An unusual property with 11 bedrooms on Longboat Key recently sold for more than $6 million, but its new owners say it will remain a private-family residence.
The compound at 5541 Gulf of Mexico Drive, once owned by Sarasota-area philanthropists Alex and Betty Schoenbaum, was sold to trustees Winfred Hawkins and Kari Hawkins, on Jan. 22 for $6.75 million. It's the highest price for a single-family home sale thus far in 2021.
Thomas Netzel, a broker associate with the Downtown Sarasota office of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, said the new owners intend to keep the property as a family compound. Town records show the property is zoned for a single-family home, a two-family dwelling or a multi-family dwelling of less than 10 units.
The seller, listed in public records as trustee Sylvia Cheek, was represented by Joe Ring, a Naples-based agent with Coldwell Banker Realty.
“While a company could have used this as a corporate compound, the buyers are delighted to use it as it was intended, as a family compound and getaway,’’ he said in a statement.
The beachfront property, adjacent to the entrance of Joan Durante Park in the Manatee County portion of Longboat Key, offers about 14,000 square feet of living space over five individual living units, including a penthouse and four three-bedroom spaces, each with a kitchen and multiple bathrooms, Nezel said.
The three-story estate includes such features as a wine room, beachfront pool, sauna and gym. The land is just under an acre.
The Schoenbaums owned the property from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Frank Schoenbaum died in 1996. Betty Schoenbaum died at the age of 101 in 2018.
Median prices across Manatee and Sarasota counties in 2020 closed out the year up as compared to 2019 in most markets. In Manatee County, single-family home prices rose by 6.8% ($357,900) and 17.8% in Sarasota County ($350,000). Median prices for condominiums likewise jumped: 19.5% in Manatee ($239,000) and 7.3% ($276,745) in Sarasota County.
The property was listed in June with a price of $8 million. It was built in 1986 and renovated in 2002.