A Day at the Beach

By Robert Plunket August 27, 2008

Listings I like in Sarasota’s charming Siesta Village.


By Robert Plunket


Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discussing Siesta Village on TV.


We’re doing a big beach issue soon, celebrating Sarasota as a beach town, so I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the keys and their lifestyles. And it’s starting to amaze me what we have in Siesta Village. (By that I mean the little commercial area where Ocean Boulevard meets the Gulf.) It’s like a tiny, fabulous downtown with only the good stuff – great restaurants and bars, plenty of shopping, great condos and houses, and the town’s best laundromat. When you come to think about it, it’s got virtually everything our real downtown has, with the third-best beach in the country thrown in as an afterthought.


What makes it work is the utter lack of pretension. But then, even the pretentious stuff seems at home here. At the beach that sort of exuberance and display becomes fun. There are no chain restaurants (except for Subway), and the bars are Florida classics, from the racy Daiquiri Deck, where the bad boys hang out, to the Beach Club, an integral part of Sarasota nightlife. Like Margaritaville, it has tourists covered in oil, who provide great people watching opportunities, but there is also a strong local presence to give you a sense of community.


Here’s a brief rundown on the real estate market, a general guide to what’s available. I am being very strict geographically. If it wasn’t within a block or two of Big Olaf’s Ice Cream – a landmark if there ever was one – it isn’t included.

The Terrace and Terrace East

 The high-rises above anchor one end of the Village. One is the Terrace, and the other is the Terrace East. Prices start at $500,000 for the smaller units (and some are quite small) and go up to a couple of million for premium units on high floors. These buildings are dated but will never go out of style. They have among the best views in town.



Villa-type condos on Calle Miramar

Typical of the Village’s new construction are these villa-type homes on Calle Miramar. These places are big, they have every luxury finish, and there seem to be a lot of them on the market all around the neighborhood. Some have much better views than others, but at the moment you can pick and choose. They usually start around a million and half and go up to $3 million.



91 Avenida Veneccia

The Village’s architecture is eclectic and placed in charming randomness. A 60-year-old beach cottage will be next to a multimillion dollar home. (Not that the beach cottage doesn’t cost a million dollars, believe me.) Above is a perfect Old Florida duplex a half a block to the beach, priced at $849,000. It’s at 91 Avenida Veneccia, and the listing agent is Bill Geller at 941-374-4530.

Avenida Messina condo.Here’s a great buy. A two-bedroom, two-bath condo with great glassed-in porch (the upper unit in the picture above.) A half block to the center of the Village, it’s just outside the noise zone. Nicely furnished and priced at $342,500. 145 Avenida Messina; call Kim Gilliland at 941-809-5151.



A Siesta Village rental.


And finally, the Village is full of rentals, some vacation, some annual. Check it out, particularly if you’re in the mood for something unusual and funky. Above, one of the funkiest of all, right across the street from the beach. Currently available for $850 a month on an annual lease.


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