Market snapshot: Hidden Harbor, Siesta Key



Hidden Harbor, an upscale waterfront enclave of 36 homes on Siesta Key, more than lives up to its name. Its entrance on the bayside of Midnight Pass Road is easy to miss because of the dense jungle to either side.




Inside, a central lagoon with a canal provides access to Roberts Bay, but you wouldn’t know it when driving the two encircling roads. The homes backing up to it, and most of the luxurious mansions on the bay, are well-concealed by lush, dense vegetation.

hid2Although it isn’t gated, Hidden Harbor is a very private community.

The three winding roads, including Hidden Harbor Way, which leads to a peninsula jutting into the bay, are covered with reddish pavers and so thickly canopied by large, gnarled oaks and cedars that little sunlight manages to peek in. You get the feeling you’re in a deep, enchanted forest. There is an aura of magic, peace and serenity.

“I love that when you drive in, there is all that foliage. You have no idea of the privacy and exclusivity from the street,” says Marcia Salkin, a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Co. “It’s a very special neighborhood.”

Her listing at 1280 Hidden Harbor Way, close to the tip of the peninsula, is on a double lot with acreage on both sides of the road. As a result, it has both breathtaking views of Roberts Bay and a 60-foot, protected dock on an inlet of the sheltered side of the peninsula. The Tuscan-style home, designed by Sarasota architect John Potvin, is priced at $5.495 million.

Hidden Harbor’s secluded and tranquil atmosphere is the result of deliberate design. When it was platted in the mid-1950s for 38 units (two homes are on double lots), a greenbelt of trees and shrubs between Midnight Pass Road and the subdivision were included in the plan, and each lot had to have a vegetation barrier to shield it from neighbors.

One of the first residences, built in 1956 on lot No. 1 of the plat, was a Sarasota School of Architecture home with hints of Ralph Twitchell and Jack West.

Located at 5342 Hidden Harbor Road and listed for $3.2 million by Joel Schemmel of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, it retains much of its original attributes — wrapping screened patios and sliding-glass doors that connect the indoors and outdoors; tongue-and-groove, vaulted wood ceilings; and flagstone and terrazzo floors.

“The kitchen has been remodeled, but the rest is pristine,” says Schemmel, “and there are two docks.”

Because many of the homes in Hidden Harbor have been torn down and rebuilt or thoroughly renovated, the architectural styles are eclectic. There are “old Florida” houses, modernist and postmodern homes, Mediterranean villas and Key West-style mansions.

The house at 5137 Jungle Plum Road, listed by Lenore Treiman and Kim Ogilvie of Michael Saunders & Co. for $5.750 million, has the clean lines of contemporary architecture. Its central, 40-foot, panoramic floor-to-ceiling window overlook an infinity-edge swimming pool and marble deck, and offers a marvelous view of the lush mangrove island in the bay and the shoreline on the other side.

“What makes it so special is that it’s on three quarters of an acre of tropical splendor, and the house itself is a beautiful home with lots of architectural detail, as well as deep-water dockage,” Treiman explains.

Ogilvie adds, “It has a new, self-cleaning salt-water pool, and all the doors and windows were changed in 2013 to make it hurricane-compliant.”

The residents of Hidden Harbor are as diverse as the architecture. They include retirees, families with children, business people, and empty nesters who are still pursuing professional careers. Many are boating enthusiasts who appreciate the close proximity to Roberts Bay. “The canal was dredged in 2011, so it has deep-water access,” says Ogilvie.

Other benefits include reasonable homeowners’ association fees — $1,200 a year — and a convenient location on the key.

“The Out-of-Door Academy is just a stone’s throw away,” says Treiman. “Siesta Village and the beaches are close by, and, being near the northern end of the key, the mainland is easy to get to.”

With only 36 homes in Hidden Harbor, having five properties on the market is unusual.

Ranging in price from $749,000 to $5.570 million, they provide an opportunity for entry into a unique, luxury, waterfront neighborhood.


Last modified: August 1, 2014
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