Sarasota County’s all-time residential MLS sale record has been broken with the $16.5 million sale of “Serenissima,” a grand Venetian-inspired estate on one-plus-acre of direct Gulf-front at 845 Longboat Club Road in the Longboat Key Club’s Regent Court neighborhood.
Serenissima, whose name is Italian for “most serene,” made headlines in 2017 when it went on the market at $26.5 million. The price later dropped to $22.5 million and was listed at $19.75 million at the time of the sale.
Described in a promotional video as both grand and cozy, with superb quality and attention to detail, the home was designed in 2005 by architect Clifford Scholz. It has nearly 20,000 square feet of living space, including six bedrooms, six full baths and two half-baths, and generous outdoor terraces with stunning Gulf views. Among its many custom details are a gilded birdcage elevator and hand-painted murals on the dining room ceiling.
Michael Moulton of Michael Saunders & Company was the listing agent; Rich Polese, a realtor with Fine Properties, represented the buyers. Polese says they are “a retired chairman and CEO of a well-known Fortune 500 company and his wife, [who] will be relocating from out of state.”
“A very unique buyer is going to fall in love with that house, and this was that unique buyer,” says Polese. “They’re the nicest down-to-earth people, very new to Sarasota. They decided they wanted to explore properties in Florida, looked at the east coast and weren’t impressed, and then came over to the west coast. The first time they ever came to Longboat is when I met them, and they absolutely fell in love with it. From start to finish—the first visit to going to contract—it was less than 30 days.”
A neighboring residence in Regent Court, Villa del Sogno, at 825 Longboat Club Road, sold earlier this month for $10.5 million.
And the previous priciest residential sale, by the way, was another home further north on Longboat Key, at 6021 Gulf of Mexico Drive, which sold in July for $13 million—and one dollar.