Oldies But Goodies

By Robert Plunket April 23, 2008

Two gems in one of Sarasota’s best neighborhoods—McClellan Park/Southside Village.


By Robert Plunket


Neighborhoods count for a lot in real estate. In a premium neighborhood, there is a vibe in the air that says this place is nicer than the others. The trees are taller, the sun a little brighter. Generations of a town’s social history can be found a premium neighborhood, and in Sarasota there is no neighborhood more premium that the McClellan Park/Southside Village area.


Let’s take a look at two houses currently on the market there. They both date back to the 1920s and are wonderful examples of the kind of architecture that flourished back in those days for upper middle-class families. Today they have been meticulously renovated and are on a par with new construction when it comes to luxury and amenities.


1625 Seminole Drive

The first, at 1625 Seminole Drive, is right in the heart of McClellan Park. It might best be described as a “tropical Tudor” cottage with overtones of Palm Beach and Bermuda. There is a beautiful living room with fireplace and high, beamed ceiling and a sun room overlooking a patio-enclosed pool. The kitchen and baths have been nicely updated.


The kitchen and sunroom of 1625 Seminole Drive.


What makes it special are all the little original details – the patios, the floors, the gates, the windows. As Sarasota houses go, it is not that big, a little under 2,000 square feet, but it would be perfect for a sophisticated couple or a single. Make that a rich couple or single. At $1,269,000 it’s a little pricey for a two-bedroom house, but at least it’s better than the original asking price of $1,395,000. This house defines the word “charm” in its real estate sense – so special and unique that of course you’re going to pay more for it. (Judy Nimz is the lister – 374-0196.)


2829 S. Osprey Ave.


Next, at 2829 S. Osprey Ave. is the big old Colonial revival that was so elegantly refurbished for last year’s ASID Showhouse, where all the decorators get together and each one does a room. If you have any doubts about an old house being up to the luxury and workmanship of new construction, take a look at this one. The kitchen and baths in particular are on a par with the best the town has to offer, but the atmosphere of old- fashioned, nostalgic Americana has not been compromised.

The kitchen and pool of 2829 S. Osprey Ave.


This is a great family house. It’s enormous, first of all, at over 4,500 square feet. It has all sorts of living areas – a living room, family room, dinning room, studies, sun rooms, exercise room - you name it. There is even a gorgeous apartment (with a marble bath) over the three-car garage, and the guest bedrooms are enormous. And though it takes its design cues from up North, it’s very bright and sunny and perfect for Florida living.


And at $1, 795,000, it’s a pretty good buy. One minor drawback is that it’s on a relatively busy street. But the owners have built a masonry wall in front. I listened very carefully and didn’t hear much noise. Still, I think I’d add a big hedge behind the wall – then you’d have perfection. Call Robbi Karas at 993-5088.
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