During the height of the recent real-estate boom, developers Jay Tallman and Tom Brown, together with their U.S. Assets Group, took on some major residential projects. Among them were Vizcaya and En Provence on Longboat Key, Beau Ciel on Sarasota Bay near downtown Sarasota and the 54-luxury-unit Orchid Beach Club Residences at 2050 Ben Franklin Drive on Lido Beach.
To clear enough beachfront for Orchid Beach Club’s twin 11-story towers, U.S. Assets bought out Triton Inn and the 84-unit Half Moon Beach Club and then tore them down. The project was completed during the boom-ending year of 2005, and all 54 Orchid Beach Club condominiums were sold within a year.
Orchid Beach Club Residences
Fast forward to the third week in April 2009. Two of the six sales on the keys between April 20 and April 24 were recorded at Orchid Beach Club Residences for a total $3,775,000. The largest transaction was the $2.4 million sale of the 4,339-square-foot condominium Unit C-1001 by John DiLacqua Jr., of Lakewood Ranch, to Maria Longhi, of Tampa.
The three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath condo was built in 2005.
DiLacqua, through his trust, paid $3,467,000 for the new condominium in September 2005.
In the second sale at Orchid Beach Club Residences, Deborah and Charles Vollmer, of Siesta Key, who sold their Unit B 804 to Patricia and Charles Maines, from Port Matilda, Pa., for $1,375,000.
The Vollmers bought the condo for $1.37 million, also in September 2005. The three-bedroom, three-bath apartment has 2,936 square feet of air-conditioned living area.
Grand Bay V
Sandra Weaver, from Overland Park, Kan., purchased Unit 511 at Grand Bay Building V from Rick and Bobbie Kennamer, of Franklin, Tenn., for $600,000. The two-bedroom, two-bath condo at 3080 Grand Bay Drive has 1,270 square feet of living area and was constructed in 1996.
The Kennamers paid $785,000 for the apartment in April 2005.
Bay Harbour Apartments
Judy Shapiro, of Santa Monica, Calif., sold her Unit 104 in Building A at the 39-unit Bay Harbour Apartments, 450 Gulf of Mexico Drive, to Darcy Balicki-Spiekhout and her husband, Wayne Spiekhout, from Crown Point, Ind., for $215,000.
The two-bedroom, two-bath condo was built in 1970 and has 1,194 square feet of living area.
Lido Surf & Sand
Georgia and Robert Whitley Jr., individually and through their trust, of Plainfield, Ill., purchased Unit 502 at Lido Surf & Sand condominium for $507,000 from Iris and Christian Cavey, of Hampstead, Md.
The two-bedroom, two-bath condominium at 1100 Ben Franklin Drive on Lido Beach was built in 1976 and has 1,494 square feet of living area. The Caveys paid $400,000 for the condo in July 2000.
St. Armands Key
American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., of Irving, Texas, sold the St. Armands Key home at 225 N. Blvd. of the Presidents to Kristen and Richard Kelly, from Denver, for $375,000. Erika Kennedy, assistant secretary for America Home Mortgage Servicing, signed the deed of sale.
The three-bedroom, three-bath home with a swimming pool was constructed in 1968. It has 3,058 square feet of living area. Carlos Lackey bought the home for $725,000 in July 2006 before American Home Mortgage Servicing took title to the property.
Market emitting mixed signals
Although there has been a slight increase in sales activity on the keys and some price stabilization, overall, the market is sending mixed signals. Because of the coveted, waterfront nature of property on the keys, there is continuing sales activity, but it is subdued compared to the frenzied buying during the recent real-estate bubble.
Kent Chetlain is a veteran Florida journalist and historian, a former Manatee County commissioner and a holder of a Florida real-estate license. He has chronicled real-estate activity in this area since 1957.