It’s hard to believe that 30 years ago Bird Key was considered a bastion of genteel Midwestern retirement. Now, it’s transformed itself into a glamorous island of multimillion-dollar mansions and one of the best addresses in Florida. Many of Sarasota’s movers and shakers live here, plus an eclectic bunch of celebrities, including Jerry Springer and rocker Brian Johnson. The big attraction? What may very well be the best location in town. The beach is five minutes in one direction, and downtown is five minutes in the other. And everywhere you look lies an opulent Florida vision of the good life: beautiful homes, boating and tennis and the sparkling waters of Sarasota Bay.
Top of the line | 433 Meadowlark Drive
The high end of Bird Key real estate can get pretty spectacular indeed, as evidenced by this $5,995,000 home on prestigious Meadow Lark Drive. Named Villa Toscana for its Italian-flavored atmosphere, it has four bedrooms and five baths in almost 6,000 square feet of living area. The dramatic two-story living room boasts a view of downtown Sarasota through a wall of windows, plus marble floors and an oversized fireplace. There is an outdoor living area with a kitchen and infinity-edge pool. The dock has a lift, along with a separate Jet Ski lift.
Priced at $5,995,000. For more information, call Deborah Beacham of Michael Saunders & Co. at 376-2688.
Views and more views | 627 Mourning Dove Drive
Another example of the high end of the Bird Key market is this luxurious four-bedroom, seven-bath home on nearby Mourning Dove Drive. Built in 2002, it features a host of top-of-the-line amenities, including an elevator, a separate guest wing on the second floor with a media room and a full kitchen, a saltwater pool and spa with a travertine pool deck. And your boat will be well taken care of — there is a deep-water dock with a 27,000-pound lift, a mooring area and shore power 30 and 50 amp hookups. You’ll also find a formal dining room and plenty of terraces to capture the views and the breezes.
Priced at $4,495,000. For more information, call Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker at 387-1840.
Sophisticated charm | 121 S. Warbler Lane
By now, practically all of Bird Key’s original homes have undergone extensive renovations to bring them up to speed, such as this stylish, canal-front residence that was updated in 2012. Situated on a beautifully landscaped and oversized lot, it has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths in 2,424 square feet. Attention to detail is impressive: You’ll find hardwood floors throughout, arched doorways and windows, a wood-burning fireplace, crown moldings and a gourmet kitchen. The outdoor living area includes a screened pool and lanai, plus a charming walled garden. There is also a dock.
Priced at $1,575,000. For more information, call Michael Moulton of Michael Saunders & Co. at 928-3559.
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