A mystery couple is behind a massive new waterfront home being built in Sarasota, and the final product will definitely not look like the oversized stark, white, rectangle and square trend of the moment. Congratulations on breaking the mold, whoever you are.
When pondering the architectural style of this in-the-works Siesta Key home, if you get ancient temple vibes, you're spot on.
"They wanted a Polynesian-style building. They’re influenced by Balinese architecture and other parts of the world,” says Shane LaMay, project manager with Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors. He’s also the main architect on the pricey project.
The site's owners, a couple who would like to remain anonymous, bought the 1.5-acre lot at 4266 Higel Ave. in 2020 for $5 million, site unseen. Now, it's slated to house an almost-10,000-square-foot architectural marvel that they’ll list for $32.5 million.
“They're going to sell it as a construction project or finished product, or a buyer can buy the lot and do their own thing or customize the existing plans if they like,” says Mark Coppens, broker and chief executive officer of Living Vogue Real Estate, who is representing the couple in the sale. “We’re going to market it with that flexibility."
It’s a breakout price point for the area, more akin to waterfront prices you might find in Naples and Miami. Because of the pool that surrounds the home, making it appear as if the home broke the water's surface when it grew from the center of the earth, it's also architecturally unlike anything Sarasota has seen.
"We wanted to engage with water in interesting ways. As you move from the ground up, you're moving around bodies of water that are elevated and moving throughout and with you," architect Jerry Sparkman says. "When you build to code, you're elevated and disconnected from the ground, so we asked, 'How do you reconnect with that but stay elevated and stay connected with the water landscape?'"
The location on north Siesta Key, with 110 feet of private beach, suggests the owners obviously love a good waterfront view, but the couple also enjoys swimming. In fact, when Sparkman met them for the first time on the site, they were still wet from a swim.
“Because we knew we had to elevate the home [the first level of the home is slated to be 19 feet above sea level], I hired a tree lift, and we got in it to show them things they may not have realized," Sparkman says. "They were in a bikini and swimsuit, dripping wet."
That meeting led to a competition between two or three other architect contenders. Sparkman's firm got the job, but it hasn't been simple.
"Without a doubt," he says, "the pool was the most challenging design element." The firm worked with a hydraulic engineer over the course of a year to develop systems that go with the pool, like sensors to drain it in case of a rainstorm. Most of the surrounding pool is 4 feet deep, but on one side, it will dip down to 12 for a plunge area. It will also have an 80-foot-long infinity edge.
The home has gutters that look like flumes and are designed to catch and subvert rainwater from the flat portions of the roof. Both functional and attractive, they tie into the ancient temple effect to a T.
A lighting designer from Chicago added torches coming up out of the water along the entry pathway, but ultimately, they will probably be spotlights with a cutout motif. Cascading waterfalls will surround the exterior steps, made of Balinese lava rock. Native tropical landscaping will be designed by Michael Gilkey Landscape Architects.
The home will have six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half bathrooms. The main bedroom features a 270-degree glass wall for long views in three directions out over the beach and sea. The gym and office will both have disappearing glass walls for easy access to the outdoors.
Construction costs will be roughly $22.5 million, which includes the contract with Naples-based builder BCB Homes, plus the architectural services rendered. The lot value alone now stands at $10 million. The intention is to have the home done by 2025.
The property is owned by Chanel Holdings, LLC, according to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser's website, but the couple’s names are secret. Here’s what we do know: They’re from Scottsdale, Arizona, and currently live on Siesta Key. “They researched the best places to live, and our area kept popping up. The recent, positive press helped sway them. Otherwise, the area was unknown to them,” Coppens says.
Real estate isn’t a business venture for the mystery couple, but they own roughly a half dozen properties around the world and move around when possible. The man, who works in tech, was able to move wherever he wanted during Covid, but was recently called back to Arizona to be in the office. "This was going to be their forever home, but they'll probably still maintain something here because they love it so much,” Coppens says.
Interested? Contact Mark Coppens of Living Vogue Real Estate at (941) 444-0436.