The Lure of Siesta Key

By Robert Plunket August 26, 2009

History and hot deals on Siesta Key’s north end.


By Robert Plunket


I had forgotten how much I love Siesta Key. Back in the old days, 30 or so years ago when I first started coming here, I thought Siesta Key was Sarasota. The mainland didn’t interest me at all—it was just a place to land the plane. All I wanted was the beach, the bars, the restaurants.


But once you move here and start working, the Key becomes much less important. You can go for months without setting foot on it. So when I began researching Rich from Ohio’s request for what’s available on the Key for around $600,000 (see below) it was like a revelation. Once again it’s become my favorite place in town. There is no other place in the world that quite has its combination of tropical beauty, convenience, variety of lifestyles—and of course, what is recognized by experts as the best beach in the continental U.S..


Every part of Siesta Key is nice, but my favorite is the north end. It’s closest to downtown, has the most interesting history, the most eclectic architecture, and the best “feel” as a place to live. Eleanor Roosevelt used to vacation here (her uncle had a home—now demolished—on White Lane), and the presidential tradition will continued when Bill Clinton shows up next month. He’ll be staying with Myrna and David Band, who live just a stone’s throw away, on Flamingo.


No other part of town has such an interesting mix of houses. Let’s take a quick look at what’s currently on the market and you’ll see what I mean.


4136 Roberts Point Circle


At the high end is this mansion on Roberts Point Circle, priced at $9,800,000. It’s brand- new and from the outside has a slight resemblance to the Bank of America, but in a good way. At this price point you expect everything, and this house pretty much delivers the goods—six bedrooms, six baths, 7,309 square feet under air, 30 tons of marble used throughout, a deep water dock, an infinity pool, a cylindrical glass elevator, a home theater, and a 10-car “auto salon.” (By the way, this is not the most expensive house in the neighborhood. There’s a whole slew priced between 3 and 15 million dollars.) Call Joel Schemmel at (941) 587-4894.



252 Garden Lane


Too big? Well, here’s something a block or so away. At 628 square feet it could easily fit in the “auto salon.” It’s got one bedroom, one bath, and a small lot covered with shell. But surprise—it’s a terrific little cottage, a throwback to the old days on Siesta. It seems a little pricey at $400,000 until you realize it’s on a very picturesque little canal, complete with dock. The inside is nicely remodeled. It would make a great weekend retreat. Call Lynn Robbins at (941) 366-8070.







3528 La Paloma Ave.




The real steal in the area is this nice ranch on La Paloma Ave. It’s got three bedrooms, two baths, a fireplace, new paint, new tile, an 8,000 square-foot lot. The amazing thing is the price; $299,900. Call Tony Andrews at (941) 504-7769.


644 Norsota Way


And finally, the most intriguing home in the area is this circa 1925 cottage on Norsota Way, traditionally one of the two or three best streets in town. Norsota is at the very northern tip of the key, and on the water side are the mansions of the richest people in town. Across the street are the mansions of the second and third richest people, plus this cute little house. It’s being sold for the value of its 18,316 square-foot lot, and is priced at $650,000. I’m sure it will turn into yet another mansion—too bad, as it’s one of the few reminders of the old days on the Key, when Eleanor Roosevelt—along with her uncle— would drop by for tea. Call the Addy and Wittig Team at (941) 228-1985.
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