This book title came to mind the other day while I was sitting across the table from a woman who was angered by my support of the Longboat Key Club project. Upon learning that I was a Realtor, she said angrily, “You’ll never sell real estate in this town again!”
I lived on Longboat Key from 1984 through 2004. During those 20 years I had my own fitness center at Avenue of the Flowers and moved on to manage the Spa and Fitness Center at the Longboat Key Club and Resort. I am currently a Realtor, and I work on Longboat Key.
When I moved here in 1984, much of the building “behind the gates” had not been started.
As the developments broke ground, I found that the traffic did increase, but when has a two-to-three-minute delay in reaching a destination ever been a problem except for people on Longboat Key?
As the buildings became occupied, I sometimes had to park as far as 10 cars away from the front doors of Publix, suffer one or two people ahead of me in any line for any service and make reservations at restaurants instead of just walking in. Somehow, I managed to survive.
I lived in the Harbourside area when Corey’s Landing, Sabal Cove and Grand Bay were under construction, and, again, except for the arrivals and departures of the equipment for the day at the north gate, life went on as usual.
I welcomed all the new owners of all of the new properties. I was happy to have them living here. The buildings were a beautiful addition to Longboat Club Road, as were the incredible homes built just north of them. The new residents brought life and vitality to our restaurants, our businesses and enriched our lives as we made new friends.
I am astounded by the negativity of the opponents of the project. They appear to be living in a parallel universe far, far away, where there are no economic downturns, no plummeting property values, no budget constraints, no closures of businesses and no concerns about the graceless aging of Longboat Key.
Listening to their complaints about traffic, views and density makes me wish that all of us who came here long before they ever did had opposed the construction of the buildings they now call home, instead of graciously welcoming them and accepting the minor inconveniences that we all lived through during the building phases.
This project is about an opportunity to provide an economic stimulus that will be far reaching and will put Longboat Key back in the enviable position of one of the most desirable places to live in this entire country.
It will raise property values, it will pour money into the town coffers and it will bring life and vitality back to a town that is drying up. I say, build it and let them come!
So, I may not ever sell real estate in this town again, but it is not all about me. Too bad that so many of you think it is all about you.
Marnie Matarese is a 20-year Longboat Key resident and business owner, former Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce chairwoman and is currently a Re/Max Excellence agent.
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