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Real Estate
East County Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 4 months ago

A 'Tonka toy' with charm in Bradenton

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Unique contemporary home goes on the market in East County along the Manatee River.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

Sitting in Scott Fore's home, a 2,772-square-foot contemporary beauty along the bank of the Manatee River, it's hard to take your eyes off the river or the Old Florida charm of the 7.34 acre property.

Of course, everywhere you look, it seems like you are part of the scenery.

"This home brings the outside in," said Fore, who owns internet technology companies. "It's like a birdhouse."

A private birdhouse.

While the huge Winguard windows in every room offer access to the outside world, the large property — at least by riverfront Manatee County standards — provides a buffer from the rest of the world. An occasional boater might pass along the river, but mostly the water provides a sleepy calm.

Neighbors are out there — good ones that Fore said all offered him any type of help he needed when he moved in — but the live oak trees give the feeling of being secluded.

For the moment, though, the 62-year-old Fore didn't want to talk about scenery. He wanted to talk about designing and building the home, which went on the market in November for $2.75 million.

"The Florida environment is tough on building materials," said Fore, who is selling the home due to business opportunities that might arise on the West Coast. "I wanted something to withstand it. This house has designs you won't find anywhere."

Fore, a sixth-generation Floridian, is a Lakeland native who started visiting the Anna Maria Island and Long Boat Key areas more than 40 years ago. He knows how rare it can be to find any significant waterfront property in this area, so he was surprised when he found his current spot, which at one time was home to a fish camp.

The property had a main home, a guest house and three octagonal guest cabins when Fore bought it. He tore down the buildings and then designed the current home. Construction began more than two years ago and he moved into his new home last April.

"This home has Auger case footers that go down 25 feet into the bedrock," Fore said with pride. "Nobody uses them because they are so expensive. It's what supports bridges.

"This house has 37 of them. It was $36,000 just for the footers."

He then launched into explanations about tie beams and the steel that was used in creating a frame that basically was hurricane proof.

"This is a parking garage," he said with a laugh. "You can tear out any wall in this house (because the walls aren't weight-bearing). You are sitting in a large Tonka Toy house."

Scott Fore loves to cook so he paid particular attention to the design of his gourmet kitchen.

The ground-level portion of the home includes the garage and an open-to-the-outdoors kitchen that has an industrial-level smoker and barbecue.

The first floor actually is 15-feet above the ground.

"If something does come (such as a hurricane), I wanted to stay here and not worry," Fore said.

He researched FEMA standards, and then went far above them in constructed what he thought would be his retirement home.

"If this house floods, Bradenton will be under water," he said.

The three-pane windows are rated to 165-miles-per hour wind. Those windows also provide energy savings.

"This home is designed to be energy efficient," he said. "It's all about light. Notice that I don't have the lights on? I never use lights during the day.

"My electric bill this month was $147."

The scenery can be so captivating, those viewing the home might not notice some of inside highlights. The living room area is 25 feet by 20 foot and is surrounded on three sides by the massive windows with the gourmet kitchen on the fourth side. All three bedrooms are master suites in their own right with their own baths. The kitchen includes a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Wolfe range and two wine coolers. An elevator makes it easy for Fore to bring up his groceries or to host friends with limited mobility.

The absolute star of the show, however, is the waterfront and the space.

"Where do you find 7 1/2 acres?" Fore said. "People here are used to being stacked in a filing cabinet. 

"And we have owls come up on our rail, along with hawks and doves. There is a large bobcat and otters. We see alligators that look like logs, and lots of manatees.

For photos of the home and property, go to https://client.thehoverbureau.com/project/70913/download?k=KW7zWy4wtASjrbJq

"This is exactly what I wanted."

For photos of the home and the property, go to https://client.thehoverbureau.com/project/70913/download?k=KW7zWy4wtASjrbJq

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