Real Estate Gossip

By staff July 1, 2007

Neighborhood Watch

Camp Heron Lagoon

When the Heron Lagoon Club and Lodges was built as an upscale fish camp right after World War II, advertising for the seasonal beachfront rentals on Siesta Key touted “cypress paneling, adequate ventilation and foot showers.” Today, the six-and-a-half-acre neighborhood just south of Sanderling Club—these days known simply as Heron Lagoon—still has just 12 homes, now owned by permanent residents. A current beach restoration project has made it possible for residents to walk all the way to Casey Key and the new Palmer Park, the only wild beach park in Sarasota with dunes, native plants and wetlands.

Number of Heron Lagoon properties: 12

Number of sales 4/2006-4/2007: 0

Most recent sale: October 2006

Range of square footage: 1,100 to 3,900 square feet

Sample Listing

The “House of Three Waters,” a charming Old Florida cottage at 8528 Heron Lagoon Circle, is offered for $1.149 million. The original 1940s cottage has an extensive addition constructed in the 1970s. The four-bedroom home has whitewashed walls, terrazzo floors and picturesque water views from almost every room. The pool and hot tub overlook the two-mile long lagoon, which is filled with tarpon and mullet and home to a variety of birds and wildlife. Barbara Dumbaugh of Michael Saunders & Company is the listing agent.

Recent Sale

A two-bedroom cottage at 8534 Heron Lagoon Circle sold in May 2006 for $825,000. The 1,400-square-foot cottage, built in the 1940s, does not offer central air conditioning or a swimming pool. It has tranquil water views with lush, natural landscaping. Tom Nay of Tom Nay Realty was the selling agent, and Judi Summers of Michael Saunders & Company was the listing agent. Previous sale: $32,000 in 1972.

MLS statistics courtesy of Barbara Dumbaugh of Michael Saunders & Company. MLS records transactions and listings by members of the Sarasota Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Top of the Market

A Longboat Key beachfront estate at 5919 Gulf of Mexico Drive claims the top spot for Sarasota’s residential sales this month: $6.5 million after a list price of $6,999,000. The five-bedroom home has 20-foot ceilings, marble floors, an elevator and a 1,200-square-foot master suite with his-and-her baths. An interior marble stairway leads to three private bedroom suites with their own terraces and family room on the home’s second level. Meticulously landscaped grounds are enhanced by a private tennis court and elevated and heated lap pool, while an automobile collection can be safely ensconced in the six-car garage. The buyers, says co-selling agent Erin Reid, are avid tennis players. Michael Moulton and Annette Rogers of Michael Saunders & Company are the listing agents; Reid and John Peterson of RoseBay Real Estate Inc. are the selling agents.

Sales information provided by Kim Ogilvie of Michael Saunders & Company.

HIGHER AND HIGHER A four-acre beach-to-bay estate has set a new Sarasota County record in residential pricing: $20,035,000 for a north Casey Key compound with an elegant main residence and three unique guesthouses. SKY Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate Joel Schemmel has the exclusive listing.

The signature residence took four years to complete and is constructed entirely of coral stone. The owner purchased an entire quarry in Central America for its creation, shipping the stone to Casey Key where masons and craftsmen labored to bring together all of the elements in this exceptional property. Hand-carved touches include architectural niches, a grand staircase, intricate balustrade, three fireplaces, dramatic dining room buffet and whimsical fountain.

The main house has multiple guest suites, a home theater, game room and wine cellar with tasting room. A waterfall pool surrounds the main home and a Har-Tru surface tennis court creates separation from a Bermuda-style guesthouse overlooking the bay. The remaining two guest homes, set at either end of an additional tennis court, lap pool and recreation area, are south of the estate.

FRENCH ACCENTS Palais du Lac, a grand new residence with classic French architecture, has established the mark as The Lake Club’s most expensive home at $6.2 million.

Fittingly situated on Showcase Circle in Lakewood Ranch’s newest and most lavish community, the 7,554-square-foot maison occupies the largest parcel on the street with stunning views of the lake, Tuscan-styled clubhouse and charming stone bridge. Designed by architect Randall Sample and built by Westwater Construction, the home has such authentic details as limestone exterior trim, French doors and windows, vaulted ceilings, travertine floors and fireplace mantel, a copper bathtub and fixtures, and exquisite woodworking.

“To bring the true sense of French style to the area, we felt it was imperative to design a home that was architecturally correct in every aspect,” says Jimmy Stewart of Westwater. “From the limestone on the outside to the home’s lush landscaping and excellent views, this residence is distinctly French and uniquely Florida.”

NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS Buyers seeking both superb waterfront property and a good architect may have found them within walking distance of each other. The vacant parcel at 7462 Cove Terrace is offered for sale at $1.325 million, and architect Clifford M. Scholz already has a preliminary design for a two-story home that enhances its best features. Scholz created this rendering with special attention to detail, as he and his family live right next door.

The Coral Cove location offers 150 feet of sea wall on a protected basin with views of the canal, Intracoastal Waterway and open bay. The proposed residence has 6,635 total square feet, including multiple terraces, patios, loggias and a three-car garage. The interior has four bedrooms, four full baths and a powder room, study, living room, family room, dining room and an open kitchen with breakfast area. Marcia Salkin and Paulene Soublis of Premiere Properties are the listing agents.

BACK TO SCHOOL The Revere Quality House, one of the most important Sarasota School of Architecture residences, is on the market for $4,875,000. Located at 100 Ogden, it was originally designed by Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell. The original structure has been painstakingly restored and, in a bold move, left completely intact as a guest quarters and joined to a stunning new home artfully designed by architect Guy Peterson to capture incredible Gulf views from the terrace. The truly unique property is listed with Diana Michel of Rooks Morris Real Estate.

LET US ENTERTAIN YOU A house renowned for lavish parties is currently offered for sale by longtime owners Gary and Marilee Roberts. Malvern Oaks has been lovingly renovated and now offers some 10,000 square feet of living space on a rare double bayfront lot in The Oaks.

Flanked to the south by Historic Spanish Point, the home has a magnificent Palm Beach-styled pool with cabana reminiscent of Hollywood’s glamorous heyday. There’s ample space to build a charming guest house among the lush landscaping. Named for a favorite English village visited by the Roberts, Malvern Oaks is listed at $10.8 million by Carol Clark and Joel Schemmel of SKY Sotheby’s International Realty.


Florida’s west coast once resembled the wild west of frontier days. The nickname “Florida Cracker,” in fact, refers to cowboys who cracked their bullwhips to keep herds of cattle moving along the trail. It was a delightful discovery when Pulte Homes ran across an original cowboy bunkhouse, built around 1915, while developing its newest community, the 998-acre Harrison Ranch in Parrish. The bunkhouse would have been used to provide refuge for cowboys who ran cattle and worked in slaughterhouses.

Pulte spent $36,000 to restore and relocate the bunkhouse to the Manatee Village Historical Park, a collection of historical buildings maintained by the Manatee County Historical Commission. Harrison Ranch eventually will offer 965 single-family homes and 112 villas. Most will border conservation areas or water.

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