Home for sale, lightly used


All Cal Warren wants for Christmas is for someone to buy his house.

A traveling man, Warren bought his lot and built his Longwood Run home in 1988. But the longest he has ever spent in the house at one time is six weeks. So now Warren is selling his 1,800-square-foot ranch house (with caged pool) for $250,000 through Lynn Robbins of Coldwell Banker.


Cal Warren in his lightly used Longwood Run home. Staff photo / Dan Wagner.

Warren is a producer, director and designer for live shows commissioned and booked by casinos, nightclubs and cruise ships all over he world, and he lives primarily in hotels. Often, he’ll be putting together a show in Fort Lauderdale (where Royal Caribbean casts rehearse before taking the production to the waves) when he gets an urgent phone call from Australia to come and fix a show in production there.

“I honestly never know where I will be doing a production next,” he said, sitting on his own sofa at his Sarasota home recently. The sofa is white but doesn’t show any wear.
“I was in Dallas last month doing floats for their big Christmas parade, which will be on TV Christmas Eve,” Warren said. “Recently, I signed on to direct the Ice Capades and I’m working on a cruise-line production of Saturday Night Fever with a cast of 24, which is pretty big for a ship show. My profession can be exciting and it’s always challenging, but it’s not work for someone who minds living out of a suitcase. For the decade before I built this home, I had lived only in hotels for 10 years straight. In some cities I was such a regular that I always got my same preferred room. I was like family to the staff.”

Warren ended up in Sarasota the way a lot of people do. “I came to visit a business associate who had a home on Lido Shores,” he said. “I took a walk around St. Armands Circle and started chatting with a real estate agent. He showed me this lot on Saturday and I bought it on Sunday. I had already put a down payment on a lot in Las Vegas because I was doing so much work out there that I thought I’d try home ownership. But, Sarasota really appealed to me and I backed out of the other contract. What has made living here possible is the easy access to an airport.”

Warren’s attorney closed on the property for him; he was out of the country working, but six months later, Warren moved into his U.S. Home-built house with three framed Erte art prints that he had purchased three years before and stored at a friend’s home.


Cal Warren made this fireplace himself in 1988. Staff photo / Dan Wagner

Playing off the Art Deco design of the prints and the black-and-white color scheme, Warren decided to furnish the home in a modern style using black, white and neutral colors. “Modern furniture wasn’t all that popular in the 1980s in Sarasota, and I had to buy things in Miami or have Kane’s order pieces like my dining room table and chairs, which are glass and Lucite,” said Warren. “Actually, the first things I purchased were the outdoor table and chairs. That’s were I ate my meals when I was in town. Slowly, I acquired the rest and in time I brought back small artifacts from projects in Bali, Scandinavia, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Russia, Kenya, Venice, Australia — places where I had staged musical productions. I only bring back things I can carry, no furniture.”

Soon, the house began to look like Warren’s personal space, a place that reflects his tastes and travels. “I love being here, and being able to cook a meal for myself is always a luxury since I normally eat in restaurants,” he said. “I favor comfort foods when I’m in my own kitchen, and lots of desserts. I also appreciate building a fire in the wood-burning fireplace, even if I have to crank up the air conditioner.”

The back of Warren’s home faces a nature preserve. To increase his privacy, Warren and his father planted a hedge that is now 9 feet tall and 40 feet long.

“Not being from Florida, I had no idea the thing would get so big,” said Warren. “But it makes the house very peaceful and private.”

But, because Warren is on call 24/7, he’s like a tourist in his custom home, which is sited on one of the two biggest lots in the development.

“I’ve had absolutely wonderful neighbors who take in my mail and they have a key to the house,” he said, “and I communicate by notes with the landscaper and pool people who have been with me for years. Without that kind of support, I would not have been able to maintain the house or have peace of mind about owning it.”


The house is listed by Coldwell Banker at $250,000.

But now Warren says he’s traveling more than ever and staying on jobs longer.

“Sadly, it’s impractical for me to be a homeowner,” he said. “I see my future in hotels once again. I’ll be doing more work for cruise ships, meaning that if I ever own again it should probably be in the Miami area. But who knows, I could get a project like the Ice Capades and end up in British Columbia rehearsing skaters at 6 a.m. in a freezing cold rink. I never know in this business.”

Warren will sell the furniture from his home and put his souvenir artifacts in storage.

He believes that when the house sells, he’ll probably be in another country and his attorney will have to take care of the closing of escrow.

6104 Nicole Drive, Longwood Run, Sarasota; 1,800 square feet under air; two bedrooms, two baths, den (possible third bedroom); $250,000; Lynn Robins, Coldwell Banker; 376-5077.

Marsha Fottler

Marsha Fottler has been a newspaper and magazine lifestyle, food and design writer since 1968 first in Boston and in Florida since 1970. She contributes to regional and national publications and she is co-publisher and editor of a monthly online magazine that celebrates the pleasures of the table called Flavors & More. (941) 371-8593.
Last modified: December 23, 2012
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