  Here are a couple highlights of what we think are too awesome or unique not to share!

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The First Resale in Sansara

Sansara is one of the newest additions to downtown, finished just earlier this year.  The luxurious 10-story building has only 17 residences, and this condo is the first resale!  This elegant 3 bed/3 bath condo features a retractable window wall from the main living area to a large terrace, offering panoramic views of downtown and Sarasota Bay.  It also comes with extensive upgrades throughout, including wood floors, upgraded Italian cabinetry, top-of-the-line appliances, and quiet-close pocket doors, among others.  Sansara is located at the edge of one of our favorite downtown neighborhood niches, Burns Court, and comes with a wide array of amenities including concierge, fitness center, and a stunning pool/spa.  Like the furniture?  We do!  This one is available to be sold totally furnished for those who want to walk in and start living the High-Level Living life tout suite!

Check it out!

 

Penthouse in Savoy on Palm

Ever wondered what a cool $5.8 million dollars could buy you?  Wonder no longer.  This massive penthouse in Savoy on Palm offers decadence from one end to the other.  Breathtaking views of Sarasota Bay from 11 stories up will wow anyone who stands on the terrace or in one of the many rooms that enjoy this view, and the city views overlooking the very heart of downtown don't disappoint either.  The chef's kitchen features top-shelf everything.  The rotunda entry foyer has gorgeous inlaid onyx flooring and a lighted sky dome.  What you can't see in the pictures?  A 1,200 bottle wine cellar, private elevator foyer, 10 ft. ceilings, gas grill and hot tub on your terrace, and 3 car garage are a few added features.  We. Are. Wowed. 

Take a look...

 

Never-Available Library Mews

We say "never available" because it's true!  I had to go back to 2014 to find the last unit that was sold in Library Mews, a small collection of townhomes located right in the center of downtown.  Gorgeously architectural with artistic details everywhere, this specific home has simply STUNNING features such as wave-like mosaics, curved volume ceilings...even the floor tile is laid in an interesting and creative pattern.  Located between 1st and 2nd on Cocoanut, Library Mews is right down the street from (did you guess?) the downtown library, around the corner from FST, The Opera House,  and the fantastic Bijou Cafe, and is a short stroll from the Sarasota Farmer's Market on Saturdays.  Did we mention that Library Mews comes on the market next to never?!  

Take a Peek...


We are always on the lookout for the best and most unique properties in and around the downtown Sarasota area, and we can help you zero in on locations that might be good for you.  Give us a call if we can help you find your perfect piece of paradise in Sarasota so you can start enjoying the View from the Top!


3 Under 5

The downtown lifestyle is a coveted one: walkability to great restaurants, cute shoppes and salons; some of the best sunset water views in the state, arguably in the country; easy access to the many cultural amenities in Sarasota such as opera, theater, and art galleries; and of course the low-maintenance appeal of condo life, including concierge service, maintained amenities and grounds, and building security.  Would you be surprised to find that this lifestyle can be attained for under $500,000?  

Well it's possible, and downtown diva of real estate, Allison Werner, has spotted three unique properties currently on the market downtown for a steal...

Burns Court Enclave

Burns Court is the quiet, eclectic community on the south side of downtown, which typically carries a price tag much higher than this!  This adorable condo in gated Burns Court Enclave has been fully remodeled with bamboo flooring and a clean, modern kitchen.  It also features several floor-to-ceiling windows, making it light and bright.  Literally everything else on the marketing right now in this area of downtown is priced around or above $1,000,000.  Updated unit, desirable location...yes, please!

Francis Carlton

We love the Francis Carlton building here at View From the Top.  It's one of the most affordable ways to get into downtown, it's got water views, and it's in a beautiful historic building.  Steps away from the Ritz, around the corner from the Florida Studio Theatre complex, and the tiniest stroll from Sarasota Italian restaurant staple, Caraguilo's, this place is all about the location!  This unit in particular has been updated but keeps with the character of this gorgeous building with cool features like built-ins, plantation shutters, and beautiful arched windows.  What a steal!!!

Risdon on 5th

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Risdon on 5th is a contemporary-design new building located in the Rosemary District of North Downtown.  It's walking distance from hip new SRQ haunts such as Mandeville Beer Garden and Blue Rooster, as well as the chic fine dining and retail area on North Orange Avenue.  This is the last 1/1 unit available in ultra-modern Risdon, is able to be occupied this fall, and features a solar-heated rooftop pool as well as two rooftop terraces, offering unique and stunning views of all of downtown.  Other amenities of this new community include gated & secured parking (with charging stations for electric cars!), and a lush courtyard.  Very chic and reasonably priced!

As always, if you are looking for something extra-special in downtown Sarasota, give us a call and let us find you the perfect place!  The options, as you can see from these amazing residences mentioned here, are limitless and can fit almost any budget and lifestyle!

Sarasota's Newest are Going Fast!

Get them while they're still here!

There are a LOT of new buildings and developments going up in and around downtown Sarasota.  Several of them are still in the pre- or early-construction phase, but quite a few are coming to fruition before our eyes this summer.  These are the newest things going downtown, they can be viewed or previewed NOW, and there are only a few left!

Orange Club

Boutique condos in the Burns Court area of downtown.  Many of these are already ready for occupancy and able to be viewed now!

  • How many residences? 9 townhomes and 15 condos
  • How many are left? 3 condos, 3 townhomes
  • Price range of those remaining: $600,000 - $900,000
  • Sizes of those remaining: 1,100 - 1,500 square feet for condos, 2300 square feet for townhomes
  • What's special? These ultra-modern residences are in exclusive and intimate Burns Court.  Designed by modern architects Vandyk, Orange Club offers super-mod kitchens, hotel-inspired baths, and open floor plans with lots of light.  

One88

Keeping with the style and feel of the rest of Golden Gate Point, One88 is elegance and luxury with simply exceptional and stunning water views.  You can view these units now.

  • How many residences? 8
  • How many are left? 2
  • Price range of those remaining: $2.9-3 million
  • Sizes of those remaining: over 3,000 square feet
  • What's special? If you're a car enthusiast, One88 has you covered.  Each luxurious condo comes with parking for three cars, including a lift.  Oh, and there's a detailing station to boot!  All that, AND the spectacular view?  Sounds too good to be true, but yet here it is!

Vue

This luxury high-rise will feature fantastic views of downtown, Golden Gate Point, the coastline, and Sarasota's surrounding keys.  The Vue site is still a construction zone, but expected completion is only 2 months out.  Serious buyers are welcome to visit for a hard-hat tour.

  • How many residences? 144
  • How many are left?
  • Price range of those remaining: $1.5-3.5 million
  • Sizes of those remaining: 2,200 - 3,500 square feet
  • What's special? Each residence in this building, situated next to One Watergate and the Ritz Carlton, will feature floor-to-ceiling glass, expansive and free-flowing rooms, soaring ceilings, gourmet kitchens, and spacious balconies.

The Q

This centrally-located collection of modern townhomes has been in production for a few years so several units are already occupied.  

  • How many residences? 40
  • How many are left? 7
  • Price range of those remaining: $680,000 to $1.6 million
  • Sizes of those remaining: 1,600 - 4,000 square feet
  • What's special? Innovative architecture is the feature of this eye-catching community.  There are designer touches throughout the two- and three-story townhouses, and there are terraces on every. single. floor.  And have you seen those elevators???  Very cool, and extremely walkable to everything downtown.
 

Shhh... It's a Sarasota Best Kept Secret!

Burns Court Cafe Wine Bar

I had a wonderful time last week when I stumbled into the Wine Bar of the Burns Court Cafe.  Separate from, and yet a part of, the fantastic Burns Court Cafe, the Wine Bar is a quaint, quiet, and exclusive little enclave with both a worldly and incredibly intimate neighborhood feel.

The international owners and staff make this place feel like you've teleported to an old cafe in France or Italy.  I sat at the 6-seat bar, enjoyed a glass of rose' and live jazz.  There is a special wine bar menu after 5pm with appetizers, small plates, entrees, and desserts, and while we didn't eat that evening, the food coming out of the kitchen looked amazing.  As expected, the wine bar has an extensive selection of wine both by the glass and by the bottle, as well as a pretty decent selection of beer too.

...the Wine Bar is a quaint, quiet, and exclusive enclave with both a worldly and incredibly intimate neighborhood feel.

By morning, Burns Court Cafe is a delightful patisserie with pastries, fresh squeezed juices, coffees and cappuccinos.  By day, the cafe serves elegant entrees, salads, pressed sandwiches, quiche, and tapas.  But by night, this little best kept secret transforms into a private jazz club with great, sharable plates and fantastic wine.  Stroll over to Burns Court one evening and check it out! 

Cheers!

Preparing Your Condo for Sale

In our last blog, we gave you an update on the luxury downtown condo market.  If you haven't read that one yet, we suggest you start there.  But to summarize, there are plusses and minuses to listing your condo in the summer.  Low inventory is a plus, but the tendency for condos to sit on the market for longer periods of time is a drawback to listing now.  Thus, it may be a good time to prepare your home to be on the market, so that you're ready to list in the early- to mid-fall, when season picks up and buyers are more likely to purchase.  

Here are a few things you can do this summer that will increase your odds of a sale in the fall!

Freshen up the entryway.  

For a condo, this is as close to curb appeal as you can get.  Take the time to make a good first impression by having a clean front door, a nice mat inside, and a friendly foyer/entryway.  Add a plant or a small table with a piece of art on or above it.  If it makes you smile when you walk in, it'll likely make potential buyers smile too.

Make repairs.  

This one is obvious.  If you have to jiggle the doorknob before you turn it or it won't unlock properly, or if that light in the hall is connected to the wrong switch, or if there is a pane of glass in your window with a crack in it, NOW IS THE TIME.  Make those repairs so that buyers know you've cared for the home they are potentially about to invest in.  They want to know they are not walking into a sea of unseen problems, so make sure everything they CAN see is pristine and in working condition.

Remove clutter and depersonalize.  

The goal here is to make sure that anyone who walks in could feel at home.  If they are looking at your Christmas village collection in June, or high school yearbook photos litter every wall, they may have trouble seeing themselves and their families in the home.  Keep your personality, but lose the clutter.

Organize pantries and closets.  

Buyers that are really interested in your home will want to know how it LIVES.  Where will they store things?  They'll open up your pantry and closets, so make sure these spaces look organized.  If a master closet looks like a cluttered mess, they will think, "There's not enough space in here for me!"  Tidy up, put away, and (the word of the hour) declutter these important areas.

Freshen up paint.  

This goes back to everyone being able to see themselves living in a space.  You may love having a pink bedroom, but the bachelor who is considering moving in will say, "Great, I know I will have to paint THAT!"  It doesn't matter if it's a color a buyer would choose to paint their own home, it matters that it's NOT a color that they WOULDN'T choose.  Keep it light and neutral.

Make it sparkle. 

While the bulk of cleaning will need to be done on a regular basis once your condo is on the market, now is a great time to do those once-in-a-while chores, like cleaning baseboards and ceiling fans and replacing that lightbulb that flickers once in a while.  Once you're having showings and open houses, you'll need to keep it tidy and sweep-clean.  Use this time now to get the pain-in-the-you-know-what chores done and out of the way.

Do a needed renovation or update.  

This is NOT a go-big-or-go-home situation.  Little upgrades can make a huge difference, but sometimes a major update is what's needed.  Use your judgment, but if you've always felt that one room holds the rest of your house down, buyers will notice that too.  A tired kitchen can be updated with new knobs and fixtures for just a few hundred dollars.  Or, maybe it's just time to rip out the 2" floor-to-ceiling tile with nearly black grout in your guest bath.  Either way, you've got a couple months here to get these bigger projects complete, which can increase the value of your home and decrease the number of days it sits on the market once it's listed.

Great First Steps But...

While this list has highlighted some of the obvious first steps to listing your condo, we are downtown selling experts and can help you hone in on other things can maximize your condo's value.  Give us a call today and we can come for a pre-listing consultation and talk to you more thoroughly about the needs of your specific home and help you be fully prepared to list come fall!


Is now a good time to sell your downtown condo?

Sarasota's real estate market is highly affected by "The Season," that nebulous timeframe from October to April during which we see a spike in both tourism and relocation to the area.  There are a multitude of reasons to sell your home during off-peak times: perhaps you want to take advantage of the slight dip in the market as a buyer and swap out your residence for another; perhaps a job is going to take you out of the Sarasota area; perhaps you drew a tarot card that told you it's time.  Whatever the reason, if you're thinking of listing your house during the summer, we've got a fullscale analysis to help you make that decision!


Inventory is low.

As of the end of May, there are 82 downtown condos on the market in the above-$800,000 price range.  That's the lowest it's been all year and over a 22% decrease over this time last year.  This is a good thing if you're listing your property; it means there isn't as many options for buyers.  They'll be selecting from a smaller pool, so your likelihood of standing out is greater and potentially easier than peak Season (Jan, Feb, Mar) where the numbers hover around 115 listings.

Average number of days on market is high.

While your likelihood of standing out to potential buyers is better during this time of year, the number of those looking for property also appears to be lower, as during the summer, the average number of days a house sits on the market before being sold is at its highest all year: nearly 6 months!  Quite likely you've noticed that 6 months from now is.... you guessed it!  Season.  So, if you absolutely must list now, have realistic expectations on the time it will take to sell your place.

You'll get the most out of your property during Season.

Buyers get the least for their money when the demand is the highest, so for Sarasota, that time is mid-winter, when they are scraping ice off their cars, pulling on jackets, and dreaming of palm trees.  During the most recent season - barring the anomoly of June 2016, where the price was at its second-highest all year - November, January, and December, respectively, were the months that garnered the highest price per square foot for sellers.

So what do we do in the summer?

Well, that's our next topic.  If you're going to list now, keeping realistic expectations is key to success.  Now is a great time to prepare your home so that it is ready to enter the market around mid-fall.  What you can do to prepare is our next topic, so stay tuned!

*all statistical information was gathered by Trendgraphix, with data supplied from the Mid-Florida MLS, for zip code 34236 condos over $800,000, at the end of May 2017.

Pamper Your Pooch

Sarasota is a place to pamper yourself.  For many, it's a vacation - a chance to indulge and pamper and splurge.  For others, it's a part time home - a place to get away from the stresses of winter and unwind by the water.  And for a lot of us, it's just... home - where work can take us away from the luxuries that surround us, or where retirement allows us to immerse ourselves in them!  In any case, there are ample options for pampering and splurging, even for our best four-legged friends!  Here are some ways you can pamper your pooch in Sarasota, a town that is just as luxurious and vacation-y for dogs as it is for humans.  :-)


For the dog who loves sunbathing...

Take them to Brohard Paw Park on Venice Beach.

This section of Venice Beach is a great place for your dog to pant away a morning on the sand with you by his side.  It's the only dog-friendly beach in all of Sarasota County!   There is an enclosed play yard with a watering station near the parking area, and a pet-friendly section of the beach where your dog can swim and romp.  Check out my dogs enjoying the rays!

Enjoy a stroll around Bird Key Park.

This leash-required park is a great place to bring your dog and enjoy the views of Sarasota Bay.  Expanses of grassy areas are lined with sidewalks perfect for a stroll, and there are benches around if you and Fido want to just enjoy the sun and the view for a while.

This dog is enjoying the trails at the Celery Fields.  Photo credit: Sarasota Magazine

This dog is enjoying the trails at the Celery Fields.  Photo credit: Sarasota Magazine

For the dog who loves to run...

Boy, do we have options for you!  There are dog parks dotted all over the county, from exclusive ones within certain neighborhoods, to ones within county parks such as Arlington Park, to the huge acreage of the 17th Street Paw Park.  Arlington and 17th Street both are leashless parks, fully fenced in, where your dog can get off and running with a pack of buddies.  If you like to run too, leash up your dog and go for a jog down the Legacy Trail, up and down the hill at the Celery Fields, or around the serene lake at Nathan Benderson Park.

Toasted Mango Cafe's dog-friendly patio

Toasted Mango Cafe's dog-friendly patio

For the dog with a refined palate...

This is another area in which Sarasota SHINES.  So many restaurants open up their exterior tables to your furry companions.  I love taking my dogs with me to brunch at Toasted Mango or Station 400, where no one judges me for dropping a bite off sausage to them under the table. ;-)  Owen's Fish Camp is another great downtown option, with loads of outdoor seating and a casual setting.  For the fanciest of pets, Bijou Cafe downtown, Cafe L'Europe on St. Armands, and Libby's in Southside Village are all great options for when you want a delectable meal, a glass of wine, and your dog by your side.

For the dog whose nail polish matches yours...

Take them for the full treatment at Bayside Pet Resort.

With options from the basic grooming package, to mud baths, pet-icures, and facials, your doggie will leave here feeling rested, relaxed, and perfectly pampered!  There is also an on-staff doggie masseuse and loads of relaxation packages available.  If you live the high life, so should your sweet pup. (Also, shout out to Bayside Pet Resort for being an outstanding supporter of the Humane Society of Sarasota County!!!)

Give their fur some flair at Sarasota Grooming Company.

Has your dog always yearned to stand out?  Give your poodle's poof a splash of pink.  Let the stylists give your maltese a mohawk.  The options are limitless so get creative.  This cute little boutique company also does fancy spa treatments too.


A great resource for anyone whose dog is more than just a pet is BringFido.com.  Check it out for pet-friendly places and services around Sarasota and the rest of the USA!

Just Listed: One Watergate Penthouse

Just Listed...

This view...from One Watergate!

We just listed this pristine penthouse with the literal view from the top.  You got a sneak peek a couple weeks ago, but here is the real deal!

One Watergate

Literally, what CAN'T you see from this gorgeous top-level condo in downtown's One Watergate?! Nestled against the Ringling Bridge & right next door to the Ritz-Carlton, this penthouse overlooks absolutely EVERYTHING! From the windows of every room you will enjoy the sparkling lights of the downtown skyline, the breathtaking blue waters of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico beyond, and all of Sarasota's keys. Inside is a spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bath split floor-plan that feels and lives like a single family home - quiet from the city noise (thanks to the newly installed, hurricane-grade windows), with angles, details, and finishes that you don't typically find in condos. This stunning penthouse offers a gorgeous open kitchen with granite and shining stainless steel appliances. The dining room has a lovely built in wine bar so you can pour yourself a glass before heading out to the oversized - and recently redone - terrace for a nightcap, and the quiet, split-bedroom floor plan is ideal for guests and visiting family members. Wake up in the large master suite and be treated to one of the best views in the city…throw on your running shoes and jog the bridge...hop on your bike to pedal to St. Armands Circle or to Lido Beach...or just stroll next door to the Ritz's Jack Dusty - you are in the middle of it all! Become the next deserving owner of this luxurious condo and this dazzling view can be one you enjoy every day. Are you ready for the view from the top?

Sophisticated updates throughout, including relaxing & coastal, yet modern, paint.

Sophisticated updates throughout, including relaxing & coastal, yet modern, paint.

This spacious open-concept floor plan is perfect for entertaining.

This spacious open-concept floor plan is perfect for entertaining.

Gorgeous granite, stainless steel appliances, and bar are features of the beautiful kitchen.

Gorgeous granite, stainless steel appliances, and bar are features of the beautiful kitchen.

The to-die-for view can be seen from every room and every window.  Imagine waking up in the master bedroom (left) and having the glistening water be the first thing you see.  Your guests will wake in the second bedroom (right), overlooking Marina Jack's and the famous Kiss statue.

If you would like more information on this spectacular penthouse with a jaw-dropping view, please give us a call today.