Move over, crumpets. This tea time is being served with cupcakes and rainbow sprinkles because who says pomp and play can't coexist? They do at a house you may know by its standout feature: a water slide.
The three-story beachfront home was listed for $12.9 million in June of last year, the most expensive listing at the time. It recently fetched $11.5 million, making it the most expensive single-family residential sale on Longboat Key so far this year.
Does this spell the end of the slide, though?
Word has it the buyers, who apparently appreciate play, too, aren't tearing it out. In fact, they're keeping much of the home the same, despite its high-level customization and—at least in terms of the trends of the moment—dated aesthetic. There are polished floors of wood and stone, soaring atrium-like spaces, elaborate finishes, onyx pillars, glass railings, etched mirrors, tray and arched ceilings, and wood-paneled offices. From top to bottom, one might say this home's cup runneth over, like its lavish bedding and window treatments.
But wait, there's more: a grand foyer with a three-story curved staircase. A main level that has a two-story great room with polished limestone tile, an aquarium, a butler’s pantry, a wet bar and a formal dining room. An infinity-edge saltwater pool and spa and, yes, that water slide, which starts from the third-story deck. On a more practical note, the home has a seven-car, temperature-controlled garage, an elevator, automation system and a generator.
"While showing the home, potential buyers said they wanted to change x, y and z. But the people who bought it love it the way it is and don't have significant plans to change it," says Joel Schemmel of Premier Sotheby’s, who represented sellers Ben and Barbara Price. "They bought it with some pieces still there, like the window treatments and bedspreads that match."
The Prices bought 3105 Gulf of Mexico Drive in 1996 for $699,000. Built in 2004, the customization of the almost 10,000-square-foot home was a process.
"The stoneworkers and woodworkers were on site for a couple of years, so it's truly unique," Schemmel says. "It's said that it caused more accidents there because everyone would stare as it was being built."
Now, with the Prices' kids all grown up with their own homes in town, the retirees look forward to downsizing from the five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom home since they no longer have to host family members.
According to Sarasota County public records, the new buyers are Willis and Elizabeth Hartman. Originally from Kansas, they aren't Sarasota newcomers. And Hurricane Ian had no effect on making waterfront flood zones less attractive for them: their last two homes were on the barrier island of Siesta Key, with the most recent one on the market for $7.75 million. Take a look inside—we wrote about it in 2017.
In fact, the contract to buy the "slide house" commenced before Hurricane Ian, and the storm changed no one's mind despite a mandatory evacuation of the keys at the time. But with three floors to escape up to, maybe that doesn't matter.
The sellers were represented by Joel Schemmel with Premier Sotheby's International Realty. The buyers were represented by Maurice Menager with Michael Saunders & Company.