Luxury Homefront Shorts

By Ilene Denton February 1, 2010

asset_upload_file674_31045.jpgMARKET WATCH

One of the only new-construction Longboat Key beachfront homes to become available in “I don’t know how many years,” says listing agent Barbara Ackerman of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, the Johnson estate on the north end of Longboat is on the market for $13 million.

Completed in 2007, the 10,000-square-foot neoclassical mansion is set on 2.3 acres, with an unusually generous 150 feet of beachfront. It has seven bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths, and a guest wing with a West Indies feel nestled among butterfly gardens, banyans and mango trees. Among the luxurious details: mahogany, cherry and marble floors; a grand fireplace and a double mahogany staircase. The two-story, mahogany-paneled library is a smaller version of the mammoth library at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.

To celebrate the listing, Ackerman teamed with HGTV Design Star Jason Champion in November to decorate the dining room for the holidays. “He did an amazing display,” she says. Ackerman is working through Coldwell Banker’s offices in 47 countries around the world to market the exceptional property.


Foreclosures and short sales have dampened property values in that poshest of mid-Sarasota County gated communities, The Oaks II, says longtime Sarasota real estate broker and Oaks resident Bev Meadows. Now semi-retired, she’s listed her own three-bedroom, 3,200-square-foot home at 464 MacEwen Drive for $799,000. Set on a lake on the Arthur Hills-designed Eagle golf course, which was completely renovated in 2007, the home has three bedroom suites, a heated pool with spillover spa and an outdoor kitchen. Meadows enlarged the master suite in 2004 and redid the master bath; she also refloored the entire house with wood and tile. “It’s in a very private setting, with hedges more than seven feet tall on both sides, and faces nothing but the lake, the golf course and a greenbelt beyond it,” she says.

Top of The Market

A magnificent gulf-front estate at 1588 N. Casey Key Road sold on Nov. 30 for $9.9 million, after an original list price of $11.5 million, making it the highest-priced real estate transaction this fall. Set on more than two extremely private acres at the northern tip of Casey Key, the home was built in 1993 with a blend of Italian and French architectural details, included barrel ceilings with huge, hand-painted wood beams. The master suite has its own fireplace, hand-painted ceiling and private garden. A separate two-bedroom guest house is on the property, as are a beautifully landscaped pool area and bocce court. Eric Heuer of Hunt Real Estate ERA was the listing agent;  Ann Debellevue of Michael Saunders & Company was the selling agent.


String Along

’Tis the season for outdoor entertaining by the glow of these handsome hand-blown glass string lights powered by a 5-inch by 5-inch solar panel. Made by Aurora in a rainbow of colors and available on several Web sites catering to gardening enthusiasts, they come in packages of six bulbs and cast a soft glow for six to eight hours. Surprisingly affordable at $50.

Neighborhood Watch  

Beautiful old Bayview Heights.

Bayview Heights, tucked between South Osprey Avenue and Sarasota Bay just south of Southside Village, is a classic, old West-of-the-Trail neighborhood content to let next-door neighbor Cherokee Park steal the glamour limelight. Happily, tear-downs are the exception here; residences range from ’20s-era wooden cottages and Mediterranean Revivals to rambling waterfront mansions. Its oversized yards are filled with mature banyans, palms and oaks, and even the street names—Pleasant Place, Harmony Lane—attest to its neighborly character. Residents, mostly longtime Sarasota professionals, tend to raise their families here and remain as empty nesters. The oldest house in Sarasota County, a sprawling antebellum farmhouse, is rumored to have housed a rumrunner’s operation during Prohibition. “I love the old brick streets, the proximity to the water, the older homes,” says Susan McLeod of Michael Saunders & Company, herself a long West-of-Trail resident. “It feels very warm and comfortable.”

Total number of Bayview Heights properties: 61 Total number of sales from 10/2008 to 10/2009: 3 (plus 3 life-estate transfers and quit-claim deeds) Range of sale prices: $400,000 to $585,000 Range of square footage: 1,425 to 2,437 square feet


A Mediterranean-style home at 2625 Colony Terrace in Bayview Heights, built in 2007, is on the market for $1,595,000. The four-bedroom, 3,700-square-foot residence has many quality touches, including high tray ceilings, moldings and arched doorways. It’s just one block from Sarasota Bay. David and Lori Simon of Prudential Palms Realty are the listing agents.


A bank-owned, four-bedroom home on an oversized lot at 2524 Colony Terrace sold for $585,000, after an original list price of $939,000. Built in 1956, it boasts beautiful wood flooring inside and a brick-paver pool area outside set amid tropical landscaping. Barbara Katz and Gina Wallwork of Re/Max Alliance Group were the listing agents; it was sold by an undisclosed non-MFR (Mid-Florida Realtors MLS) member. Previous sale: $639,000 in June 2004.

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