If you think lounging in a hammock beneath some palm fronds is the ultimate relaxation, you've got to see this house. The Bradenton home comes with a palm tree-growing business called Anderson Farms, where hundreds of coconut, queen, foxtail, pygmy date and Adonidia palm trees are grown and sold to landscaping companies and retail nurseries.
Why palm trees? "It was my first time farming anything, and it requires the least labor and was something I could handle," home- and farm-owner John Anderson, 84, says, still fit as a fiddle as he showed us around, using his stairs rather than his elevator.
In addition to the farm, the 4,677 square-foot home on the parcel also comes with direct water access and three lakes; the saltwater one spans three acres. And there's a water view as far as the eye can see, bisected by the surreal suspension of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge stretching across Tampa Bay.
It’s a lot of blue, and a lot of green too. The home at 2105 99th St. N.W. sits on just less than 40 acres, next door to Robinson Preserve in Bradenton.
Anderson says that before listing his property, he offered the acreage to Manatee County Parks & Natural Resources officials roughly six months ago, since it would easily tie in with the preserve. When he didn’t hear back, he put it on the market for $8.5 million. He says you'll see coyotes, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, ospreys and eagles there. At the unpaved entrance on 99th Street, there's an owl’s nest that's become a bit of a destination for nature photographers.
Anderson says he and his late wife, Barbara, bought the undeveloped land in 1973—he wouldn't reveal for how much—and cleared it to build the three-story home in 1994. It hasn’t been touched since. Indeed, it’s a bit of a time capsule, with flowered valances over the bedroom windows, linoleum countertops and a ribbon of wallpaper around the kitchen’s perimeter where the walls meet the ceiling. It has four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, and each floor has a wrap-around balcony, adding 2,598 square feet to the home.
Now, after living in Manatee County for more than 70 years, Anderson plans to head west.
He says he’s selling the home mostly for his daughter and son, so they can jump-start their retirement, but he also has plans to move closer to Barbara in Hawaii, where he scattered her ashes four years ago.
"She just loved it there," he says, and that's evidenced by colorful leis in the living room from their trips to the island. The pair were married for 65 years and traveled to Hawaii to visit their daughter while she was stationed there with the U.S. Navy.
Who would he like to sell his estate to?
"I think the ideal match would be a person of wealth who would want the isolation and privacy this offers," Anderson says.
So far, Thomas Chipain, the Coldwell Banker real estate agent representing Anderson, says they've led tours for a celebrity chef from New York City; a couple from Bradenton who wanted to keep their zebras, kangaroos, donkeys and llamas there; a couple from Ohio who specializes in greenhouses; and a young golfer from Nebraska who happens to be friends with golfer Paul Azinger, whose star rose to prominence in the early 1990s and who lives two doors down. Tiffany Parker of Coldwell Banker is also representing the seller.
Interested? Call Thomas Chipain at (941) 587-8557 or Tiffany Parker at (941) 702-0841.