Market snapshot: Hudson Bayou in Sarasota


People drive past it every day on Mound Street — U.S. 41 after it veers east from Sarasota Bay — and have no idea it exists. Yet the pocket of land along Hudson Bayou across Orange Avenue from Selby Botanical Gardens is a one-of-a-kind waterfront neighborhood very much in the thick of things.




“It’s in the middle of everything downtown, but whenever I invited people and explained where it was, they looked at me like they had no idea what I was talking about,” said Nathan Frantz, who rented a house there from 2008 to 2011.

bayou2A violist with the Sarasota Orchestra, Frantz loved the convenience. “I could walk to downtown and to my rehearsals and concerts, if I wanted to. It was a great place for my two dogs, too,” he remembered. “I had two kayaks that I could get into the water off my dock.”

According to city records, the Hudson Bayou neighborhood extends all the way south to Bay Street near Sarasota Memorial Hospital, but this section is its own self-contained enclave off Hudson Street on the north bank of the creek, between Orange Avenue and the small inlet poking north just before Osprey Avenue.

The neighborhood consists of three condo developments and eight houses. The most prominent home is the famous Palazzo de Colores. Built in 2002 by Kurt Lucas of JKL Design, the gothic stone edifice looks like a cross between Hogwarts from the Harry Potter novels and the castle of mad King Ludwig of Bavaria.

Hudson Harbour is an orange stucco, Mediterranean-style condominium. Hudson Landings, another condominium, was built in 1989 and has two two-story buildings with eight units each. They come with a deeded dock, a one-car garage and a parking spot in an open-air lot.

The building closer to the water has wonderful views of the bayou. One of the residents bought two units and put them together. He also combined the docks to accommodate his 70-foot boat.

Martie Lieberman, a Realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International, has a water view condo listing in Hudson Landings. The three-bedroom, two-bath unit has 1,362 square feet under air.

“The development is beautifully landscaped, with a lovely garden and a heated swimming pool. It feels like a resort place,” she said. “There is really nothing like it elsewhere in the downtown area.”

Hudson Bayou attracts people who love to be on the water and appreciate the proximity to downtown. The ability to get into the bayou via boat or kayak and be in Sarasota Bay within a minute or two is a great draw. At the same time, Morton’s Market, Southside Elementary School, downtown theaters, restaurants, shops and art galleries are all within easy walking or biking distance.

Another enticement is the sense of seclusion and privacy, reinforced by large trees and lush vegetation throughout.

“I was surprised how quiet it is. It has a nice feeling, tucked away on the bayou,” Lieberman said.

A few of the residents work downtown. The rest are retirees. They are friendly but without imposing on one another.

Frantz, who has his own home elsewhere now, recently got married. He was able to rent his old place on the water in Hudson Bayou for the ceremony and reception.

“It was nice to reconnect with my neighbors on either side. When they saw me, they were happy to see me and asked, ‘Are you moving back here?’ ” he said. “It made me feel a bit nostalgic.”

Currently, three condos are for sale, two units in Hudson Harbor, priced at $179,500 and $259,750; and Lieberman’s listing in Hudson Landings at $574,000, reduced from $625,000.

“It’s rare to find something that conveniently located on the water and downtown for under a million,” Lieberman said.

Last modified: May 9, 2014
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