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Triton Bend
Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 3 years ago

Projects add inventory to market

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Longboat Key property has always been in demand.

But 2014 will bring what has been lacking since the beginning of the recession: new supply.

The Longboat Key Planning & Zoning Board approved the 16-unit Aria condominium project at 2251 Gulf of Mexico Drive at its regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 21 (see page 1A). Developer Jay Tallman, president of Ascentia Group LLC, who has partnered with Northbrook, Ill.-based BBC Key LLC to develop the property, plans to open reservations for the project Jan. 22. The property is home to the historic Villa Am Meer estate.

Aria is one of three confirmed projects that will give a shot of new inventory to the Key.

In March, Michael Saunders & Co. announced plans for the 11-unit Infinity condominium project at 4765 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

In an email to the Longboat Observer, company founder and CEO Michael Saunders wrote:
“With rising demand for new luxury condominiums clashing against a strained inventory of these properties, we are very excited to have Infinity on the horizon. Infinity will inhabit a pristine stretch of Longboat Key beachfront — offering unobstructed views of the Gulf —and is being brought to the market by a developer who not only understands what luxury buyers want, but who also has a track record of delivering some of the most acclaimed luxury communities in our region.”

Four of 11 residences planned for the Infinity condominium project at 4765 Gulf of Mexico Drive are under reservation, according to project developer Randy Moore, managing partner of Suwanee, Ga.-based Crossgate Partners.

“Interest has been high,” Moore said. “I think this has been for a few key reasons. First, no new condominiums have been developed on Longboat Key in more than eight years. Our project incorporates the best in hurricane protection and green standards not available in many of the projects on the Key.”

Originally planned for the location was the 11-unit Bleu Claire condominium project, which was unveiled in 2007 but was put on hold because of the economic downturn.

Construction for the project, which keeps the basic Bleu Claire footprint and has already been approved, is scheduled to begin in the spring.

Residences will have between 3,380 square feet and 5,456 square feet. Prices range from $2,825,000 to $4.95 million. Construction is anticipated to last up to 14 months.

Positano and Grand Mariner were the last two condominiums built on Longboat Key. Construction of the 32-unit Positano was completed in 2006. Although the Grand Mariner project was completed in 2008, Bank of America filed a foreclosure suit against its developer later that year, putting sales on hold, before current owners Ralph and Sheri Trine purchased the condo in 2011.

The Key is also getting a surge of new single-family home inventory.

The first of 13 homes planned for the mid-Key Triton Bend neighborhood was completed last week, and a second home is currently under construction and should be complete by the end of February.

Like Bleu Claire, the project is long-awaited. The properties went on the market nearly five years ago and were originally being sold as individual vacant lots instead of turnkey homes, but the project was “put on the back burner” because of the sluggish economy, according to Michael Saunders & Co. Realtor Walter Hackett.

Five homes are currently under construction, and two lots have been presold, according to Hackett and Barbara Najmy, both of Michael Saunders & Co., who are co-listing the project.

The completed home is a 2,841-square-foot home designed by architect Cliff Scholtz that’s available turnkey for $1,774,900. Floor plans have four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and range from 2,400 to more than 3,000 square feet, although custom designs are available.

Prices run from $1,437,500 to the mid-$2 million range.

Two of the lots have sold, according to Hackett. Sales have not yet been recorded at the Sarasota County Clerk of the Court Office. Hackett and Najmy are also marketing three spec homes that are currently under construction mid-Key at the site of the former Poseidon restaurant.

“The demand is out there,” Hackett said. “There just is no new construction supply, particularly on a spec basis.”

As for Aria, Tallman’s phone began ringing shortly after he announced the project in September.

He hopes to begin the estimated 15 to 17 months of construction in the summer.

Units are currently priced between $3.44 million and $4.25 million and range from 3,804 square feet to 3,940 square feet in a new four-story building.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected]


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