Like homes Serenissisma and Villa Del Sogno, I figured the one at 1312 Casey Key Road, called Tweenwater, was just another instance of bestowing the honor of a name to a really large, expensive address. It’s still really large—almost 12,000 square feet—and expensive, listed for $20 million, but homeowners Todd and Marenda Stitzer, named theirs for humbler reasons.
The Stitzers, who have dual citizenships, spent a good chunk of their lives living in Surrey in the English countryside, where homes with names are as common as afternoon tea. In fact, you could write a house's name on an envelope instead of the numbered address, and delivery would be ensured, Marenda recalls.
So for the Stitzers' Florida home, Marenda named the estate Tweenwater for its position between Sarasota’s Blackburn Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Originally a lawyer, Todd was Cadbury’s CEO from 2003 to 2010 but had worked for the British-based, multinational confectionery company for a total of 27 years. He resigned shortly after Kraft Foods Inc. purchased it in a hostile takeover.
In 2011, the Stitzers bought an empty plot in Sarasota that had a beach walkover, a dock, two large banyan trees and 136 Sabal Palms for $2.25 million. They modeled their British West Indies-style home after a yellow clapboard house they saw in St. George’s, Bermuda, during their 1977 honeymoon.
Designed by Naples-based Herscoe Hajjar Architects and built by The Aerial Companies, the six-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bath estate evokes the styles of the 18th and 19th-century Caribbean homes constructed by British planters, Todd says. It has a custom staircase inspired by the Harvard Club in New York City and was designed in the shape of an H to allow breezes to cross-ventilate the rooms—and bring the outside in when the weather agrees.
The entire back wall of the family room opens out onto the porch where “we have wonderful dinners with family and guests,” he says. “The house was fundamentally designed as a place for family and friends. It sleeps 12, has 12 bicycles and 12 kayaks.”
It also has an infinity-edge pool, exercise room, sauna, tiki hut on the beach, and boating and kayak lifts. Despite its traditional façade, it also has an integrated solar panel system, whole-house generator, eight-car drive-through garage and separate boating garage.
The project took three years and cost roughly $14 million dollars to complete. With 100 feet of private beach frontage, the Stitzers say the thing they’ll miss most is the water views.
They’ve remodeled and built seven other homes over the years, from restoring an 1850 brownstone in Cobble Hill Brooklyn, to a 1930s Tudor home and prairie-style cottages in Pennsylvania. This year marks their 45th wedding anniversary, and “we believe we have one more housing adventure left in us,” Todd says. Although they haven’t settled on where that adventure might be just yet, they’ll take the opportunity to downsize from Tweenwater, which spans just less than an acre.
And how about that Cadbury legacy? We had to ask. Most people associate the brand with the Cadbury creme egg—the egg-shaped, milk chocolate shell with white and yellow gooey-sweet filling inside. But Cadbury Crunchies are the Stitzers' favorite. The only problem? They can only find them in specialty stores since they’re only made in Canada, England and Australia.
Interested? Contact Lisa Napolitano at (941) 993-0025, or Valerie Dall’Acqua at (941) 445-7295, both of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.