Bubil: The Bentley in the parking space? It could be worse


I may write often about high-end real estate, but I am just alarmed as many of you are about reports that, by 2016, half of the world’s wealth will be controlled by just 1 percent of the world’s population. But I doubt many of the 1-percenters have much interest in Sarasota real estate. Our prices are too low.

I know, you look at the $22 million price tag on Longboat Key’s Ohana estate and think I am missing a few cards from my deck.

But for a reality check, I always like to call upon my favorite real estate Shangri-la/whipping boy, Naples.

Here is my evidence that Sarasota is a bargain spot of upscale real estate. In 2012, a 21,600-square-foot mansion at 3100 Gordon Drive (not far from Gov. Rick Scott’s home) in Naples sold for $47.2 million. Now it is back on the market at $68 million.

Just up the street, a 20,554-footer has just come on the market at $58 million even. (Note how these sellers don’t bother with the $57,999,999 nonsense. It’s called class and sophistication.)

This property on 1.55 beachfront acres has six bedrooms and 11 baths and is advertised as “one of the most significant residences ever created in Naples.”

It has a guest house and a 500- bottle wine room, which is not especially large, but large enough that you need a guest house.

The tough thing about this listing is that the house was built in 1999 and sold for $27.3 million in June 2013. I’m not sure prices for 16-year-old mansions have doubled in the past year and a half, even if they have been updated.

Nearby are listings for an oceanfront, 1.5-acre lot at $25 million, a 2009 manse at $20 million and a 2002 mini-palace at $18.6 million. Do I sense a glut at the high end?

Anyway, the next time you can’t find a parking space on St. Armands because they have been taken up by Bentleys, don’t be too upset. It could be worse.

Bugatti Veyron-worse.


Coming up at 7 p.m. Feb. 10, I will host “Conversations at the Crocker,” the Historical Society of Sarasota County’s series at the Crocker Church, 1260 12th St., Sarasota.

The topic is “Young Turks of Sarasota Architecture,” featuring the new wave of designers who are making their presence felt locally with contemporary residential designs that build on the past and look to the future.

Tatania White, Chris Leader and Leonardo Lunardi are getting important commissions and making an impact on the built environment, while Damien Blumetti of Guy Peterson Office for Architecture is participating in the design of such influential structures as the Spencer House.

They will discuss their careers, inspirations and outlooks for the future of local design.

I will moderate. Admission is free for HSOSC members and $10 for others.

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: January 24, 2015
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