The home located at 1452 Hillview Drive, Sarasota, was designed by architect Philip Skirball.

The second highest residential real estate sale in Sarasota County to date closed Wednesday for $13.25 million. The home, designed by local architect Philip Skirball, is a bold, minimalist work of art sitting on a double lot in Harbor Acres, just west of Orange Avenue, that was originally listed for $14 million. The cash transaction is the highest sale in the neighborhood's history and was finalized before Kim Ogilvie, the Michael Saunders & Company realtor who represented seller Mark Standish, officially listed the home for sale. He bought it in 2013 for $7 million. Stephanie Church, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, represented the buyer. 

The speedy nature of the sale is a sign of a market in which luxury homes are in high demand. In the last two weeks, two homes, one on Longboat Key, the other on Casey Key, sold for more than $6 million.

“Due to Covid and the fact that we're a tax-friendly state, buyers are flocking to Florida and cities like Sarasota because we replicate the lifestyle they’re used to in big cities with the arts scene, the restaurants and the lifestyle,” says Ogilvie. “They want out of those cities and to be outside. They want more open space and sunshine.”

Built in 1997, this is one of the original photos of the home that fetched more than $13 million Wednesday. It sits on Sarasota Bay, with sweeping windows that offer long views of the water.

Image: George Cott

Built in 1997, the 6,728-square-foot living space at 1452 Hillview Drive boasts more than $4 million in upgrades like smart-home technology, a dining room with an LED-lit, temperature-controlled wine cellar, an open-air terrace with an infinity-edge pool, a 10-car drive-through garage, a second kitchen for catering, travertine floors and soaring glass windows that offer water views framed by gnarled oaks on the front side. It also has 206 feet of private waterfront on Sarasota Bay, with a dock and boat lift, and once served as a filming location for the TNT series Claws in 2016.

It was originally known as the "Nelson residence," and was the former home of Robert and Mollie Nelson. Inspired by the Sarasota School of Architecture, the couple designed the home with Skirball and lived there for 15 years. Robert was the founder of two radio stations and the creator and original owner of WWSB, now the ABC affiliate channel 7.

In total, the residence covers 18,294 square feet.

Size matters, but location rules. Ogilvie calls Harbor Acres, “the most popular mainland residential neighborhood.” As of Thursday, there are just two other addresses listed for sale there.

“There’s a lot of demand while there’s a lack of inventory, especially among luxury homes. But it's the case across all price points. Compared to this time last year, Sarasota County pending residential sales are up by 46 percent,” she says.

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