Market snapshot: Point of Rocks, Siesta Key



Geologists aren’t sure how long Point of Rocks, just south of Siesta Key’s Crescent Beach, have been visible. Jutting into the Gulf of Mexico for about a half-mile along the shore, the outcropping is composed of quartz sand and molluscan grindstone — quite different than the rest of Sarasota County, which has an underlayment of limestone with marl outcrops.


A 2003 report by University of South Florida scientists suggests that the rocks were in place “at least 1,800 years ago, and might have been there as long ago as 4,300 years.”

That makes Siesta Key one of the oldest barrier islands on the Florida West Coast.

point2For centuries, the rocks, visible above the water line at low tide, have been a landmark for seafarers. According to maritime lore, the area was also the starting point on treasure maps for buried pirate treasure.

The intertidal zone’s crevices and pools shelter crabs, small fish, starfish and other marine organisms. As a result, Point of Rocks is a popular spot for divers and snorkelers at high tide.

Point of Rocks also gave its name to the neighborhood that gradually grew from the 1920s on the shore of the key. It’s also called Point o’ Rocks on some maps.

One of the best-known residents was David Gray, who had his home there from 1936 until his death in 1968. An uncle by marriage to Eleanor Roosevelt, Gray was the U.S. ambassador to Ireland during World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. In January 1955, the former first lady paid him a surprise visit, startling the friends and relatives of arrivals at the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport when she stepped off a National Airlines plane unannounced.

Today, the neighborhood comprises about 100 luxury waterfront properties and more modest off-the-water homes along Point of Rocks Road and Point of Rocks Circle. They range from efficiency condos and duplexes to older houses and recently built estate mansions.

Architectural styles are an eclectic mix — Mediterranean, Key West, 1950s and ’60s beach cottages and modernist houses.

The largest and most prominent edifice is a seven-bedroom, 13,560-square-foot home overlooking the southern tip of Crescent Beach. It was built in 2010 by Gary and Elizabeth Kompothecras, of the 1-800-ASK-GARY attorney/doctor telephone referral service.

Another visually striking house is a white, modern structure designed by renowned Sarasota architect Guy Peterson and built by Michael Walker & Associates. According to listing agent Joel Schemmel, a Realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, “The owner lived there for a long time and replaced his ‘Sarasota school of architecture’ home with a new, larger place in 2008.” The asking price is $3,200,000.

“Point of Rocks has much more of a neighborhood feel that you would think, considering that it is in a touristy area,” says Schemmel. “People are friendly — most of them know each other.”

Residents include several doctors and other working professionals with families, retirees and some snowbirds for whom their houses are second or third homes.

A public walkway to Crescent Beach, where Point of Rocks Road comes off Midnight Pass Road and makes a sharp turn south, provides pedestrian access to Crescent Beach.

With no homeowners’ association, there are no neighborhood fees.

Since 2012, nine homes have sold, ranging from $112,500 to $1,400,000. All of them were off-the-water. There also were two land sales — a waterfront lot close to an acre in size for $2.1 million, and a half-acre inland property for $475,000.

Currently, eight properties are on the market. The smallest is an inland efficiency condo listed at $167,000.

The largest is a Gulf-front home sitting on well over an acre with almost 7,000 square feet under air, and an asking price of $4,995,000. Kim Ogilvie and Lenore Treiman of Michael Saunders & Co. have that listing.

Last modified: March 21, 2014
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