Auction Action

By Robert Plunket May 21, 2007

Prices were all over the place—so what does that mean?


By Robert Plunket


Yes, I went to the auction. The famous J.P. King/SKY Sotheby’s auction on Friday where they auctioned off 20 or so extremely high-end properties. I was planning to do a whole piece on it, but frankly the Herald-Tribune did such an excellent job in Saturday’s paper (it was the lead front page story) that instead I refer you to that.


There’s only one angle the HT missed. What does it all mean? Did it mean the bottom had been hit? Did it mean things are starting to sell? Did it mean auctions work? I personally found it very inconclusive. Some things sold cheaply. Something things didn’t sell at all. Some things – believe it or not – sold at more than should have (the Tidy Island condo, the Sunset Towers apartment.) So I’m confused. Help me out here. Where do we stand? (Realtors, here’s your chance to rant anonymously.)


Moving right along, I then ran out to valet parking and got my car and headed over to the Cohen House where Martie Lieberman gave me a private tour. For a lover of modern architecture, entering the Cohen House is like entering Chartres. Tears come to your eyes it’s so beautiful.


What I was unprepared for was the patina of age the house has acquired. Not in a bad way. Everything’s spiffy and in perfect condition. But there’s a feeling that the place has been lived in and loved for over half a century—which it has. It has a sense of history, both as a home and as a work of art.


Me and Martie at the Cohen house.

I can’t believe some hip young couple hasn’t snapped it up. It’s by far the coolest house on the market at the moment, maybe in the entire state. And for $1,896,000, look what you get: an icon of modern art, an enormous piece of waterfront land on Siesta, and great karma for saving a masterpiece. Martie has sensational pictures on her Web site. She also has a very neat little brochure, a tiny little thing maybe two by three inches. Maybe she’ll send you one if you really beg. It’s a collector’s item already.

Doing My Bit

Yes, you can do something about the Real Estate Slump. Volunteer! Here I am holding a sign and waving at traffic on Bee Ridge Sunday afternoon. And by the way, the condos are lovely. A perfect location, right off Bee Ridge and Beneva, and the price is right. Go to


P.S. Did you see the Herald-Tribune featured 1918 Orchid St in the Saturday real estate section? That’s a house I wrote about two months ago! Yes, for cutting edge home news, check here first.

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