Market Snapshot: Siesta Cove in Sarasota


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There are a number of secluded neighborhoods along the bayside of Siesta Key. One of the most attractive is Siesta Cove, for its unique combination of peaceful ambience, lived-in quality, lush Florida foliage and family-friendly atmosphere.

This waterfront house at 5208 Siesta Cove Drive in Siesta Cove is listed for sale at $1.29 million by Barbara Ackerman of Coldwell Banker. Built in 1982, it has four bedrooms and five baths in 4,764 square feet. It last sold 25 years ago for $289,000. Staff photo / Harold Bubil

This waterfront house at 5208 Siesta Cove Drive in Siesta Cove is listed for sale at $1.29 million by Barbara Ackerman of Coldwell Banker. Built in 1982, it has four bedrooms and five baths in 4,764 square feet. It last sold 25 years ago for $289,000. Staff photo / Harold Bubil

Two entrances off Midnight Pass Road lead into the verdant, subtropical interior. Oaks, Norfolk pines and all kinds of palm trees abound, along with abundant, often colorful shrubbery. The community looks as beautiful at night as during the daytime because of all the uplighting homeowners have installed in their front yards.

Siesta Cove is platted for 84 parcels, two of which are listed on the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s site as “unimproved,” meaning they are empty lots. More than a third of the homes along Siesta Cove Drive are large, waterfront properties — some close to mangrove islands, others with stunning views of Sarasota Bay and docks directly on the Intracoastal Waterway. The rest are smaller, inland residences.

The neighborhood was originally developed from the mid-1970s to early ’80s in California Contemporary style, characterized by earthy colors to blend into forested environments. That is still the predominant architecture, but because of the spectacular views of the bay, many affluent buyers tore down the original houses along the water and replaced them with palatial, luxury homes. Now there are Mediterranean, Florida Ranch, Key West and modernist structures throughout.

As a result, Siesta Cove has same mix of waterfront mansions and more modest homes as many West-of -the-Trail neighborhoods. Residences range in size from 1,500 to more than 6,000 square feet. “You have million-dollar homes and affordable houses in the same neighborhood,” says Judie Berger, a Realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “I recently sold a remodeled, 2,300-square-foot home for $625,000.”

Her current listing at 5330 Siesta Cove Drive is a four-bedroom, Key West-style home with a saltwater swimming pool, a 40-foot dock and gorgeous bayfront views from nearly every room. The asking price is $2.1 million.

The adjoining property, which is listed separately at $1.3 million, is one of the unimproved lots. The owner, who is a master gardener, has put up a gazebo and created a beautiful tropical gardens.

When Berger asked him and his wife what they will miss most about leaving their home, they said, “The view of the bay and the wildlife.” The dolphins and manatees, and ospreys in their nests, apparently feel safe there because of the no-wake zone of the Intracoastal Waterway.

Although she doesn’t live there herself, Berger has a special love for the community and its family oriented character. “When I came to Florida in 1995 from New Jersey, Siesta Cove was the only neighborhood on the key where I saw swing sets and trampolines,” she remembers. “You just feel like you’re home.”

She continues, “There are retirees and working professionals — lots of doctors and lawyers. It’s is the epitome of a ‘favorite community’ — people move there, raise their kids, and then their grown children return to live there.”

According to Berger, Siesta Cove is also one of the best places in town to trick or treat at Halloween. “It’s like a national holiday there,” she says.

One of the residents has a potluck community super beforehand, and Berger usually helps out. “You either turn your lights off and leave until 9 p.m., or get into the swing of things, be prepared and have a ball,” she comments. “Last year we gave out over 1,400 pieces of candy!” she says.

Residents are understandably proud of their neighborhood. The homeowner’s association is active and has plans in the works to do an upgrade to the entrances, lighting, landscaping and irrigation, as well as new signage to reflect a newer, upscale feeling. Yet, HOA fees are very reasonable at $225 a year.

Amenities include Glebe Park, across from the northern entrance, which was acquired by Sarasota County in 1984 as a result of a land swap with the School Board. It has a picnic area, a playground, a number of youth baseball and soccer fields, and is now home to the Suncoast Sports Club.

Residents also like the convenient location. You can bike to Siesta Village, Out of Door Academy and the Gulf beaches on the key. Midnight Pass Road connects easily to the northern and southern bridges to the mainland, and from there to shopping malls, golf courses, restaurants and downtown Sarasota.

No wonder the real estate market has been humming in Siesta Cove. Over the past year, there have been 11 sales, ranging in price from $410,000 to $1.975 million.

Last modified: March 30, 2015
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