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Summer is Sarasota’s Most Fun Season!

29 Jun 2017 Posted by Marcia Salkin in Arts and Culture, Downtown, Sarasota Happenings, Siesta Key

You Can’t Beat Summer in Sarasota

There’s a certain laid-back atmosphere that starts in Sarasota as soon as summer hits. We’re right in the thick of it, and there’s no better season to experience all the fun this special place has to offer. So what are you waiting for? Read my top picks for summer fun, and then get out there! (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)

Dance, Hum, Relax to the Beat

You’re probably more familiar with Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall as an entertainment venue for big touring acts and Sarasota Orchestra performances. But during the summer, the grounds outside Van Wezel transform into an exciting outdoor concert site. The Friday Fest at Van Wezel free summer concert series brings a host of local bands to the lawn with thousands of people showing up to enjoy food and drink vendors and the music. Bring your lawn chair, sit back and listen!

Fireworks – In the Air and On the Water

The Fourth of July in Sarasota is unique. Sure, we have some of the best firework shows around to mark our nation’s Independence Day, but we also have thrilling powerboat races. The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival is in its 33rd year this time around and you won’t want to miss it. People come from around the state to take part in race festivities that start on June 24 and continue through July 4. The actual race dates are July 1 and 2, so you’ll want to mark those days down on your calendar. See you out there!

Splish Splash

One of Sarasota’s treasures, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, is hosting Splashin’ Saturdays this summer. It’s a chance for kids to experience the new Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden with water slides, games and more. Bring your favorite kid to Selby for a morning of fun, Saturdays through July 15. You’ll enjoy the calming breeze of the banyan trees, too!

Run Like the Wind

What better way to take advantage of living near the No. 1 beach in the world than to participate in Summer Beach Runs at Siesta Key Public Beach? On Tuesday nights from now until August 8, adult runs and kids’ one-mile fun runs will be hosted right there on the crystal sand. On your mark, get set, go!

The Show Must Go On

If all this outdoor activity is making you perspire, it might be a good idea to take things inside for a performance at Asolo Repertory Theater or Florida Studio Theatre. Asolo is hosting the inaugural season of Dog Days Theatre this summer. The company will perform the British play “Relatively Speaking” from July 11 to 30 and the stage adaptation of “Double Indemnity” from August 8 to 27. FST is hosting The Jersey Tenors until July 16 and the Improv Festival from July 13 to 15, which is sure to be a great laugh. Just because it isn’t peak season in Sarasota doesn’t mean you can’t catch an excellent performance!

I hope you relish in the season of summer in Sarasota. There’s truly no other time like it, so make every day count!

Siesta Key: Marcia’s Local Expert Tips

27 Apr 2017 Posted by Marcia Salkin in Luxury Home, Sarasota Luxury Real Estate, Siesta Key, Waterfront Homes

Can Every Day Be a Beach Day?

People around the world seek out Siesta Key for its incredible sugar white sand beaches. Florida International University professor Stephen Leatherman, known as Dr. Beach for his annual ranking of the best U.S. beaches, even ranked Siesta Beach No. 1 in the entire country in 2001. And he just ranked it No. 2 in 2016. Plus Siesta Beach recently took the top U.S. spot on TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice beach awards.

The recent $21.5 million Siesta Beach improvements have made this top beach even better. There are new concession stands with amazing food, restrooms, picnic areas, a playground and best of all, 980 parking spots!

You’ve heard the saying before – “We live where you vacation” – and it’s perhaps the truest for Siesta Key residents. So take the tips in this newsletter and live like a local. I’ve also included some of my new Siesta Key listings below. Why not become a local yourself?

What To Do When You’re Not On The Beach

On April 29 and 30, get your art on at the 39th Annual Siesta Fiesta. You’ll have a ball at this fine art and handmade crafts festival by the beach showcasing 200 artists and craftsmen from around the country. From sculpture and photography to paintings and ceramics, it’s all here.

Mark your calendars now for one of the most unique events in Sarasota – the Siesta Key Crystal Classic – November 10 to 14. There’s nothing like this international sand sculpting festival. You will be blown away by what people are able to create with nothing but sand.

What To Eat When You’re Not On The Beach

If you go in search of some good seafood on the key, look no further than Big Water Fish Market. Another ranking favorite like Siesta Beach, Big Water’s grouper sandwich was voted best sandwich on the island by TripAdvisor in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Plus it was named best grouper sandwich in the whole state of Florida in 2016! (That’s hard to beat.) If you want to dine in or pick up fish to take home, head to Big Water.

You already love Morton’s Gourmet Market on the mainland in Southside Village, so get ready to love Morton’s Siesta Market, too. You’ll find staple grocery items, take-out meals, fresh produce, meats and seafood. Plus, when you’re ready to kick back and enjoy the sunset over the water, they have a great wine and beer selection.

Cevichela is Latin street food at its best. This Siesta Village destination has delicious food bowls, tacos and grab-and-go ceviche. The buzz around town is that you’ve just got to try Chef Darwin Santa Maria’s new restaurant.

Where To Live When You’re Not On The Beach

Oceane is one of the most anticipated developments on Siesta Key. Six exclusive condominiums will make up the enclave, which is within walking distance of Siesta Key Village. Considering a move to the key? Put Oceane on your list. Units start at $3.8 million.

I’m also excited about my latest Siesta Key sales. One is at 9008 Midnight Pass Road, No. 5. This beautiful unit in The Sea Breeze building sold for $1.7 million. I also recently sold a property at 9150 Blind Pass Road, No. 404, in the Fisherman’s Haven building for $437,000.

Right now, I have another listing for sale in The Sea Breeze building for $1.625 million. This three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom unit is 3,700 square feet and you just have to see it.

I’ll leave you with a fun fact: In 2013, I sold one of my listings on Siesta Key for $10 million – the highest sale price ever on the island!

As you can tell, Siesta Key is not only the best place in Sarasota for a beach day, but I might go as far as saying it’s the best place in Sarasota for a beach life. So put on your flip flops and start living the beach life today!

Loving Longboat: Top spots to enjoy on the key

31 Mar 2017 Posted by Marcia Salkin in Longboat Key

Loving Longboat

I’ve loved Longboat Key ever since The Colony sales department brought me here in 1979. It was love at first sight, and I’ve been thrilled to help people call Longboat home for over three decades. That’s why I’m sharing some of my most-loved spots on the key in this newsletter. You may have experienced some of them before. If not, I hope you do soon!

It’s no surprise Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub is at the top of my list. This waterfront restaurant is everyone’s favorite. Dine outside on scrumptious seafood and enjoy the tranquil water views and old Florida ambiance – the building is one of the oldest structures on the key, built in 1912.

Another Longboat destination with a stunning setting is Euphemia Haye. The restaurant’s historic, wooden cottage is nestled in lush tropical foliage. It’s considered one of the best and most romantic restaurants in the area, so you’ll definitely want to make reservations here for the special occasions in your life. They’re also known for their dessert bar, my favorite kind of bar for sure!

Tourists and residents alike recognize Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium as one of Sarasota’s true gems. The marine research hub and world-class attraction is a great place to bring visiting friends and family, especially if there are kids in the mix. They’ll love seeing manatees, sharks, stingrays and more up close and learning about how they live in the wild.

This summer, a new resort will open on the key. The contemporary Zota Beach Resort will be beachfront luxury at its finest, sugar white sand included. Before you fall in love with a new home sweet home on Longboat Key, why not stay at the island’s most exciting new resort?

No need to travel off the island, you’ll find a beautiful assortment of products imported straight from France at Décor de France. You may have stopped in the shop when it was on St. Armands Circle for 13 years before it moved to Longboat about two years ago. Here you’ll find gorgeous French tablecloths, placemats and napkins and a selection of French pottery. Whether you’re looking for the perfect new item for your home or searching for the ideal hostess gift, chances are you’ll find both right here.

If you’re visiting from out of town, The Resort at Longboat Key Club is a wonderful place to stay. And if you live here year round or part of the year, you’ll love the Longboat Key Club’s many amenities, from golf and tennis to the marina and restaurants.

By now you’re probably thinking, “I’ve just got to find myself a place to live Longboat so I can enjoy the island on a daily basis!” Well, let me tell you about my new, stunning listing on the key. It’s a 3,400-square-foot, three bedroom, three bathroom home in the exclusive community of En Provence. It’s offered at $3,600,000 and boasts picturesque Gulf front views. Are you ready to enjoy the sunset from your new Longboat retreat?

The Best of St. Armands & My New Bird Key Listing

03 Mar 2017 Posted by Marcia Salkin in Longboat Key, Luxury Home, Sarasota Luxury Real Estate, St. Armand's Circle, Waterfront Homes

Every Day is a Vacation on St. Armands

St. Armands Circle is one of those places in Sarasota that instantly makes you feel like you’re on vacation. It’s so easy to enjoy an afternoon on the circle – dining, shopping and even taking in one of the many festivals and shows hosted there throughout the year.

With my new listing on Bird Key (a waterfront neighborhood just down the street from St. Armands), I’ve been thinking a lot about my go-to spots on the circle, so I thought I would share them with you. Consider taking a little staycation in your own hometown and exploring these destinations the next time you have a free afternoon!

My dad’s favorite spot when he would come to visit was the Columbia Restaurant on the circle. This Spanish restaurant was founded in 1905 in Tampa’s Ybor City and is the oldest restaurant in Florida. In fact, their location on St. Armands is Sarasota’s oldest restaurant, so you know they must be doing it right. Don’t leave without trying their Black Bean Soup, 1905 Salad, Sangria and Flan.

Once you’ve been to Columbia, you just have to try Shore, too. This open-air, second-floor restaurant is packed for brunch, lunch and dinner. The fun mid-century retro vibe and creative menu will have you coming back again and again. And downstairs, don’t miss the chance to shop in their beachy casual Shore boutique.

If you have a sweet tooth, there’s no better spot on the circle for you to visit than Kilwins. Fudge, toffee, caramel, peanut brittle – it’s all available here, and you can even watch them make their chocolatey treats right in front of you. As one of the most popular destinations on St. Armands, you’ll often find a line of people running straight out the door. My mouth is watering just thinking about their fudge!

Looking for the perfect ensemble for a luncheon, gala or that all-important meeting? Find it at The Met. This luxury independent men and women’s fashion house is widely considered the nicest boutique in Sarasota and it’s right here on the circle. There’s even a day spa upstairs for when you get weary from shopping (and all the eating you’ve done at Columbia, Shore and Kilwins!).

St. Armands is also a mecca for interesting festivals and shows. There are several car shows throughout the year, like the classic Corvette show in May, the Ferrari show in November and Porsches in the Park show in December. But events on the circle aren’t just for car lovers. There’s also the Annual Craft Festival in June and the Annual St. Armands Art Festival in November. If exploring the waters of Sarasota is more your speed, there’s a boat show on the circle in October. But one of my favorite events is Taste of St. Armands. Every October you can sample award-winning recipes from the diverse restaurants on the circle, all while enjoying the idyllic weather.

And while you’re living that vacation lifestyle on the circle, why not pop by to take a look at my latest listing – one of the most exquisite homes in Sarasota. This Bayfront home at 467 Meadow Lark Drive is offered at $6,525,000. It was built in 2000 by Mike Collingwood and designed by sought-after luxury residential architect Clifford M. Scholz.

Once you experience all that St. Armands has to offer, you may be asking yourself, why not live close by? And why not live in this stunning Scholz masterpiece?

Property of the Century: Privacy & Sweeping Views on Sarasota Bay

18 Nov 2016 Posted by Marcia Salkin in Gulf front, Lots and Land, Uncategorized, Videos of Sarasota, Waterfront Homes, West of the Trail

Survey Says: Privacy is the Ultimate Luxury

The other day I was reading an interesting Business Insider article (“Privacy is becoming the ultimate luxury for wealthy homebuyers”) that talked about a recent survey of the world’s wealthiest people. The Luxury Portfolio International survey asked people this question: “If you were wealthy enough to afford whatever house you wanted, what would be first on your list?” And the most frequent answer to the question was privacy.

Privacy is so sought out by the wealthy that often people purchase the homes on either side of their house and across the street. A home with privacy is a retreat from the busy world outside and a refuge for friends and family members.

One of the Most Private Properties in Sarasota

I’m not exaggerating – my listing at 3250 Old Oak Drive is one of the most private properties in Sarasota.

This waterfront property near the North Siesta Key Bridge is almost three acres, a size practically unheard of these days. The large lot size, plus dense foliage of beautiful oaks and specimen plantings, means you won’t see your neighbors or people driving by to take a look. You’ll just see greenery and a sweeping view of Sarasota Bay.

Now is your chance to snap up this one-of-a-kind ultra-private property that’s been owned by one of Sarasota’s oldest families for over 60 years. Listed at $3.95 million, you really won’t find a more private property in such an ideal location that’s just minutes to downtown, Southside Village and our world-class beaches.

And this property is the perfect place to build your dream house. Don’t settle for a home that’s not quite to your liking – here you can create a custom luxury compound to your exact specifications.

You’ll be hard-pressed to top the privacy and beauty of 3250 Old Oak Drive. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Watch this virtual video tour of the property. It just might inspire you to make this special place your very own.

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Sarasota Boom Continues with Downtown and Siesta Key Developments

27 Aug 2016 Posted by Marcia Salkin in Condo or Townhome, Downtown, Sarasota Luxury Real Estate, Siesta Key

It’s no secret – this year has been gangbusters for growth in Sarasota.

A year ago, we wrote to you in this very blog about how much growth we were seeing in Sarasota, especially with downtown condos. Today, we’re still seeing an incredible level of construction and development all over town.

For you, this means an unprecedented number of choices and opportunities. Never before have you had this many options in terms of how you want to live in Sarasota, whether luxury condo living, elegant waterfront homes or authentically artsy neighborhoods are more your style.

If you’re one of those folks who can’t get enough of the Sarasota sunsets, Océane Siesta Key might be ideal. These condominium residences will offer the utmost in exclusivity. There are only six units and they each offer resort-style living on Sarasota’s most famous island. The contemporary Océane will be situated on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, in walking distance to Siesta Key Village and the beach. The residences start at $3.8 million.

Oceane Siesta Key

And if you like to get out on the water often, there’s no better place than the forthcoming Whitaker Bayou Yacht Club. This development will offer 156 multi-family condos in three four-story buildings. The major plus here (in addition to the great location just minutes from downtown Sarasota) are the 50 boat slips available to owners. While prices aren’t certain yet, most units will likely be around $400,000 and some larger units will be about $800,000.

Then there’s The Mark, which is smack dab in the heart of downtown Sarasota. It offers luxury condo residences from the $700s. This latest development from the prolific Kolter group (also responsible for the much-talked-about Vue Sarasota Bay) will feature shopping and dining on the ground floor, as well as executive offices.

The Mark

One of the most thrilling neighborhoods in Sarasota right now is the Rosemary District. It’s been experiencing its own boom time in recent months, and the newest addition is Risdon on 5th, designed by architecture firm Halflants and Pichette. The 28-unit project could offer a new, lower price point for the convenient-to-downtown area, with units possibly starting in the $300s. Those units will include 18 condos, four penthouses and six commercial spaces.

Risdon on 5th

This is an exciting time for Sarasota, whether you’re a long-time resident or are just moving to our sophisticated, tropical paradise. Remember – your options are endless for creating a customized, luxury life in Sarasota that you absolutely love.