sarasota

Bayfront 20:20 Update

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The team from Sasaki Design Firm was back this week to present additional renderings of the future site, called The Bay Sarasota, what they hope will be a big destination and gathering area for our community.  If you're not up to speed on this exciting project, check out our blog on it.  

What Sarasota Wants

Original  Bridge the Divide  concept

Original Bridge the Divide concept

After the feedback received from the last public forum and surveying our community, a dynamic design proposal was "selected" out of three.  That's in quotes because while this was the highest-ranked proposed design, the firm based all their surveying on ASPECTS of each design, so they could incorporate individual items to suit our community's wants and needs.  The firm adjusted their newest renderings of Bridge the Divide, the selected "winning design," based on the feedback that our community cares about:

  • Public access to the waterfront
  • Connectivity with the rest of downtown across Tamiami Trail
  • Providing the community with a balance of diversified activities
  • Preserving the existing Van Wezel structure

The South End

The questions, concerns, and feedback of Sarasota residents mainly affected the northern section.  Consequently, the south end of The Bay is pretty much set, said the design firm.  The design includes some exciting features!

  • Destination play area
  • Kayak launch
  • Recreation pier
  • Pedestrian bridges across 41
  • Picturesque waterfront drive

The southern portion of The Bay will also offer parking under landscaping, opening up the view to more green space and hiding the unsightly cars, as well as offer builders "simplified phasing" -- current buildings will be able to stay in use as development continues to the north.

The North End: Up for Discussion

A key feature of the original Bridge the Divide concept was a performing arts structure that spanned both sides of a waterway.  In their redesigns, this is depicted in two different ways:

Option 1: The Bridge

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  • Performing arts building bridges over the canal
  • Restaurants on south side of canal
  • Boat ramp on north side of canal
  • Event lawn
  • Small amphitheater near existing Van Wezel site

Option 2: Canal District

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  • More waterfront dining than The Bridge
  • Walkable setting
  • Boat ramp moved to the north
  • Frame of performing arts building spans the canal, provides a scenic overlook & a pier
  • Large shaded amphitheater

Both feature a boat ramp, performing arts areas of various type (lawn space, amphitheater, and indoor halls), and parking under the landscape.

Your Input is Needed!

Again, Sasaki is offering Sarasotans the chance to chime in on what they want out of The Bay.  To offer your opinion, please take their survey here.  To find out more about The Bay, have a look at their website.

Ultra-Luxe & On the Market

It is no wonder that Sarasota's crystal clear waters, exceptional access to the arts, and thriving economy continues to draw in the world's ultra-rich.  New buildings sprouting up downtown have starting price points in the low millions, providing the wealthy with a multitude of high-end and exclusive options, but for those desiring palatial square footage, gulf- or bay- frontage, and privacy, there are mansions galore to answer the call.  Let's have a look at some waterfront mansions that are new to the market.

Mainland

2211 Alameda Avenue, Sarasota 34234

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 5.5 bathrooms
  • 6,822 square feet under air
  • Days on Market: 52
  • Offered at $6,250,000

This Mediterranean mansion, built in 2010, is on the market for the first time.  What does $6 million buy you on the Sarasota mainland?  1.6 acres of oak-canopied bay front land and nearly 7,000 square feet on luxury in two structures, a main home and a guest casita.  Conveniently situated between downtown and the Ringling museum in the waterfront neighborhood Bay Park, this home has an electric dock & lift right on Sarasota Bay.

Bird Key

614 S OWL DRIVE, SARASOTA 34236

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 6.5 bathrooms
  • 7,200 square feet under air
  • Days on Market: 49
  • Offered at $5,400,000

Located on a premium lot on Bird Key, this west-facing house gets the gorgeous sunsets that Sarasota is known for, visible from the large 50' bay front pool.  Bird Key in general is boater's paradise, with many waterfront homes and a lot of options for boat dockage, including the Key's Yacht Club or personal docks on all the waterfront homes, but this lot specifically is located on some of the deepest water, with zero bridges to the Gulf of Mexico.  The lush lot frames an absolutely elegant waterfront mansion, with 5 en-suite bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, and positively palatial ceiling height and footprint.

Longboat Key

25 LIGHTHOUSE POINT DRIVE, LONGBOAT KEY 34228

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 6.5 bathrooms
  • 6,025 square feet under air
  • Days on Market: 56
  • Offered at $5,500,000

Located behind the gates of exclusive Lighthouse Point, this home is at the southern tip of Longboat Key, meaning all the benefits of island living, just over the John Ringling Bridge from St. Armands Circle and 10 minutes from downtown.  Situated on a quiet and peaceful lagoon just minutes from big water, this prime lot offers boat dockage and fishing pier for outdoorsmen and boaters' pleasure.  6,000 square feet of exquisite Mediterranean details await the new owner, who will relish in the master wing, a personal retreat complete with fireplace, walk-in closets, wet bar, and patio access with water views.

Siesta Key

3799 FLAMINGO AVENUE, SARASOTA 34242

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 4 full and 2 half-bathrooms
  • 8,138 square feet under air
  • Days on Market: 72
  • Offered at a cool $15,000,000

Located on Roberts Bay right over the bridge on north Siesta Key is $15 million worth of contemporary opulence.  Garage space for more than 10 cars, boat dock with lift, paddle-board launch, tackle room and sports storage will please any outdoorsman, and the utter extravagance of the interior will appease any homeowner or guest that is lucky enough to stay at this modern waterfront chateau.  The pictures speak for themselves; this truly is an unmatched island paradise.  If a life of luxury is what you desire, world-renown Siesta Key provides in spades. 

Casey Key

1232 CASEY KEY ROAD, OSPREY 34229

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 5.5 bathrooms
  • 8,121 square feet under air
  • Days on Market: 90
  • Offered at $6,895,000

Casey Key's unique Gulf-to-Bay properties span the width of the key, offering its residents their own bayfront private beach, as well as frontage on the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  This sprawling estate is privately gated and lushly landscaped, greeting visitors with a secluded paradise that few are able to behold.  The grand foyer of this home opens to an elegant interior, with high-end finishes, such as the beautiful tray ceilings in every room, and exits to a breathtaking exterior living space.

Sarasota offers homes for all price ranges, and is for the modest first-time homeowner AND the retired former exec.  If you need assistance finding your perfect piece of paradise in Sarasota, please give me a call today.

Hidden Gem: Korean Ssam Bar

Written by Molly Russo

Time to try something new...

We are always on the lookout for new and interesting places in and around downtown, and this week, I got the chance to visit Korean Ssam Bar, located just north of downtown on US 301.  If you enjoy Asian cuisine, you simply must stop at this small family-owned Korean restaurant!

With only about a dozen tables, Korean Ssam Bar is cozy.  Immediately upon walking in, the smell of delicious Asian food hit my nose, and the big "SUSHI" sign piqued my interest.  About half the tables were still full, even though I was walking in at 8:15pm for dinner, and throughout the course of our meal, there were probably just as many carry-outs as there were in-house diners.  (The restaurant has a great carry-out and food-delivery business.  You can find them on Grub Hub or Bite Squad if you want it brought right to you!)

Yes, we did pig out a bit.

Kimchi Seafood Pancake - yummmm!

Seeing as our dinner was kicking off kind of late, my two dinner partners and I literally ordered everything that looked good: we started with a seaweed salad, edamame, and one of their specialties, the Kimchi Seafood Pancake.  A skeptic of all but my safe-bet edamame (which, of the three ironically was my least favorite, simply because of its simplicity in relation to the other appetizers we tried), I sampled both the others hesitantly, only to be utterly blown away by the deep flavor.  The seaweed salad bore a consistency that I wasn't used to, but I adjusted quickly and thoroughly enjoyed.  As a gluten-free person, I shouldn't have even tried the kimchi pancake, but it came out looking like an Asian version of cornbread and smelling so sweet with a soy-based sauce for dipping that I just HAD to try it.  The pancake was subtly sweet and light, but had a toasty flavor that complemented the cooked-in kimchi and seafood perfectly.  It was absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend it.  (There is a non-seafood version of the Kimchi Pancake too!)

Generous portions, beautiful presentation

For dinner, the two ladies at the table each enjoyed a version of the Bibimbop Rice Bowl, which we were told by our server would have extra flavor due to being cooked in a stone pot.  The presentation was beautiful: a fried egg and your protein of choice (I had beef, my friend, tofu) poised atop slivered zucchini, carrots, and bean sprouts, which were served on a pile of rice.  The server brought over a Korean hot sauce and recommended we drizzle the sauce, then stir the whole beautiful pot up.  There was enough for both of us to have leftovers as lunch the next day, and both fresh and reheated, the Stone Pot Bibimbop was flavorful and mouth-watering.

The third person in our party ordered Beef Bulgogi, which was seasoned beef served with 4 sides: bean sprouts, spicy bean sprouts, daikon radish, and spicy kimchi.  We all picked at the sides, which they graciously refilled several times, and my partner finished his entire plate of beef, sharing one succulent bite with me.  We both would recommend this dish!

We finished our meal with mochi ice cream, which was smooth & creamy mango and strawberry ice creams wrapped in mochi and served artfully with chocolate sticks and a drizzle of fudge.  It was another beautifully-presented dish, decadent and interesting in flavor.  If you are not turned off by the glutinous nature of mochi, you should certainly give this a try!

Do we recommend it?

In short, I was blown away by this small hole-in-the-wall Korean restaurant located in a strip mall on North 301.  The food was amazing and the service was impeccable, with the entire staff assisting each other in keeping glasses full, side dishes refilled, and making sure we had everything we need.  Next time you're looking for an adventurous meal, take the short drive to Korean Ssam Bar!

Korean Ssam Bar | 1303 N. Washington Blvd | Open for Lunch 11-2:30 and Dinner 5-9

Just Listed: Contemporary Luxury in Q

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If condo-style living isn't right for you, but the downtown life IS, then you want one of the few townhouse communities in Sarasota to be your next home (vacation or permanent!).  We just listed this GAW-GEOUS townhome in downtown's Q, a small community of 40 luxury townhouses.  Located off of Ringling between Orange & Osprey, you're in the heart of downtown: steps from the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings, minutes from Whole Foods, and a stroll to any of downtown's cultural amenities such as the Sarasota Opera, the Player's Theatre, or a number of art galleries!  In the center of it all, but in a space all your own... Have a look...

270 Cosmopolitan Court

in Q

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • 1,735 sq' under air
  • Approx. 500 sq' of rooftop terrace
Attached two-car garage and modern front entry.

Attached two-car garage and modern front entry.

Welcome home!  Sleek and chic--ride your elevator up to the rooftop for a nightcap!

Welcome home!  Sleek and chic--ride your elevator up to the rooftop for a nightcap!

Imagine stepping off your elevator onto the second floor, a luxurious & contemporary space that includes an upgraded kitchen; sleek living room with floor-to-ceiling windows; dining room with a positively stunning light fixture, wine bar, and wine refrigeration; a small powder room that makes a big stylish statement; and the master suite...

Imagine yourself retreating after a long day to this modern oasis... relaxing in the large soak tub with a glass of wine before closing your eyes in the master bedroom, safe and secure thanks to the Control 4 Smart House system that runs throughout the townhome.  Video surveillance, security, intercom, lighting and sound control all will be right at your fingertips, no matter where you are.

Or perhaps resting and relaxing is not for you--not today!  Today is a cocktails-on-the-roof type of day!  Invite friends and family to join you on the rooftop terrace, with nearly 500 square feet of entertaining space, both covered for your sun-sensitive friends, and open, for those looking to catch some Sarasota sunshine.

Or perhaps resting and relaxing is not for you--not today!  Today is a cocktails-on-the-roof type of day!  Invite friends and family to join you on the rooftop terrace, with nearly 500 square feet of entertaining space, both covered for your sun-sensitive friends, and open, for those looking to catch some Sarasota sunshine.

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Your guests will rest in the same comfort you will, in this luxurious en-suite bedroom on the ground floor.  The attached bath is bright and modern, and a small living space just outside the bedroom door provides a room for your guests to unwind before bed without disturbing the peace of the main floor.

There are terraces on every level, and a luxurious, high-end hotel feel in every room.

If you would like more information on this property, please check out the property page here, or give me a call today!

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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2017: The Year Sarasota Got Recognized... over and over again!

Our team over at the Michael Saunders corporate office put together this (very) long list of accolades our small city received in 2017.  While it's nothing those of us who already live here don't know, it's nice to see the world at large is paying attention!  Check our all the notoriety from 2017!  Reblogged directly from www.michaelsaunders.com/blog/

Accolades for Sarasota, Bradenton & Beyond: Why We’re No. 1

 By: Kathryn Parks | December 6, 2017 

From “#1 Beach” to “Best City for Small Businesses”, our region saw its share of notable achievements in 2017. We’ve compiled a list of Manatee, Charlotte, and Sarasota accolades – 20 more reasons why we love where we live.

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#1 Beach in the United States | Siesta Beach
Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach), coastal expert and professor at Florida International University, named Siesta Beach the #1 beach in the United States based on fifty criteria, including water,  sand quality, number of sunny days, safety and management.

Happiest Cities in the United States  | North Port / Sarasota / Bradenton
According to National Geographic Explorer, our region has joined a very happy collection of 20 communities across the Unites States. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton was noted as a place where “locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals.”

The Best Place to Retire in 2018 | Sarasota
US News and World Report named Sarasota as No. 1 retirement spot in the country, providing a high quality of life at an affordable price.

Best City for Young Entrepreneurs  | North Port / Sarasota / Bradenton
MoneyRates.com named the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton region as the number one city in the county with a welcoming climate for young business owners. They considered factors like growth rates, educational attainment, young adult affluence, and business tax environment.

Useppa Island

Useppa Island

10 Best Car-Free Island Getaways Useppa Island
Coastal Living encouraged readers to leave their keys and cars behind, featuring top destinations in the United States where no car is needed.

Most Extraordinary Beaches in the World | Venice Beach
Expedia named Venice Beach to this illustrious list of beaches from all over the world, noting it’s moniker as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World.”

Best States for Business | Florida
Chief Executive Magazine ranked Florida #2 for the fifth year in a row in their comprehensive list of “Best & Worst States for Business” citing Florida’s annual job growth rate of 3.2%, exceeding the nation’s rate of 1.7%.

The Preppiest Wedding Locations around the World | Boca Grande
With a penchant for bright colors and fun fabrics, Town and Country Magazine named Boca Grande to this preppy list, recognizing the Gasparilla Inn & Club for its picturesque setting.

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100 Best Places to Live | Sarasota
US News and World Report analyzed the 100 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. They named Sarasota #21 based on its good value, desirability, strong job market, and high quality of life.

Healthiest Regions in Florida | Sarasota County
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked the 67 counties of Florida in terms of health and wellness. Sarasota was named 3rd for overall health outcomes (length and quality of life) and 2nd for overall health factors (behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment).

Venice

Venice

Best Places to Retire | Venice
GoodCall.com named Venice #14 to its 2017 Best Cities for Seniors to Retire.

Safest Cities in Florida | Punta Gorda & Venice
The National Council for Home Safety and Security looked at the safest cities in Florida based on the number of reported crimes per 100,000 people. Punta Gorda was named #14 while Venice clocked in at #28.

Happiest Cities in America |  North Port / Sarasota / Bradenton
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton ranked at #6 in the United States for highest well-being communities by Gallup-Healthways.

#1 Beach in the United States | Siesta Beach
TripAdvisor’s Travelors’ Choice Awards gave Siesta Beach the #1 spot to it’s collection of the top 25 beaches in the United States.

Best Place for Small Business | Sarasota-Bradenton
Topping the list, American City Business Journal named Sarasota-Bradenton #1 for Small Business Vitality Rankings.

Cast of Asolo Rep’s production SHOW BOAT. Photo by Frank Atura

Cast of Asolo Rep’s production SHOW BOAT. Photo by Frank Atura

Happiest Seaside Towns | Sarasota
Coastal Living noted Sarasota’s world-class beaches and top-shelf arts and culture scene, ranking it as the 3rd happiest seaside town in America.

Top Selling Master Planned Communities | Lakewood Ranch
Real estate consultant firm, RCLCO, named Lakewood Ranch the third most top-selling master-planned community in 2017.

#1 Performing Arts Hall | Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
The fifth time winning this title, Sarasota’s favorite purple venue topped the national list from Venues Today of performing arts halls in North America in the 2,000-seat category.

LECOM Park in Bradenton

LECOM Park in Bradenton

Best of the Ballparks Spring Training | LECOM Park
Fans voted overwhelmingly on Ballpark Digest, naming LECOM Park in Bradenton as the Best of Ballparks in the Grapefruit League for Spring Training.

Florida’s Best Kept Secret | Sarasota
Beyond accolades, Vogue Magazine did a feature story on the Sarasota area, touting it as perhaps Florida’s best kept secret. Author Christina Perez noted that our region was home to some of the country’s finest examples of mid-century modern architecture, beaches, and cultural attractions.

Do you want to find out why so many people, publications, and research analysts love Florida’s Gulf Coast? Contact your Michael Saunders & Company sales agent to learn more about Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota real estate.


If you have decided that you agree with all these kudos and are ready to make Sarasota your home, please give us a call for all your real estate needs!  If you are moving from out of town or out of state, we can even help you find a great Realtor from our nationwide network!

Ultra-Luxury Properties in Sarasota

We just told you all about the "Trophy Home" market worldwide, so we thought we would show you what Sarasota has to offer in the ultra-luxury department.  Christie's defined Trophy Homes as $100,000,000+, but for our purposes here, we're adjusting this to the Sarasota market, so about $10,000,000 for single family homes and $5,000,000 for condos.

The Ultra-Luxury Stats

  • Ultra-Luxury Single Family Homes Currently For Sale: 3
  • Ultra-Luxury Condos Currently For Sale: 4
  • $5 million+ Homes Sold in Last 6 Months: 4
  • $5 million+ Condos Sold in the Last 6 Months: 1
  • No homes priced over $10 million have sold in our area in the last 6 months.

What are the highest sales in our market?

Sarasota Mainland 

1372 Harbor Drive located in Harbor Arces - sold for $6,000,000

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 full baths, 3 half baths
  • 6,000 square feet
  • Frontage on Sarasota Bay
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Longboat Key

415 L'Ambiance Drive #704 located in condo community L'Ambiance - sold for $5,500,000

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 5 full baths, 1 half bath
  • 5,268 square feet
  • Gulf of Mexico view

Siesta Key

7858 Sanderling Road located in Sanderling Club - sold for $9,000,000

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 4 baths, 1 half bath
  • 6,312 square feet
  • Beach frontage on the Gulf of Mexico

Bird Key

467 Meadow Lark Drive - sold for $6,350,000

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 5 baths, 1 half bath
  • 6,579 square feet
  • Frontage and boat dock on Sarasota Bay

Casey Key

1808 Casey Key Road - sold for $6,550,000

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 5 baths, 2 half baths
  • 5,219 square feet
  • Gulf to Bay -- two water frontages

And the highest-priced property currently on the market in our area is...

Serenissima - 845 Longboat Club Road in the Longboat Key Club

  • 6 bedrooms
  • 6 baths, 2 half bath
  • 19,300 square feet
  • Golf course view, Gulf of Mexico beach frontage
  • His and Hers master suites
  • Three stories of living space
  • Listed at $26,500,000

The greater Sarasota area has everything from affordable to grandiose & I'm happy to share a peek into the most luxurious of Sarasota's housing market.  Please contact me for all your Sarasota-area real estate needs from downtown to luxury, and everything in between!

A few thoughts on Hurricane Irma

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The Irma Impact

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, I feel like it's safe to say that the general feeling around Sarasota right now is Grateful.  Fortunately, we were spared the brunt of the largest hurricane in recorded history.  For those of us who stayed and rode out the storm at home, we have gone through a wide range of emotions in the past 10 days: fear, anxiety, stir-craziness, despair, relief, exhaustion.  Even though we did not receive the worst, we went through the motions of preparing for the worst.  

And from the other side, it is remarkable how incredibly prepared we were.  Houses were shuttered in the blink of an eye, neighbors were helping neighbors board up, borrowing ladders, exchanging phone numbers in case help was needed during the storm.  In short, it was an incredibly moving time to be a Sarasotan.  In a time where often we don't even know our neighbors' names anymore, a quick introduction to Irma cured us all.  

So much support!

In addition to the wonderful outpouring of intra-community support, Florida Power & Light mobilized in a way I've never seen before -- with a special "restoration workforce" of 17,000 --there were electricity & power trucks from all across the country flooding our streets to get our residents back up and running.  The school system in the entire state is offering free breakfast and lunch to public school students for the next month to help families cope with the impact the hurricane may have had on their lives and finances.  

In short, we feel the love.  

I'm grateful for this community, grateful for the preparedness of our state and county, but mostly, I'm grateful that the people I know and the gorgeous city I love remain unharmed.

My nephews and me, in my backyard post-Hurricane next to a downed tree.  Clearly, we are not amused.

My nephews and me, in my backyard post-Hurricane next to a downed tree.  Clearly, we are not amused.

But by Friday, I was back at the beach.  This is Siesta Key Beach post-hurricane.

But by Friday, I was back at the beach.  This is Siesta Key Beach post-hurricane.

Now and always, I am here to help with your real estate needs in the paradise that is our Sarasota.


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!

Need a Break from City Life?

We're always looking out for what our clients might find interesting...

And we know that you don't just spend all your time in the small square mile of Main Street downtown.  You may golf, boat, or play tennis.  Many of you are here only for the coolest months of the year, many come into downtown just for the weekend to enjoy the culture and nightlife.  That being said, we keep our eyes out for anything that might appeal to you!

We just listed this gorgeous, updated home in Lakewood Ranch's Country Club East and we wanted you to see it!  A rare and special find, this stunningly modern home is situated in a quiet golf community on the fairway of Royal Lakes Golf Course.  Let's take a closer look...

14906 Castle Park Terrace

Located in beautiful Country Club East in Lakewood Ranch

  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Square Footage: 2,465
  • Pool: Private w/spa + 3 located in community
  • Listed at: $675,000

Grand Entrance

From the moment you enter the elegant foyer, you'll be greeted by contemporary class and exquisite details, with dazzling features throughout and chic but intricate architectural features, such as the arched custom doorways and beautiful tile design shown above.

Stunning AND Supremely Functional Kitchen

From the gorgeous, solid wood cabinetry, to the built in wine rack, to the ample storage...this spacious kitchen is a great place to cook and entertain.  The island is immense, with plenty of room for breakfast bar seating.  Luxe with stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops, the cherry on top is the view from this breakfast nook!  

Open and Flowing Floorplan

The great room has a wall of disappearing pocketing sliders that open to the expansive lanai, glittering pool, and green fairways.  Just picture yourself relaxing in here with doors open and breeze blowing! 

Roomy Bedrooms

The master bedroom has that great view too!  The room is spacious enough for a seating area and has two walk-in closets and a large master bath.  The two additional bedrooms are roomy, comfortable, and light-filled, thanks to the large windows.

That Pool!  That View!

This custom pool was designed thoughtfully with leisure and fun in mind.  It features a large sun shelf for basking in the rays (disclaimer: don't forget your SPF!) , a swim-up bar, waterfall feature in the pool and fountain in the spa, and gorgeous iridescent blue tile, which somehow manages to reflect the sparkle of the water and the shine of the sun simultaneously.  We would just LOVE to be floating around there today!

 

We might be downtown specialists, but we are also lifestyle specialists!  If you desire to perfect your Florida lifestyle with a home or property outside of downtown, give us a call!  We are happy to help you fulfill your goals all around Sarasota so you can have your View from the Top in whatever way you choose!

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!

Downtown Boating Condos

Written by Molly Russo

As if there is a time of year that Sarasotans do NOT take advantage of our access to the gorgeous waters of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, summer certainly is a good time to be on a boat to let the sea breeze help you beat the heat!  Living the downtown life with a boat can be a challenge, however, as there just simply aren't very many condo buildings that have boat slips or docks.  Let's go over some of your options if you're a downtown boater!


Condo on the Bay

Certainly the best known bayfront, boat-accessible downtown option is waterfront Condo on the Bay.  The two towers of Condo on the Bay command some of the best downtown views.

  • Current listings in building range in price from $500,000 to $2.2 million
  • # of units: 272
  • Deep water dockage
  • Lifts allowed at all docks
  • Kayak and small boat docking available too

One88

One of the newest buildings on exclusive Golden Gate Point, One88 is stylish, chic, and extravagant.  With only 8 units on 5 stories, this is also one of the most exclusive addresses in downtown Sarasota.

  • Current listings in building are priced just below $3,000,000
  • # of units: 8, only two left!
  • Deeded docks have water supply and electricity

 

Aqua

Yet another new build on Golden Gate Point is the beautiful Aqua, designed by Sarasota architect Guy Peterson.  Nine floors high and situated directly on Sarasota Bay facing the Ringling Bridge, Aqua offers 8 full-floor luxury condos.

  • Only two are currently on the market, priced in the $3-5 million range
  • # of units: 8, only two left!
  • Boat slips deeded

Pier 550

Quaint Pier 550 sits in stark contrast the the ultra-luxe of the two aforementioned Golden Gate Point condos, Aqua and One88.  Here are located some of the most affordable downtown or Golden Gate condos available.

  • Current listing in building is for just over $400,000 for a 1/1 unit
  • # of units: 51
  • Boat slips lease on a first-come, first-served basis

Hudson Crossing

Located on the waters of Hudson Bayou in quiet west of the trail is the highly desirable Hudson Crossing.  Floor plans are in the 2500 square foot range, and each comes with its own boat dock.  Hudson Bayou is deepwater-boat accessible to Marina Jacks, Sarasota Bay, and the Gulf beyond.

  • Rarely available, there is only one on the market currently, for just under $2 million
  • # of units: 12
  • Deep water dockage

Majestic Bay

Another Golden Gate Point gem is the exclusive Majestic Bay.  All units face west, meaning you'll never miss a breath-taking sunset over the water again.  With loads of amenities, such as your standard pool, spa and fitness center, as well as a couple special ones, like the in-house carwash and wine storage, Majestic Bay is another great option for a life of opulence on the Point.

  • Current listing in the building is for just over $2 million
  • # of units: 10
  • Deep water dockage

Grande Riviera

The Grande Riviera building is likely one of the most recognized on the Sarasota skyline, with its gold dome roof shining at the very edge of Sarasota Bay.  Sweeping water views, great location, bayside pool deck, and luxurious interiors make the Grande Riviera very special.

  • None currently available, and so rarely available that only ONE has sold in the last THREE YEARS!
  • # of units: 13
  • Deep water dockage

But don't worry, there's always...

Marina Jack's

With 316 boat slips on the waterfront of downtown, Marina Jack's is your best bet if you live in or around downtown in a community that does not have docking for your boat.  The slips can accommodate vessels up to 228’ feet in length, with a maximum beam of 26’. Amenities of their marina include power, fresh water, cable, free wi-fi and a pump-out station, all housed at every slip, and each dock is secured by a code-accessible gate. 


Finding a condo in Sarasota that can house your boat in addition to your family is not easy, but it's also not impossible!  If you would like any additional information on any of these beautiful condo communities, please leave a comment below.  Here's to smooth sailing this summer!

One Watergate's View from the Top

We love being the first to bring you exciting new real estate investments and opportunities.  In addition to the gorgeous inland Deer Creek paradise we just let you know about, we are also delighted to give you a sneak peek at this gorgeous penthouse with perfect views from every. single. window.  This One Watergate penthouse will come on the market in the early summer, so keep your eyes peeled!

One Watergate Penthouse

  • 1111 N. Gulfstream Avenue
  • 1,575 square feet
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms

Literally, what CAN'T you see from this gorgeous top-level condo in downtown's One Watergate?!  Nestled against the Ringling Bridge on the western-most edge of downtown Sarasota, One Watergate overlooks absolutely everything.  From the windows of this penthouse, you can see the downtown coastline, including The Kiss statue, Marina Jack's, Island Park, and Golden Gate Point.  Beyond the coastline, take in the sights of the architectural Ringling Bridge, the perfectly manicured Bird Key, south Lido, and north Siesta, and let your eyes run over the waters of both Sarasota Bay and the expansive Gulf of Mexico beyond.  Truly a stunning, one-of-a-kind view.  

Inside is a spacious 2 bed/2 bath split floor plan condo that does not feel like a condo.  The floor plan is interesting, with angles, details, and lines that you don't customarily find in condominium-style homes.  

We can't wait to get this one on the market and find the next lucky person who will get to enjoy High-Level Living and The View from the Top of One Watergate!  Stay tuned!

Lila: Fresh New Downtown Hotspot

Written by Molly Russo

Lila opened on Main Street in the fall of 2016, and we are just finally able to say we've been there.  (Let's be serious, Realtors can be a little busy during "season"!)  But now that the crowds have thinned, the waits have shortened, and the emails have slowed to 100 a day instead of 300, we had time this week to spend the lunch hour at a leisurely pace at this fresh, healthy, and delicious Lila.  

So What's the Vibe?

This restaurant has a cool, comfortable, rustic vibe from the moment you walk through the door.  Its clean and modern look of wood, metal, and glass is punctuated by fresh greenery on the front table and wide-matte shots of bright fruits and veggies on the wall.  Lila, which (in case you hadn't heard) is pronounced "lee-lah", is a dream come true to anyone with food allergies.  The menu is built on a foundation of farm-fresh vegetables, presented exquisitely and prepared to perfection, and is almost entirely gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly.  

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Sorry, did you say Vegan???

Let's carify: VEGAN-INSPIRED.  This is not a vegan-only restaurant, but it is one that offers endless options for those on restrictive diets. And as someone with food allergies, I must say I've never been more excited looking over a menu and not having to skip straight to salads that don't have croutons.  My table mates were Allison, a dedicated and longtime vegetarian, and our colleague who eats a normal diet.  While obviously guided by vegan/vegetarian cuisine with a side of meat, as opposed to the opposite, this menu reads like a page of Bon Appetit, and leaves even the "normal"-eating omnivore with mouth-watering options.  There were full on vegetarian/vegan dishes, such as beet salad, veggie burger, and stir fry, and there was also a section of the menu with eggs, meat, chicken, and seafood that can be added to any meal.  After much discussion and internal debate, we ended up with:

  • The Macro Bowl - ordered by the vegetarian
  • The Bean Tostadas - ordered by the gluten-free, dairy-free
  • The Greek Salad plus shrimp - ordered by the person without dietary restrictions

But... would we go back?

We all agreed at the end of this meal that Lila was a hotspot worth revisiting.  The flavors were interesting, the dishes were well-seasoned, and we all left feeling good--not stuffed to the gills or over-indulgent.

The menu is amazing; the food is incredible and succulent and creative.  We found the prices a bit high for lunch (all of our lunches were $12 or more per plate), but expected given the farm-to-table nature of Lila.  We also thought the service was a little slow; after all was said and done, our appetizer-less lunch took over an hour.  Again, this is probably thanks to the fact that everything is freshly prepared at the time you order it.  Overall, however, this is a new lunch place we would be happy to frequent again.

Lila. 1576 Main Street, Downtown Sarasota.  941.296.1042

All Faiths Food Bank's Campaign Against Summer Hunger

What do you think when you think of Sarasota?

When most people think of Sarasota, they think of the rolling white sand beaches, the rich arts and cultural community, and the seemingly endless options of shops and restaurants.  What our vibrant community masks is an underlying problem of hunger and food insecurity.  

"When school ends, hunger begins."

That's the motto of the Campaign Against Summer Hunger, an initiative taken on annually by All Faiths Food Bank.  For the food bank, the problem is two-fold: first, the seasonal nature of Sarasota means that their cupboards are at their fullest when our snowbird residents are in town so when they leave, so does a big source of food and fund revenue for All Faiths; second, during the summer, children that are normally fed by free- or reduced-lunch (and sometimes -breakfast) programs at school now have to fend for themselves for food at home.  1/2 of Sarasota students benefit from these programs at school, so it is estimated that one in every two children go home to bare cupboards during the summer, and this doesn't include younger siblings that may not be of school-age yet.

No one can tell by looking at a child that he or she is hungry. Because smiles mask it and laughter muffles it, child hunger is deceptive, and it exists everywhere.
— All Faiths Food Bank

As a member of the food bank's Summer Hunger Committee, I want to raise awareness of this often-overlooked, or even hidden, problem in our community.  This year, the food bank aims to feed over 40,000 children over their summer via increasing their presence in the community: their number of food distributions goes up, they stock backpacks full of food for children at libraries and other community centers, they provide food to daycares and early childhood centers, and their partnership with Sarasota County Schools enables the schools to increase their reach and feed more kids hot meals every day.  All in all, it is a very robust, comprehensive, and ambitious program that I'm proud to support.

Be part of the solution.

Until May 15th, contributions to the Campaign Against Summer Hunger are matched dollar-for-dollar by a group of investors, meaning every dollar you donate goes twice as far.  Here are some other ways you can help.

  • Donate - time or funds are both needed this time of year!  
  • Run a food drive.
  • Increase awareness of both the problem AND the solution!

To find out more about how to help your neighbors in need, visit AllFaithsFoodBank.org.  

Downtown Lifestyle: Shakespeare in the Garden

Downtown Sarasota offers an array of unique things to do on any given night of the week.  One of the highlights this month was the presentation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at Selby Gardens.  

A more perfect location for the whimsical play set in a forest at night you simply couldn’t find.  

The FSU/Asolo Conservatory is a three-year MFA program for actors.  During the students' second year, they put on a four-show season, typically in the smaller Cook Theater, located at the Asolo just north of downtown Sarasota.  Any of the plays they put on are worthy of attending; I've always been amazed at the talent fostered in the Conservatory!  However, if you only attend one, let it be Shakespeare in the Garden.  Actors and audiences alike have been fortunate to benefit from the partnership with downtown’s Selby Gardens, with a performance of Twelfth Night in 2015, A Midsummer Night's Dream this month, and will continue next season with an outside presentation of Much Ado About Nothing.

The stage was set up in the foreground with limited seating surrounding it.  A food truck with French cuisine, wine, and beer was at hand as the doors opened a half hour before sunset.  Ever-thoughtful, there was also a bug-spray station when you walked in, of which nearly everyone was taking advantage.  As you can see from the picture at the top, the view did not disappoint when you entered the seating area.  The performance began at sundown, very apropos for the nighttime setting of the play.  Actors took advantage of the surroundings, positioned not only on the stage front-and-center, but under trees on the periphery, hidden behind bushes by the audience, and even from the peninsula across the water behind the main stage.  

Shakespeare itself does not need a review.  We know A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of his most renown comedies.  Nor does Selby Gardens require one--the longstanding oasis walkable from downtown Sarasota is far from unknown.  But the combination of the two created the perfect scene for both.  The gardens complimented the play and the play complimented the gardens.  With full sound mixing, music, amplification, and lighting, the performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream on waterfront downtown Sarasota simply was fantastic.  The final performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream happen this weekend.  I cannot wait for Much Ado next year and hope to see many of you there at this special downtown experience! 

The Skinny on Zahrada - Rosemary District's Newest Development

  • Feel:                          garden oasis, luxurious, modern & clean
  • Location:                   4th Street just west of Orange
  • Who:                         Halflants + Pichette, architects of Risdon on 5th & Vanguard Lofts
  • Size:                          6 three-story luxury townhome residences
  • What's wild:              Unequivocally the most luxurious addition to the Rosemary District.
  • The $:                        Starting at $1,295,000

If ever there was a building that lived up to its chic and mysterious name, it’s the new downtown development Zahrada.  The townhome development will be located in the heart of the Rosemary District, just across the street from the hip restaurant the Blue Rooster and brunch hotspot Station 400, and a short walk from on-trend Mandeville Beer Garden and upscale staples, Pomona Bistro & Wine Bar and The Rosemary.  

To shed a little light, Zahrada is Czech for “garden” and truly nature is the center of this unique development.  Six three-story condo residences will be situated above six retail/office locations on 4th Street, the center of each unit will be an intimate garden courtyard.  Glass walls from the condos will overlook this lush setting from one side, and have stunning city views from the other.  To further envelope their residents in nature-loving luxury, each townhome will include a private, tropical pool terrace with amazing Florida flora landscaping leading to detached, elevated guest quarters.

Designed by award-winning local architects Halflants + Pichette, the four-bedroom residences are meticulously designed to let natural light flow throughout.  The townhomes will all include a private elevator, an oversized 2-car garage, modern European-style cabinetry, quartz countertops, and aforementioned pool and guest suite.  Pricing starts at $1,295,000 and floor plans go up to 3,542 square feet.  It looks like spaces will be available for occupancy as early as spring 2018.

After years of starts and stops, the Rosemary District is finally getting its legs.  With significant investment by builders and developers, this community is becoming the downtown offshoot it was always meant to be.  Zahrada will be a fantastic addition to the other recent additions to the neighborhood, including other Halflants + Pichette designs Risdon on 5th and Vanguard Lofts, as well as Citrus Square, Valencia, CitySide, and Rosemary Square, adding both retail and residential space to diversify and support the growing neighborhood.

The ever-growing Rosemary District, full of restaurants, shoppes, and office space.

The ever-growing Rosemary District, full of restaurants, shoppes, and office space.

Just Listed: Perfect Pied-a-Terre in Renaissance

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This light and bright 1-bedroom, 1-bath condo in downtown's Renaissance is the perfect place to start your downtown life, whether for housing your guests as a downtown pied-a-terre or as your full-time home.  Housed in beautiful Renaissance, the condo is walkable to lively Main Street downtown, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, the Ringling Bridge, and the hip restaurants and shops of the Rosemary District.  Chock-full of amenities, including a large, sparkling pool and spa, fitness center, club room, and attached and covered parking, you'll have everything you need for pool parties, relaxing weekends, and a healthy lifestyle without even leaving the building! 

You will love the clean city view from the open balcony, and it will also be clear how in-the-center-of-it-all you are when you gaze out at the downtown skyline!  Modern light fixtures, spa-like fresh paint, and oversized floor tiles keep the look coastal and chic.

This gleaming residence features a stunning open kitchen with sleek glass tile backsplash and granite bar-height counter extension, complete with a wine fridge - all perfect for entertaining friends before heading out for a show! 

Even the spacious bedroom has full city views, as well as access to the balcony.

Renaissance amenities include a sparkling pool & spa, great fitness center, a recently-updated club room with catering kitchen, theater room, conference room, guest suites, and 24/7 manned security, plus this residence comes with a storage unit and covered parking spot in the attached garage - wow! 

Minutes from the heart of downtown, let this chic downtown condo give you access to whatever city life you desire: theater is walkable, beaches are cycle-able, shopping and museums are close at hand.  Convenience, comfort, and, of course, location! location! location!