Market snapshot: South Siesta Key (Turtle Beach Village)



At first, the southernmost portion of Siesta Key might not seem like much of a community. Small and large condo developments are on both sides of Midnight Pass Road and on the beach. Among them are a smattering of modest bed-and-breakfast inns, some cottages and a number of high-end, estate-sized houses. But the area is actually one of the more pleasant neighborhoods on the barrier island, with its combination of little street traffic and beautiful views of Little Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, plus Turtle Beach.

turtle1Turtle Beach Village offers a wide variety of properties, ranging from $200,000 condos to million-dollar luxury homes. Blind Pass, a large lagoon south of Turtle Beach Road, separates the main part of the key from the beach and provides additional waterfront space, most of it taken up by two- and three-story condos.

Compared with the popular Crescent Beach to the north, Turtle Beach can be downright deserted, with a more local than touristy atmosphere and plenty of seashells. It also has a small park with covered tables for picnicking.




It’s an easy walk to Midnight Pass, closed since the 1980s, when Syd Solomon, a well known local artist, struck a deal with the county to protect his home from erosion as the pass shifted northward, threatening properties on the southernmost tip of the island. He and neighbor Pasco Carter Jr. filled in the original pass and dug another 1,000 feet to the south.

But Mother Nature wouldn’t cooperate. The man-made channel between Little Sarasota Bay and the Gulf refused to stay open. As a result, Siesta Key and Casey Key are connected, offering a hearty trek of uninterrupted beach. Eventually, Solomon’s home was “engulfed” and was torn down by Sarasota County in 2004.

“I like the quiet neighborhood feel and uncrowded beach,” said Karen Greco, a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Co. who has sold a number of properties in Turtle Bay Village since 2006.

turtle2She has two condos listed in Sea Breeze, a small building constructed in 2004. The building has private elevator lobbies, enclosed garages instead of the usual carports, and deeded docks that can accommodate up to 40-foot yachts. The large, 3,700-square-foot penthouse takes up the entire third floor and offers spectacular views of the lagoon and the Gulf of Mexico.

Maggie Sievers was the first to move into Sea Breeze nine years ago, just after the building was finished.

“I was at the other end of the key and it was really crowded and noisy, and I wanted to be on the ocean. Then I came here and it was so peaceful,” she said.

“My husband and I both love it — we sit on the dock, we bike to the access, and then walk on the beach.”

The Sievers have contributed to making the area even more of a neighborhood. “We talked friends into buying across the street, so all we do is carry wine bottles back and forth,” Maggie Sievers said with a smile. “Everybody walks around here and is so happy.”

According to Greco, residents are a mix of retirees and working professionals — not a lot of families — and a good number live in Turtle Bay Village year round. Many use the public boat launch to the lagoon to go kayaking and paddle boarding.

“You can easily get to Sarasota Bay with its estuaries and mangroves. It’s a real nature lover’s delight,” Greco said.

Close-by amenities include a marina where boats can be rented, a pub and the Ophelia’s on the Bay Restaurant. A small grocery store is just up the street, and the Gulf Gate shopping center, as well as all the restaurants and stores on Tamiami Trial, are within easy driving distance across the Stickney Point Bridge.

Twenty sales were made last year in the community — 18 condos ranging from $209,000 to $550,000, and two houses at $530,000 and $1.6 million. According to Zillow, 14 properties are listed — 11 condos from $329,000 to $1.59 million and three homes from $1.5 million to $10.2 million.


Last modified: January 24, 2014
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