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Made in the Shade

The traditional old West of Trail neighborhood, McClellan Park, bolted into the 21st century this past year with the Verandah House on Seminole Drive, designed by Halflants + Pichette Studio for Modern Architecture.

Nicknamed by architects Michael Halflants and John Pichette for its generous 16-foot roof overhangs made of light steel trusses, its shaded terraces and extensive exposed solar panels, the bold contemporary residence got national cred when it won the Gold Medal for residential design from the Association of Licensed Architects. It also won several regional awards, including the H. Dean Rowe Award from the Tampa Bay chapter of the AIA and an Award of Excellence from the AIA Gulfcoast Chapter.

Halflants says “there’s a real honesty” to the Verandah House’s extensive use of exposed concrete, cypress and ipe wood. Evidently the judges agree.

The $6 Million Day

Coldwell Banker’s Lynne Koy had a busy day in mid-June. She closed three $1-million-plus properties for a total of $6.29 million: a home on St. Armands for $1.34 million, a Bay Isles residence for $1.45 million, and a condo in The Water Club on Longboat Key for $3.5 million. (It was the highest sale in that Gulf-front complex year to date.)

Koy says demand for such luxury residential real estate is strong, even this past summer—with a caveat. “If we have something in great condition, it sells right away,” she says. “Buyers are willing to spend more money for something in A-plus condition as opposed to renovating, and that takes forever.”

The $12 Million Question

A grand, very private six-bedroom Mediterranean villa set behind teak gates at 1300 Hidden Harbor Way on Siesta Key went on the market this summer with the eye-popping price of $11.99 million.

Beyond its tumbled stone floors, pecky cypress-beamed ceilings, antique roof tiles imported from a Spanish monastery, 60-foot swimming pool lined in green Venetian glass tiles, coral walkways, private bayfront putting green, and seven-car garage with additional guest quarters above, what makes it worth nearly $12 million?

“The value of the land,” says Tamara Currey of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, who’s co-listing it with her husband, Todd.  The nearly 7,000-square-foot home is set on a 1.4-acre peninsula with almost 800 feet of protected boating water. “That’s unheard of,” says Currey. “You can put a 75-foot boat there and it doesn’t take up the whole view from the house. We just don’t have that kind of protected boating property [elsewhere].”

It’s the third-highest priced listing in Sarasota County; the highest is the $20 million price tag on Villa del Sogno on Longboat Key.

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Image: Joshua McHugh

National Attention for Sarasota Architecture

Our own John Pirman, who illustrates our “Only in Sarasota” back page, got national attention for the Sarasota School of Architecture-inspired home he and his partner, Steve Tetrault, built in the museum area. Dwell featured the home in its February issue.

In the article, Tetrault explained that he and Pirman approached Michael Epstein of Seibert Architects because the firm’s founder, Tim Seibert, was an original member of the Sarasota School of Architecture. “The style originated with them, so they’re totally in sync with our thinking,” he said.

Dwell also gave a nice shout-out to Sarasota’s rich architectural heritage. “The city also lures design lovers with its wealth of low-slung glass pavilions created by Paul Rudolph and the architects of the Sarasota School in the construction boom that followed World War II,” it noted.   

“People Google me now and email me, wanting to visit,” Pirman says.

from top: William S. Speer , Joshua mchugh

The Big House

A 16,104-square-foot West of Trail home designed by architect John Potvin in a British West Indies-meets-Boca Grande style was recently completed by Murray Homes. It includes an outdoor sports complex for basketball, tennis and baseball.

Two in One

What to do when a 4,000-plus-square-foot condo just isn’t enough? You combine two of them, of course, which is what one couple did when they purchased floors 4 and 5 of the ultra-luxury condo tower AQUA, under construction on Golden Gate Point. The resulting square footage: 7,504 square feet under air; 11,467 square feet including outdoor terraces.

And, finally, about Michael Kors...

Everybody involved with fashion designer Michael Kors’ getaway on Longboat Key is sworn to secrecy, and contractor Michael Walker wouldn’t return our call, but construction is proceeding. In 2014, Kors and his husband, Lance LaPere, bought two lots on the Manatee County side of the island for $6 million. Kors recently enjoyed a private tour of Selby Gardens; maybe its tropical plantings will inspire his Longboat garden.

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