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Tidewell Foundation's Longboat building no longer listed for sale

The property was listed without the executive board's knowledge and all options are still being explored, according to an official from the organization.

The building located at 540 Bay Isles Road.
The building located at 540 Bay Isles Road.
Photo by Carter Weinhofer
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The Tidewell Foundation and Empath Health aren’t leaving Longboat Key any time soon.

Recently, the organization’s Longboat Key building was listed for sale by Ian Black Real Estate for $3.1 million.

But that was an error, according to new information from Empath Health Chief Mission Access Officer Rhonda Sanders-Allamon.

The listing is no longer active.

Sanders-Allamon said the idea of selling the property has been discussed by the executive board, but nothing was officially voted on.

Putting the building up for sale was just one option being explored by the board, and all options are still being explored, she said.

While exploring the options, Sanders-Allamon said Tidewell and Empath approached Ian Black Real Estate about conducting an appraisal. The property was publicly listed without the board's knowledge, only finding out about it by reading the previously published article in the Longboat Observer, Sanders-Allamon said.

“We were not ready to list the property and, still today, we’re exploring options, including meeting with the (town),” Sanders-Allamon said.

Previously, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Empath Health Kelly Allen said the organization was discussing the possibility of selling the location due to no longer wanting to operate a space and manage leases.

Sanders-Allamon, though, disagreed with that statement.

“We have management agreements all over, including Sarasota, where we’re the landlords and managers of those properties, and have a commitment,” Sanders-Allamon said. “This really boiled down to not being able to get wind and flood insurance on the island.”

Not being able to secure flood and wind insurance has been an ongoing issue for the property. That struggle was the key reason behind contemplating the sale, Sanders-Allamon said.

In January, Sanders-Allamon said the organization will meet with Mayor Ken Schneier to discuss the issues.

Currently, the property’s tenants include The Paradise Center, Fitness Quest Longboat Key, Bee Ridge Chiropractic, Doc Side Audiology and the office of Dr. Daren Spinelle.

The property, located at 540 Bay Isles Road, was last purchased in 2019 by SCATA Real Estate LLC for $1.75 million. Coming in at over 8,000 square feet, the property is about 30 years old.

SCATA Real Estate LLC was the real estate representative for Stratum Health System, the former parent company of the Tidewell Foundation.

When the space was purchased in 2019, Executive Director of The Paradise Center Suzy Brenner said The Paradise Center was very involved with planning to have the rotation group of medical professionals, allowing for an extensive array of services in the building.

In 2021, the Tidewell Foundation and Empath Health merged.

Continued care

The Tidewell Foundation and Empath Health are still committed to Longboat Key, mainly through the medical care they provide.

In 2022, the organization provided $8.5 million of uncompensated care to the communities it serves in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.

According to Sanders-Allamon, 90% of the care the organization provides is in-home assisted living care.

This continuum of services includes home health care, hospice care, palliative care, grief services and geriatric medical services.

Sanders-Allamon said the Longboat Key location, and the organization's presence on the island in general, is important for residents’ ease of access.

“We want Longboat Key residents to recognize that there is care on the island, they don’t need to leave the island to receive that care,” Sanders-Allamon said.

With recent conversations surrounding the future of the property management, the organization is in the process of hiring a local community partnership specialist.

A community partnership specialist is a role that the organization has implemented in other communities like Sarasota and Charlotte County.

The specialist, according to Sanders-Allamon, works to identify the needs of the community in which they work. Whoever is hired for Longboat Key would be in-tune with the local community, and Sanders-Allamon said the organization already has a couple strong candidates who live on Longboat Key.

To reinforce the organization’s presence, the specialist would attend meetings like Rotary Club and Town Commission meetings, and attend events to educate the community about available services.

When evaluating the community’s needs, a community partnership specialist can help to support programs such as laughter yoga, virtual dementia training and advanced care directives.

Laughter yoga, according to Sanders-Allamon, is an activity that can increase heart rate through laughter, creating a healthy and enjoyable event.

A community partnership specialist is a position that Sanders-Allamon said the organization is excited to bring to Longboat Key.

“We’re very committed to the island from a full-life care perspective,” Sanders-Allamon said.



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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