Birds of a Feather

By Robert Plunket January 21, 2009

Two high-style homes on Bird Key.


By Robert Plunket

Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discussing Bird Key on TV.


Twenty years ago Bird Key was a bastion of conservative retirement – expensive custom homes and a wealthy Midwestern lifestyle. But perhaps no other part of Sarasota has changed more – it’s now hip and ultra high-style. Proof? It’s home to many of Sarasota’s bona fide celebrities, including AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and TV’s Jerry Springer.


The reason is simple – a sensational location right in the middle of the bay, halfway between downtown and the beach, and miles and miles of canals to dock your boat. Homes here tend to be a little more glamorous than in other parts of town, and the key can hold its own with Ft. Lauderdale and Boca and even Beverly Hills when it comes to semi-tropical indoor/outdoor lifestyle.


Bird Key is expensive. “Garden homes” – those not on the water - start at just over half a million for something that needs updating, canal front starts at a million (if you can find it) and homes on the open bay go from two million all the way to six or seven.




Last Sunday I took a look at a couple of particularly nice homes, both modernistic in style but hardly minimalist. The first, at 454 Partridge Circle (yes, all the streets are named after birds) is a 3-bedroom, 2 ½-bath, canal-front home, 3,260 square feet, architect remodeled, with high ceilings, polished limestone floors, and a 50-foot dock. All rooms look out to the pool and the waterway, and from the lanai there is a nice view of the open bay. This house had a wonderful vacation feel to it but still managed to be elegant and refined. It’s a great place to show off your collection of modern art. The asking price is $1,895,000. Judy Nimz is the listing agent: 941-374-0196.


Also on the market is a real Bird Key showplace at 250 Bird Key Drive. It’s big (5,430 square feet) and architecturally distinguished, having been remodeled by Dale Parks of Siebert Architects. With five bedrooms, an office, a family room, a room for this and a room for that, this house sprawls around its swimming pool yet manages to provide all sorts of nooks and crannies. It also has a unique and marvelous view: straight down the canal over to the tower at Plymouth Harbor. Like the Partridge Circle house above, it’s perfect for an art collection, and the current owner (a local restaurateur) has some wonderful stuff. Also check out the 750-square-foot Poggenpohl kitchen and the spectacular master bath. (Note to Sarasota trivia buffs: the beautiful sculptural handles of the entrance doors were designed by artist Virginia Hoffman, the former wife of missing hedge fund manager Art Nadel!) They’re asking $3,950,000 and the listing agents are Beverly Rabalais and John August at 941-320-8935.



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