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The Sanderling Club: a look inside of one of Siesta Key's most exclusive communities.

Nestled between lush, verdant foliage and sparkling azure waters lies the Sanderling Club: one of Siesta Key's most exclusive gated communities. 

Presented by Judie Berger December 15, 2022

With its historical distinction, tropical charm, and idyllic natural beauty gracing the island’s southern portion – this luxury enclave promises a paradise for those fortunate enough to call it home.

 

Siesta Key was transformed from a seasonal winter resort to an exclusive, year-round community in the late 1940s. By 1958, 67 original pioneer homes were established with Elbridge S. Boyd at its foundation: offering homeowner's association and investor privileges through Sanderling Inc., creating a unique opportunity for those lucky enough to be part of this luxurious beach paradise by then known as The Siesta Club.

With the help of Paul Rudolph, one of the founders of the Sarasota School's visionary architecture designs, luxurious beach cabanas, and a clubhouse were crafted using bent plywood rooflines resembling majestic waves. After undergoing complete restoration efforts, these historical buildings now stand proudly on America's National Historic Register.

 

“As I drive through the Sanderling Club, I am pleasantly transported back to a time when life moved at a slower pace,” said Judie Berger, a Realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s private and quiet, an ‘old Florida’ community, with native foliage, overgrown tree canopies and meandering Heron Lagoon.”

The cabanas, which club members lease for an annual fee, have a waiting list. In some cases, families have kept them for more than one generation. “On any given evening, you will see many cabana doors open with residents sharing wine and cheese, anticipating the colorful sunset,” said Berger.

Residents lease slips annually, for which there is often a waiting list, in the private bayfront community marina which offers direct sailboat access to Sarasota Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Sanderling Club is an exclusive paradise, as evidenced by its 105 luxurious homesites of varying sizes, with some extending beyond two acres. Accessed from Midnight Pass Road via a guard-gated entrance, the picturesque vista includes multi-million-dollar mansions on beachfront estates, and spectacular new and charming original homes along Heron Lagoon - all providing unsurpassed views that few get to experience in such grandeur.

Houses come in a variety of architectural styles, including modernist, coastal, traditional, and mid-century modern, in the style of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Many have exciting and unique histories.

 

For example, Berger’s listing offered for sale located at 7323 Pine Needle Road is a beautifully renovated home that embodies the best characteristics of mid-century modern design in the style of the Sarasota School of Architecture, with modern conveniences.

Referred to as the Banyan Beach House, this home comprises four bedrooms, four and one-half baths in 4,023 square feet of living space. This property is spectacularly private and peaceful with .65-acre grounds of lush, tropical plantings, palms, banyans, and old oaks that provide serene views from every room.

 

It’s understandable why the current owners, Brad and Kelly Anderson, who were moving to Sarasota after withstanding Chicago’s frigid winters, fell in love when they walked in the door. Attracted to its light-filled spaces, privacy, and tropical views, “We were looking all over at new construction, but we just loved the way this house felt.”

“This home was designed for relaxing; from the front courtyard with water trickling in the Zen-like pond, through the fabulous light-filled mid-century architecture that brings the outdoors in, to the private lanai, terraces, pool and waterfalls. Privacy and relaxation are paramount.”

 

Sanderling Club homeowners pay a one-time initiation fee of $35,000 and annual HOA dues are $3,200. In addition to the clubhouse, amenities include three tennis courts, a children’s playground, and private beach with access to the Gulf of Mexico.

According to Berger, residents are getting younger as people in their 40s and 50s, and families with children purchase homes. However, available property remains limited, especially along the beach front.

Over the past year, there has only been one sale, $3.5 million, sold by Judie Berger. Currently, there are two homes on the market, one directly on the beach, offered $16.8 million, and one on the lagoon at $3.6 million; there are no pending sales at the time of this article.

As the top-selling Realtor on Siesta Key since 2005, Judie Berger has represented buyers and sellers in the Sanderling Club for more than 23 years. Contact Judie at 928-3424 or [email protected]

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