In Brief: News from around Sarasota and Manatee



The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation will present bus tours featuring the work of Sarasota’s first great architect, Thomas Reed Martin, on Sunday, Oct. 13.

Martin designed more than 500 structures in his local career, from 1910 until his death in 1948.

The tour will be narrated by Ron McCarty, curator of the Cá d’Zan at the Ringling Museum of Art. Martin did early design work for the John and Mable Ringling mansion before the project was turned over to Dwight James Baum.

Martin came here from Chicago to work for socialite Bertha Palmer. He flourished during the 1920s Florida Land Boom, designing many fine houses and buildings in the Mediterranean Revival style.

The tours, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., begin and ends at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall parking lot.

Cost is $20. Pre-pay with a check to SAHP Inc., PO Box 1754, Sarasota, FL 34230; or call (941) 953-8727; or email; or pay online with Pay Pal at Cash or checks only on the day of the tour.


Ashton Woods Homes has opened a housing development called Whitaker Park, off Richardson Road in Sarasota County.

Michael Roche, vice president of sales and marketing for Ashton Woods Homes in the Tampa Bay region, said the home builder has 79 sites for its new one- and two-story designs.

Ashton Woods is offering nine floor plans at Whitaker Park, with three and four bedrooms ranging from 1,710 to 3,111 square feet of living area, and priced from $267,990 to $326,990.


John Neal Homes recently broke ground on its Palmavera model in the Haddington section of Country Club East at Lakewood Ranch.

The Palmavera is a new floor plan with 2,884 square feet under air. It has three bedrooms, a den and an open great-room layout.

“The Palmavera incorporates all of the elements of Florida living,” said Mark Sochar, building division president at John Neal Homes. “The views from this model will be stunning from the second you walk through the front door, with water seen from every bedroom and the great room. We’ll bring the outdoors in with the Palmavera’s open and airy single-floor design.”

Haddington features private roads, including its own transponder-controlled “residents only” gate, paver sidewalks, lush landscaping and upgraded landscape requirements for all residences.

Amenities include three gazebos — two with waterfront views — for gathering and relaxing, and a kayak launch. Homes will range from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, with home-and-homesite packages beginning in the high $400,000s. John Neal Homes’ model is expected to be complete in early 2014.

Country Club East is a gated community built around lakes, nature preserves and 18 holes of Rick Robbins-designed golf.

— Harold Bubil, real estate editor

Last modified: September 20, 2013
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.