Longboat Key's newest condominium complex is nearing completion, and residents have begun moving in.
It’s been more than two years in the making, and Aria is finally opening its doors to residents.
The new 16-unit condominium complex currently has eight units sold and eight more preparing to close their sales, and residents are beginning to move in.
“No two units are alike,” said Sales and Marketing Director Amy Drake, of Ascentia Development Group. “They’ve all been customized, so we have 16 custom condos.”
Prices for each condo ranged from $3.5 million to $4.25 million, and the property is on the land of the historic Villa Am Meer, which was built in 1935.
“You have all this modern, spectacular new construction, and then it reveals this beautiful, historical villa,” Drake said.
Each unit is named after a musical term or opera title.
“Aria is an operatic solo, and we made everything a musical name,” Drake said. “We thought the building was very lyrical with how it bends and moves.”
Aria began construction in summer 2014 and will be completely finished in the coming weeks.
“At 50 acres, it’s one of the biggest properties on Longboat Key,” Drake said.
Architects decided to keep the original gate to the entrance of the property as decoration.
“We kept the original entry gate so people can glimpse into the past with this modern property,” Drake said.
A duck and her 11 ducklings have also made Aria their home.
The pool has a rain curtain and is surrounded by both covered and uncovered seating.
“The pool is the size of something you’d find in a large complex, but this is just for the 16 units,” Drake said. “They’ll always find room out here.”
The original Villa Am Meer can be found at the back of the property and can be used as a clubhouse.
“A lot of it is original, the floors, ceiling, fireplace and stained glass on the windows,” Drake said. “They tried to keep as much it original as possible.”
A separate building houses the workout facility along with locker rooms, steam showers and a massage room.
“You’re working out, and you have a beautiful view over the terrace,” Drake said. “It’s also a huge gym for just 16 residences. This is really pretty amazing.”
The Villa Am Meer includes a guest suite owners can rent for their guests for up to five days at a time.
The original fireplace at Villa Am Meer is still intact, from its stone to its cover.
“The only thing that’s changed is it’s now electric,” Drake said.
Half of the Villa Am Meer’s original kitchen was converted into a wine cellar. Each residence has an assigned locker to store wine.
At the back of the Villa am Meer, there is a medallion from Cuba placed in the ground.
“The owners of the house imported rum from Cuba,” Drake said.
The back of the Villa am Meer features a fountain, which was originally used for animals.
“The owners had Great Danes, and they had this special fountain just for them,” Drake said.
Residents can enjoy a fire pit next to the beach.
“You don’t see fire pits on a lot of properties,” Drake said. “I can see sitting in a chair enjoying this.”
All 16 units have a beach view, and most bedrooms lead to a patio.
Every unit has a summer kitchen on the patio.
“Something like this is highly unusual for a condo,” Drake said.
Because each unit is customized, no two kitchens are the same.
“Every kitchen is very contemporary, but some are much more modern than others,” Drake said.
Each master bathroom features a standalone bathtub.
Residents had the choice of customizing their condo’s design and materials. One resident chose to import this glass from Italy for a bathroom’s counters.
Aria has two lobbies, each with an elevator that leads to the entrance of eight residences.