Luxury Homefront

By Ilene Denton October 1, 2009


A Moorish mansion on the market at 3315 Bay Shore Road is raising eyebrows both for its size—11,000 square feet with six bedrooms and seven-and-a-half baths—and its list price, which, at $12,875,000, makes it one of the highest-priced single-family homes for sale in the region. Listing agent Klaus Lang of Michael Saunders & Company says the home was built in 1987 by an Egyptian dentist and his wife. It was extensively remodeled when it last sold in 1993. The Moorish architectural elements remain in the windows, doors and fireplace, but the roof domes have been removed and a tennis court and lavish tropical landscaping have been added.

Late last summer, Lang told us he’d shown the home a half-dozen times. His target buyer? “It could be any wealthy buyer, domestic or international,” he says. “The home is very, very beautiful—the location on the bay at its widest point, the exotic landscaping that makes it very private. It’s a tropical enclave almost downtown.”


Country Club Shores is coming back, says Teri Sax of Prudential Palms Realty. “There were some wonderful deals this winter, but most of the good deals are gone,” says Sax, who accounted for three of those sales in the south Longboat Key neighborhood herself. (One was a home she sold twice.) “It’s nice to see the properties moving. We were the poster child for flipping [for a few years], but the end-users are coming back.”

Sax has one more great value on the books: her $3.65 million listing at 585 Schooner Lane, reduced $335,000 from its original list price last spring. It sits at the end of a cul-de-sac, with huge sweeping views from the city of Sarasota all the way up the bay to Manatee County.

The 6,000-square-foot home, built in 1994, is structurally in perfect condition, she says, “but it does need updating; people would want to do the full Wolf kitchen thing.” The owners, a big family that flies back and forth from New Jersey, just built an even bigger home right across the street. “They originally were going to keep this house for spillover,” says Sax. “But they decided it made an expensive guest house.”

What’s Next?

Crystal Light The disco ball amps up the sophistication factor in this crystal sphere chandelier from a U.K. company called Unlimited Light. Fiber optics allow you to choose among six ever-rotating colors, or to create a sparkle effect with the twinkle wheel option. The chandelier comes in different lengths, with one, two or three crystal spheres. Light Up Your Life is the exclusive U.S. distributor.

Top of the market

a lido shores residence built in 2006 by international design star (and Sarasota resident) Adrienne Vittadini and her husband, Gigi, sold to a couple from Morristown, N.J., for $7,423,500 after an original list price of $8,999,000, making it the highest-priced sale for July. Vittadini’s understated European elegance is evident throughout the 6,600-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bath home, from its walnut floors to the stone terraces. The home, at 1301 Westway Drive, sits on more than a half-acre on New Pass. Linda Roe Dickinson of Michael Saunders & Company was the listing agent; Lisa Morris of Prudential Palms Realty was the selling agent. Sales information provided by Kim Ogilvie of Michael Saunders & Company.

Neighborhood Watch

Old Florida still lives on Palm Island.

The only way you can get to seven-mile-long Palm Island, just south of Manasota Key, is by car ferry or by private boat. Kevin Mackin of Mackin Realty, himself a Palm Island resident for 11 years, calls it “one of the best-kept secrets in Florida.” Only half the island is developed, thanks to unspoiled, 148-acre Don Pedro State Park at its center.

You won’t find any high-rises, and architecture tends to be Key West style with walk-around porches and metal roofs. Two Mackin clients are currently building 7,000-square-foot homes, one on the beachfront, the other on the bay. There’s also a fair number of two-bedroom, two-bath cottages here. “We call them fishing shacks,” Macklin says, “but that’s not a negative. The owners come down to spend the weekend fishing.” After a tumultuous boom and bust, “Pricing has settled,” Macklin says. “But I like to say I don’t sell real estate, I sell reward for years of hard work.”

Total number of Palm Island properties: 705 Total number of sales from 7/2008 to 7/2009: 13 Range of sale prices: $150,000 to $590,000 Range of square footage: 1,200 to 2,000


This beachfront lot at 181 N. Gulf Blvd., Unit 7, is listed for $799,000 by Kevin Mackin of Mackin Realty. It’s located in Beach Place, whose community amenities include a heated pool, lighted tennis court and common dockage. The lot comes with permitted designs for a four-bedroom, three-bath, two-story home.


Atwo-bedroom,1,152-square-foot Intracoastal Waterway home at 220 Kettle Harbor Drive sold for $415,000 after an original list price of $468,000. Built in 1981, its kitchen and three baths are newly remodeled. Kevin Mackin of Mackin Realty was the listing and selling agent. Previous sale: $205,000 in February 2000.

MLS statistics courtesy of Kevin Mackin of Mackin Realty. MLS records transactions and listings by members of the Sarasota Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

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