Market snapshot: Bradenton's Point Pleasant



Nestled on a point between the Manatee River and Wares Creek, just a short walk from downtown Bradenton, is the historic neighborhood of Point Pleasant.

Its vintage homes tell the story of many of Bradenton’s prominent families of days gone by, those with names such as Green, Rossi, Reasoner and Vanderipe.

point2It also has a housing stock that includes condominiums and duplexes among the historic houses, both big and small. And several new houses have gone up recently.




One has just been completed by Jeff Plunkett and Johnette Isham. They moved to Bradenton recently from Sarasota after Isham became director of Realize Bradenton, which is responsible for implementing the city’s cultural master plan.

Her job requires her to spend a lot of time downtown, either at her office or at various events. Some of them are held at Riverwalk, for which Isham has been a tireless champion. This weekend, she will be busy with the Bradenton Blues Festival.

And she can walk to it.

“When we put our Sarasota house on the market, we started to look at houses here,” said Isham. “Because we restored 25 antique houses in Rhode Island, we said we would look at the antique housing stock here.

“Fabulous houses, but they need a lot of renovation, and with the idea of getting an old house and rebuilding it the way you want, we said, ‘We will just start from scratch.’ ”

Isham and Plunkett were unfamiliar with Point Pleasant, but happened upon it while exploring the city.

“It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Bradenton,” she said. “It’s quiet, it’s beautiful and, best of all, it is a five-minute walk to Riverwalk, Old Main Street, to everything — even my office.

“We didn’t have that in Sarasota, and we wanted a neighborhood we could walk to. It was the perfect match.”

The couple bought five lots, three of them contiguous on First Avenue West. They built their house on one of them and are selling the other two. Mike and Jamie Carter, owner of O’Bricks pub and grill downtown, bought the other two lots and built their own new house with traditional architecture.

Isham’s house also has traditional architecture, but with Florida Friendly landscaping and many green features. She and Plunkett moved in a month ago.

She is proud of her new city, both for living up to its slogan, “The Friendly City” and for shedding its image, in the eyes of some, as “Bradentucky.”

“This is truly the Friendly City,” Isham said. “The first month I worked here, I said, ‘This is like “Cheers!” ’ You walk down Old Main and everyone knows your name, in a positive, friendly way. They say ma’am and open doors, and the cars stop in the middle of the road for you.”

In implementing the city’s cultural master plan, Isham learned that people in Bradenton “don’t want to be like Sarasota,” she said.

“There are fourth- and fifth-generation Manateeans. There is a great pride here. When we were living in Sarasota, often we went to events and realized we didn’t know anyone. That is not the case in Bradenton.

“It is definitely easier to get stuff done. People have a good spirit and row in the same direction. People have a real pride in what Bradenton has blossomed into.”

Cases in point: The popular row of restaurants on Old Main Street; the Riverwalk; the South Florida Museum; and the new Hampton Inn & Suites, a renovation of the historic Manatee River Hotel.

The desirability of Point Pleasant can be seen in the dearth of homes for sale: two.

A house at 120 18th St. N.W. is priced at $329,900 through Michael Saunders & Co. Built in 1948, it has four bedrooms and two baths in 2,808 square feet. At 304 15th St. N.W. is an unusual investment property: The Londoner Bed & Breakfast, with seven bedrooms and four baths in a 1920 house of 3,772 square feet, is $799,000 through RoseBay International Realty.

Recent sales have ranged from $39,000 to $90,000 for off-water lots and $121,000 to $300,000 for off-water houses.

The former home of Tropicana founder Anthony Rossi (1900-1993), at 1800 Point Pleasant Ave. W., sold in June 2012 for $600,600. The house has been demolished, making the three-quarter-acre site on the northernmost point of Point Pleasant one of the most desirable lots in the city because of its views from downtown on the east to Tampa Bay on the west.

Perhaps the most famous Point Pleasant resident is Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge, who lives in a house that is well hidden by landscaping.

Herald-Tribune entertainment writer Wade Tatangelo lived in the Point Pleasant Condominiums building, constructed in 1925, on and off for several years, including a year or so in the penthouse.

“It had a secret door leading to the roof and was said to be a speakeasy” during Prohibition, he said.

“We would take relaxing strolls around our quiet, cozy neighborhood with our dogs, or stroll over to Old Main Street for meals, drinks and live music.”

A walking tour led by historian Cathy Slusser is scheduled for March. A self-guided tour is at

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: December 6, 2013
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