Area builder-developer Todd Johnston and his corporate partner, Westway LLC, made a bold move in these risky times by acquiring two lots on the south (Sarasota) side of New Pass, then building an 8,800-square-foot home and companion building.
On Jan. 28, Johnston Homes, through its Westway limited liability company of 3859 Bee Ridge Road, sold the new home at 1333 West Way Drive to Colleen Ofield, of Richmond Hill, Ontario, as trustee of the Craig Ofield Florida Trust, for $8.4 million.
The building site, lots 13 and 14 in the Lido C subdivision of John Ringling Estates, has 150 feet of frontage on both New Pass and West Way Drive with the average depth of 220 feet. Westway LLC originally acquired the property for $4.3 million in December 2004 before clearing the lots to construct the home and adjacent guest house.
The main residence includes four bedrooms, four baths and three half-baths, while the separate guest residence has one bedroom and one bath. The amenities include a movie theater, elevator, bar and separate wine bar and wine room, downstairs study, gazebo and swimming pool that disappears into a second pool. The second-story balcony overlooks New Pass and Longboat Key with views of the Gulf of Mexico.
There are two two-car garages, a 24-foot cathedral ceiling in the living room and a dock and boat lift on New Pass with ready access to both open water of the Gulf and protected navigation on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-maintained West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND) in nearby Sarasota Bay.
The selling Realtor was Linda Roe Dickinson, of Michael Saunders & Co., and the listing agent was Karen Johnston, wife of builder Todd Johnston.
The sale price is the highest paid for a residential property in Sarasota County so far in this infant year of 2010. But, it is short of the New Pass record of $13,219,000 that Cynthia Garrison, of Harrison, Ark., paid for her 12,000-square-foot, three-story mansion at 1219 West Way Drive and the adjoining lot in January 2004.
Key sales jump from five to 16
The $8 million blockbuster sale seems to have triggered a resurgence in real-estate sales on Longboat and the surrounding Sarasota keys, because sales recordings doubled from the eight recorded for the week before (Jan. 11 through Jan. 15) to 16 for this reporting week of Jan. 22 through Jan. 26. No less than four of the sales surpassed the $1 million plateau. All but one were recorded on Longboat Key.
There were two sales in the harbor section of Bay Isles Unit I, topped by the $2.5 million that Kim and Gary Warren, of Indianapolis, paid for their home at 550 Harbor Point Road. The sellers were Jane and Martin Watson.
The four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath home was built in 2001 with 6,062 square feet of living area, plus a swimming pool, and is located on a cul-de-sac with 200 feet on its surrounding deep waterway. The Watsons bought the property for $1,748,100 in October 2003.
In a second sale in Bay Isles, Unit 1, a rare vacant lot sold for $960,000 by Rosalind and Robert Napack, of Old Brookville, N.Y., to Jean and Andre Butterfield, from Follifoot, Horrogate, Yorkshire, England. The lot is located at 1570 Harbor Cay Lane.
“It may seem a lot to pay for this vacant lot, but it is a real bargain because it is in an area where the channels are deep to accommodate larger boats,” said local real-estate broker Roger Pettingell, with Coldwell Banker Previews.
The Napacks paid $185,000 for the vacant lot in 1985.
In a personal-representative deed sale, an older home on the north Key beach in the Sleepy Lagoon subdivision was sold to Karen and Scott Tetreault, of Braden River, for $1.95 million. Located at 6505 Gulfside Drive, the beach home was sold by James Demmert, of Sausalito, Calif., as personal representative to the estate of the late Nancy Demmert.
Included in the sale is a vacant rental unit on the property, along with the four-bedroom, two-bath main house with 2,384 square feet of living area. The original home was first built in 1950, five years before Longboat Key became incorporated as a town, and the home was updated and improved later in 1974.
The property last sold for $420,000 in July 1989.
Lindsey and Edward Davison, of Syosset, N.Y., sold their Unit K-206 at the 145-unit L’Ambiance at the Longboat Key Club for $1.5 million to Deane and Paul Shatz, 4311 Gulf of Mexico Drive, under the terms of a personal residential trust, allowing the Davisons to remain in the condo for the rest of their lives, and they will be entitled to claim homestead exemption as granted under the Florida statutes, so long as they reside there.
The two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath condo was constructed in 1994 with 2,634 square feet of living area.
There were a couple of sales at Beachplace II, the second-largest condominium complex on Longboat Key. The 336-unit Beachplace was constructed by Arthur Vining Davis’ Arvida Corp.
Catherine and Steven Singer, of Prior Lake, Minn., purchased Unit 104 in Building 5 from Mary Ann and Richard Cohen, of Austin, Texas, for $665,000. The three-bedroom, two-bath condo at 1105 Gulf of Mexico Drive was built in 1981 with 1,819 square feet of living space. The Cohens bought the apartment for $344,500 in March 1995.
At Unit 502 in Building 7 of Beachplace II, Glenda Black, of Atlanta, sold the condominium to Shirley and Theodore Alesczyk, of University Park, for $535,000. The two-bedroom, two-bath apartment at 1075 Gulf of Mexico Drive was constructed in 1981 with 1,392 square feet of living area. The condo last sold for $272,000 in May 1994.
Spanish Main Yacht Club
In the lone sale for the week in the 212-unit Spanish Main Yacht Club, Donald Fitzgibbon and his revocable trust bought Unit 196 at 738 El Centro Way from John Christie and Nancy Fisher Christie, 747 Marbury Lane, for $275,000. The two-bedroom, two-bath condo was constructed in 1968 with 1,299 square feet of living area. The Christies bought the condominium for $220,000 in August 2004.
The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort
Two sales were recorded at the 232-unit Colony Beach & Tennis Resort. The presidential suite Unit 9-B was sold by Triset I, a partnership c/o Thomas Johnson, of Mequon, Wis., to Unit 9-B LLC, of New York City, for $92,500. The 815-square-foot apartment at 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive was constructed in 1974. Triset I acquired the condo for $75,000 in December 1976.
Unit 129-S LLC, of New York City, bought Unit 129-S at the Colony from the five-member Fagan family for $30,000. Selling equal one-fifth interests were: Robert Fagan Jr., of Hickory Hills, Ill.; Mike Fagan, of Antioch, Ill.; Terry Fagan, of Orland Park, Ill.; Maureen Reese-Fagan, of Oak Lawn, Ill.; and Thomas Fagan, of Munster, Ind.
The five received $6,000 each from the $30,000 sale. The condo has 705 square feet of living area and was built in 1973.
Judy and Charles Gifford III sold their Bird Key home at 534 Bird Key Drive to Kerlyn Holdings, Ltd., of St. Peter, on the island of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel off the north coast of France. The Channel Islands are essentially a British Crown dependency, dating back to 1066, when William the Conqueror crossed the English Channel and successfully invaded England by landing and winning the Battle of Hastings.
Kerlyn Holdings paid $889,000 to the Giffords for their eight-year-old, three-bedroom, three-bath home with a swimming pool and 2,793 square feet of living space. The Giffords paid $1,012,000 for the residence in January 2004.
Kimberly and Mitchel Ruzek, of Sarasota, bought the Lido Beach home at 161 Polk Drive from Linda Roe Dickinson and her husband, Herbert Dickinson II, of Sarasota, for $840,000. The Dickinsons bought the house for $250,000 in April 1998. The house, built in 1962, has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,356 square feet of living area.
St. Armands Towers North
Elizabeth and Lawrence Nugent, of Sarasota, sold their Unit 126 at St. Armands Towers North to Frances Summers-Steele, from Orlando, for $745,000. The two-bedroom, two-bath condo at 1 Ben Franklin Drive was constructed in 1968 with 1,389 square feet of living area. The condo last sold for $575,000 in August 2002.
Loretta and Kenneth Ayotte, from Bay City, Mich., bought Unit 3 at the Sand Dollar condominium, 555 Ben Franklin Drive on Lido Beach, from Christine and John Short, 400 N. Washington Drive on St. Armands Key, for $500,000.
The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath condo was built in 1984 with 1,780 square feet of living area. The Shorts paid $779,900 for the condo in July 2005.
Entrust IRA Southwest Florida LLC, f/b/o Anton Dameff, of Fort Myers, sold his Unit 10-B at the Lido Regency condo to Apostol Kalev, of Venice, for $258,000. The one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath apartment at 1700 Ben Franklin Drive has 1,059 square feet of living area and was built in 1968. The unit last sold for $98,000 in October 1980.
Sarasota Harbour Apartments
Unit 21 in the Berkeley House at the Sarasota Harbour Apartments was purchased by Marissa Beres Doyle and her husband, Peter Doyle, of Cornelius, Ore., for $200,000. The sellers were Julia and Harry Beres, of Gaston, Ore. Located off the Ringling Causeway at 763 John Ringling Blvd., the two-bedroom, two-bath apartment was built in 1963 with 816 square feet of living space. The home last sold for $199,000 in December 2002.
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.