Rediscovering Whitfield

By Robert Plunket September 3, 2008

This historic Sarasota neighborhood has bay views, great houses—and good values, too.


By Robert Plunket


Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie on TV discussing Whitfield Estates.


Back in the 1920s during Sarasota’s first boom, Whitfield Estates was the place to live. It was the town’s first fancy neighborhood, specifically designed for a clientele that was wealthy and sophisticated. One of the Ringling Brothers lived there, along with other circus executives and the town’s lawyers and doctors. This is where visiting celebrities would hang out, many playing golf at what is now the Sarabay Country Club. Bobby Jones, Babe Ruth, Bette Davis – Whitfield saw them all.


Over the years Whitfield has had its ups and downs. Its proximity to the airport has been a problem, what with noise and the planes flying so low you can almost see the passengers looking out the windows. The North Trail, which edges the area on the east, has not been a help, though things are a little better since they closed that massage parlor.


Today Whitfield is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. People who really know Sarasota are moving there – its location (10 minutes to downtown), bayfront views, big old – and new – homes, and its very affordable prices make it a natural.


Let’s take a look at the kinds of homes on the market.

203 Pearl Ave.


Whitfield is full of nice ranch homes from the 1960s, and at the moment they are very good buys. The house above is a three-bedroom, two-bath pool home, updated and very well maintained. It’s priced at $249,900. Broker is Keller Williams.

7304 Broughton St.

By far the prettiest house for sale at the moment in Whitfield is this two-bedroom, two-bath Bermuda-style ranch, set on a big lot with gorgeous trees. It’s about 1,600 square feet, with an enclosed patio and large screened back porch. With a little refreshing, this place could be a show stopper. They’re asking $274,000. Lister is Marathon Realty. 

7444 Broughton St.

Whitfield is famous for its old Spanish houses. This one dates back to 1929 and has been updated. It comes with a top-of-the-line kitchen, a fireplace and centuries-old banyan tree. Originally listed at $550,000, it’s now down to $400,000. Call Sarabay Realty.


202 Gaines Ave.

Whitfield’s waterfront mansions are exactly that – great big places with wide, wide views over to Longboat Key. They are usually built on (for Sarasota, anyway) enormous lots, many a half acre or larger. This almost new home has 4,100 square feet (including a 1,200-square-foot master suite), four bedrooms, four baths, and a bayfront pool. Asking price is $1.8 million. Broker is Coldwell Banker.



A word about the airport: Don’t let it dissuade you. They keep changing the flight path; one year it’s bad, the next year it’s OK. I used to live near the airport and got used to it after one day. And it’s not as if the planes land on top of the buildings. That hasn’t happened since that Piper Cub hit the Japanese restaurant.

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