Not many new real estate listings are front-page news but this Longboat Key mansion sure is. It’s priced at $26.5 million, which is $6 million more than the runners-up. Is it worth the extra money?
My guess is yes. It’s the perfect storm of a luxury home, where size, location, construction and attention to detail come together in one enormous package. How enormous? Almost 20,000 square feet under air, with an additional 10,000 or so in terraces and such. It’s one of the five largest homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
It was built about 10 years ago and if it seems totally unfamiliar to most of us townspeople, that’s because it’s located behind several sets of gates in the Longboat Key Club in an enclave called Regents Court. Consequently it gets no drive-by traffic, which is exactly what the neighbors (including Congressman Vern Buchanan) want.
It’s not only right on the beach, but right on the very best part of the beach—with a wide distance between you and the very few strollers who might pass by. (Beach access is almost impossible on this section of the key.)
It’s a very Sarasota kind of place, taking many of its design cues from the Ca d’Zan. (Clifford Scholz was the architect.) The main hall has a distinct resemblance to the Ringlings’ main hall—both are several stories high, with balustrade balconies and a skylight. And the general style, Italian Renaissance, meshes quite well with the Ca d’Zan’s Venetian Gothic.
Among the features: a 10-car garage, a glass and bronze elevator, gold plumbing fixtures, 13 air-conditioning systems, and—my favorite—an ice cream parlor. The owners used many Sarasota-based artisans for the woodworking, plaster details, stained and etched glass, faux-painting and tromp l’oeil.
And who are the owners? They’re a retired couple from the Midwest who set out to build their dream house. Now, according to Michael Moulton, who is handling the listing for Michael Saunders, they’re “right-sizing”—moving into something more appropriate for their current lifestyle. I don’t know about you but 20,000 square feet sounds like the right size to me. I’ll keep you posted on the lucky—and very rich—person who buys it.
For more information, contact Michael Moulton at Michael Saunders & Company, (941) 928.3559.