It’s only fitting that the most expensive spec home listed in the county last month would hand off the baton to a $16.35 million penthouse listed in downtown Sarasota right now.

This mansion in the sky spans the two top floors of the shiny, recently built Epoch in downtown Sarasota, located between South Palm and Gulfstream avenues. Seaward Development, a local development firm with eyes on building high where the historic Mira Mar plaza is located, broke ground on the 23-residence Epoch in 2019. At the time, condos in the high rise ranged from 3,680 to 5,650 square feet and were listed for $3.3 million to $8.5 million. Last year, another condo at the Epoch sold for $9.7 million.

But that price didn’t account for this 17th- and 18th-floor penthouse, which encompasses just under 9,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. Owner Alan Town was the first to occupy the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom space and bought it a little more than a year ago for $9,747,300. He loved the knockout views and privacy.

“It’s the tallest residence in Sarasota, so we look down on everybody, and no one can look into our unit,”  Town says.

The private putting green is high up, too–the highest in the county–along with an outdoor kitchen, a Jacuzzi, fire pits and lounge areas galore. Brise-soleil canopies slice the sunshine into graphic shadows.

The penthouse has roughly 3,500 square feet of outdoor space–the rooftop is included–and glass railings for truly unobstructed views.

“I can see Anna Maria, Longboat, Lido, Bird Key, Siesta, the Ringling Bridge, manatees, dolphins, the marina, the city, the Gulf of Mexico and, on a clear day, the Skyway Bridge,” Town says.

Inside the modern, open floor layout, little was needed in the way of customization and he settled on investing roughly a quarter-million into the audio visuals and electric roll-away shades.

But Town knows top-notch abodes. A semi-retired insurance and wealth management exec originally from Rhode Island, his first 15 years in Sarasota were spent in Lakewood Ranch. In 2014, he built what was then the biggest house at The Lake Club. Called Villa Lago Eterno, the 13,000-square-foot Tuscan-style home sold for $4.6 million in 2017, the highest resale in the community at the time.

He then bought and moved into a condo at the Vue that same year for $1,276,000, and became a “downtown Sarasota man,” he says, after falling in love with the walkability of living in the midst of the city.

How Town ended up in the Epoch’s one and only penthouse was proximity and a dash of luck—plus, of course, the money to move fast.

“I noticed [the penthouse] on Zillow and it was under contract, but I called the agent because you never know,” he says. He then learned the original contract fell through, but that interested shoppers from New York and New Jersey were scheduled to fly in and see the space in the next couple of days.

“I said, ‘I’ll be there in 10 minutes with a checkbook,’” he recalls.

He kept his word and, although the penthouse was still six months from completion, he donned a hardhat and saw the view that cinched the deal.

Back down on the ground, amenities include a three-car private garage that can handle five cars with lifts, plus everything else you'd expect at this price point: around-the-clock concierge service; a fitness center with massage suite; a social room for entertaining that opens to the 70-foot lap pool; a bar and grill area; and cabanas with fire tables.

Still, Town never stopped thinking about a boat in a backyard. Next stop? Bird Key, where, closer to earth, he’ll have just that.

Interested? Contact Moriah Taliaferro of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, at (941) 504-9910.

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