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$10.25 million sale sets Siesta Key record By Harold Bubil Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 at 1:00 a.m.

An 8,600-square-foot mansion at 4300 Higel Ave. sold Thursday for $10.25 million, a record for the barrier island. It also was the highest-priced residential sale in Sarasota County since a $12.5 million deal in Regents Court, on Longboat Key, in April 2011. The previous Siesta Key record was set in

COURTESY PHOTO

February 2013, when the Snook Inn property,

The classically designed house at 4300 Higel

on the northern tip of the key, sold for $10 million.

Ave. is behind a gate and wall on a 1.58-acre lot. It's called Beach Manor because it has a private beach on a lagoon that opens to Big Pass.

"That is a pretty good price," said veteran Sarasota Realtor Lynn Robbins, of Coldwell Banker. "They got a darn good price. It is away from the busy end of (Siesta's) Shell Beach, and it is a newer house and meets the new hurricane codes. That is important to people." The house, completed in 2008, was designed by Clifford Scholz and built by Richard Perrone. Roger Pettingell, a Coldwell Banker Previews agent based on Longboat Key, said the sale was extraordinary because finding a buyer in that price stratum is never easy. "It is a spectacular house, great location, well-built," said Pettingell, who showed the property to prospective clients. "It was just a matter of finding the right person to buy it. We don't have a lot of $10 million buyers or properties. You could count on it that when the two converged, it would sell quickly." Pettingell pointed to the recent sale for nearly $7 million of a mansion dubbed Isle of View on Bird Key and a pending transaction involving a house in the Sanderling Club that is listed for $11.5 million as indicators of a flowering high-end market. "It shows that people are confident to buy at that level," he said. "You have to attribute confidence in the marketplace for people to be spending that money. "A rising tide lifts all boats. It gives confidence to the $3 million buyers, too." The sellers of the Higel Avenue property, which was listed at $10.98 million, were John and Karen Melk; the latter, who is with brokerage firm Michael Saunders & Co., was also the listing agent on the sale. The buyers, who are local residents but whose names were not released, were represented by Phyllis Garfinkel of Michael Saunders. "I'm going to Disney World!" Garfinkel said of her plans post-sale. She is planning to take her grandson along.

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John Melk has had a notable career on multiple fronts. He was the co-founder of Blockbuster Video and also developed Fisher Island in Miami, a luxury resort that is among the priciest locales in Florida. Karen Melk was his vice president of sales and marketing during the development. He also developed Musha Cay in the Bahamas, where Oprah Winfrey has vacationed. He sold the property to famed illusionist David Copperfield, but later sued the magician. "But they are speaking now," said Karen Melk, adding that she and her husband are moving to Naples to be closer to relatives in Miami. "David even calls John and invites him down to see what he's done with the property." Realtors expect a number of high-dollar sales to close in the coming weeks as springtime deals clear escrow. The Higel property, with classical design behind a gate and wall, is called Beach Manor because it has a private beach on a lagoon that opens to Big Pass. The house sits on a 1.58-acre lot.

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$10.25 Million Sale Sets Siesta Key record  
$10.25 Million Sale Sets Siesta Key record  

an 8,600 Square Foot Mansion ay 4300 Higel Ave sold for a record $10.25 million, a record for the barrier island on Siesta Key of Florida.

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