Page 1


8

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE


YOU worked hard... YOU saved...

YOU endured the cold and snow...

The time has come to

REWARD YOURSELF! Florida’s sunny shores and warm breezes are within your reach. Trust me, your fellow Canadian. I did it and so can you! Allow me the pleasure of showing you around town!

Lana Butsky Broker/Owner, CIPS, TRC Neapolitan Realty LLC Naples, Florida 239-777-2532 Info@NeapolitanRealty.com NeapolitanRealty.com

relentlessly pursuing perfection

TM


F

FROM THE PUBLISHER

oreigner buyers spent $82 billion buying up U.S. homes in the 12 months ended March 2011, up 24% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In places like South Florida, international buyers already account for a whopping 25% of the market. South Florida condo sales have been surprisingly strong, said Brad Hunter, chief economist for Metrostudy, a housing analytics company." And, the majority of those sales are to South Americans and Canadians," he said. Pending legislation could make the home buying interest even greater for international real estate purchasers. The bill, co-sponsored by Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) and Mike Lee (R.-Utah) would grant a U.S. visa to international investors who agree to spend at least $500,000 on U.S. residential real estate. If passed, the legislation could add to a surge in home buying, by international purchasers, that has already given some Florida markets a welcomed boost. About the Publisher: Canadian-born Mike Mattina has a passion for the Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle. His personal search for a home in Florida exposed a great need for area information not easily attained, and has propelled his present desire to assure comprehensive relocation, vacation and real estate information is readily available to international buyers seeking the Florida lifestyle.

Prices On The Rise In Florida According to a recent article in RealtorŽ Magazine Daily News, Florida cities have had the largest year-over-year increases in average list prices, according to the latest real estate data from Realtor.com. Florida cities make up 9 of the top 10 places for highest year-over-year list price spikes, based off of August 2011 data of 2.2 million listings in 146 markets. Miami leads with the overall highest percentage of year-over-year increases in average list prices at 27.4%. The following reflect the numerical ranking for the Southwest Gulf Coast: 2. Fort Myers-Cape Coral: Year-over-year increase of 26.27% 4. Punta Gorda: Year-over-year increase of 16.37% 6. Sarasota-Bradenton: Year-over-year increase of 15.86% 7. Naples: Year-over-year increase of 15.13% Shrinking Inventory The market continues a recovery trend, with strong numbers in both the pending and sold columns. More importantly, the available real estate inventory throughout Florida’s Southwest Gulf Coast area has been dropping steadily over the past nine months. Highlighting Tampa Bay. The year began with an available 11.8 months of inventory. As of September, the inventory stands at 5.8 months. The total real estate sales for the Tampa Bay region year-to-date reflects a 12.38% increase over the same time period in 2010. Notable Sale October 2011 sale of a Manasota Key 10,000 square foot estate, located at 6830 Manasota Key Road, Englewood Florida - sold for $4.8 million. Appreciation This publication would not be possible without the consistent and continued support of our advertisers. Thank you for making Florida Homes Magazine possible. Sources: Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, Sarasota Association of Realtors, Naples Area Board of Realtors, Realtor Magazine Daily News, CNN.com

12

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE


WELCOME

14

Your Paradise Lifestyle Awaits

Welcome to the life and lifestyle of endless sunshine and swaying palms that is the allure of Florida's Southwest Coast. Where near perfect weather year-round, the romance of sun swept beaches and magnificent sunsets attract visitors and seasonal residents alike. Consistently ranked in the TOP destinations, as well as one of the best places to live work and play, this area offers first-class accommodations, nationally ranked beaches, a rich history and a glimpse into the majestic wildlife that makes this region of the country so special.

Allow us to guide you on your ultimate Southwest Florida excursion. Featuring the vibrence and nightlife of the SUN COAST (Tampa, St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Tarpon Springs) the rich history and performance mecca of the CULTURAL COAST (Sarasota/Bradenton, Punta Gorda, Venice and Boca Grande) and the world-class amenities, artfully co-existing with untamed wilderness of the PARADISE COAST (Naples, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Sanibel/Captiva, Fort Myers and the Florida Everglades).

Award-winning communities, top-ranked golf courses, endless waterways and the relaxed Florida lifestyle create a unique harmony and global appeal. Since the late 1800's, Southwest Florida has been a popular destination for those seeking a warm therapeutic climate, resort amenities and sophisticated recreation. Her earliest “snow-birds” were industrialists and aristocracy. Today, their vision of the ultimate paradisiacal lifestyle lives on in the array of resort hotels, museums, worldclass restaurants, recreational and professional sports, first-rate boating and fishing opportunities, world famous beaches and extraordinary cultural amenities.

Whatever your lifestyle, or passion, Florida's Southwest Coast will offer abundance at every turn. You can experience the ultimate thrill at amusement parks, or on an air boat ride through the wilderness of the Everglades; seek sanctuary on a remote and unspoiled island retreat, or spend countless hours wandering the tranquil tree-lined streets of the quaint downtown districts. Opera or Osprey, hip and trendy, to soulful seaside exploration…your options are as endless as the regions pristine waterways and days of sunshine.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

Find your Perfect Piece of Paradise.


Home to some of the finest destinations in the world such as Naples, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Boca Grande and Sanibel Island, Florida's Southwest coast is most often noted for its majestic barrier islands and gorgeous gulf beaches, which lure millions to the local shorelines annually. Named for the Spanish feast of flowers, Florida's lush, exotic foliage flourishes throughout this Southwest region, filling the surrounding scenery with brilliant colors and intoxicating scents. Glistening waterways wrap around the region's miles of coastline providing peaceful passageways for dolphins, manatee and other aquatic life. Equally famous for historic districts, intriguing architecture and landmarks, the cultural attractions of Naples, Sarasota and Tampa include theatre, seasonal ballet, the symphony, and countless distinctive art galleries, along with a large population of local artisans. While festivals year-round such as the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa, the Sarasota Blues Festival and the Taste of the Islands in Nature enthusiasts are enamored with the plethora of natural treasures of the region. Camping, canoeing, hiking, the Vince Rookery, Corkscrew Swamp, and, of course, the famous Florida Everglades, with intriguing airboat excursions, provide outdoor educational and recreational adventures for all ages. The region's temperate climate, ample sunshine and southern breezes create the perfect backdrop for any type of outdoor recreation. Each area boasts a variety of public and private golf courses, many associated with gated communities and resort-style amenities. From the tranquil elegance of Lansbrook and the exclusive Cypress Run (Tarpon Springs) to The Founders Club (Sarasota) and the distinguished Olde Cypress Golf Community (Naples), discriminating homeowners and discerning golfers enjoy 12 months of glorious tee times, unhurried play and award-winning greens.

Going Coastal

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

15


SUN COAST

tampa

clearwater st. petersburg

bradenton sarasota CULTURAL venice COAST punta gorda boca grande cape coral ft. myers PARADISE naples COAST marco island


SUN COAST The Tampa Bay area begins our journey of the coastal experience. A cosmopolitan flair, with incredible natural resources, the Tampa area offers an array of attractions, professional sports, a rich history, cool bay breezes and miles of open waterway. The Sun Coast is comprised of various barrier islands and 35-miles of white-sand beaches, encompassed by the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater offer a tropical setting and hold year-round appeal for the angler, golfer, the arts and water sport enthusiasts. Home to award-winning beaches, including Caladesi Beach, America's number one beach in 2008, you're close to everything, yet you'll feel as though you're miles away from anywhere. In addition to award-winning beaches, the area offers attractions, recreation and aquatic educational opportunities. Visit a marine aquarium, experience a dolphin encounter, discover unique shops and boutiques, or sample the coastal cuisine. From elegant dining and moonlight dinner cruises, to completely casual barefoot beach relaxation, there's a perfect experience awaiting you on Florida's Sun Coast.

CULTURAL COAST A European style city, Sarasota is home to an abundance of outdoor recreation, cultural amenities beyond compare, awardwinning beaches, outstanding cuisine and world-renowned shopping. The Cultural Coast includes Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice accompanied by surrounding communities. Beyond the allure of the over 35-miles of stunning beaches, you'll find a rich history, magnificent architecture, award-winning communities, miles of boating water and lush golf courses. Home to a world-class ballet company, numerous playhouses, the Florida West Coast and the Venice Symphonies, along with a plethora of art galleries, the region plays host to festivals, visiting artists and exciting exhibits year-round. Each area of the region reflects a unique personality. From Boca Grand's tropical island ambiance, waterfront dining and the feel of “Old Florida,” to Bradenton and Venice, with their friendly, small-town allure, historic ambiance and tranquil pace. Loose your self on sun swept beaches, aboard your boat, in a museum, or on the green. Take a dinner cruise, bike or hike the grounds of one of the area's nearby State Parks. There is something for everyone on Florida's Cultural Coast.

PARADISE COAST Nestled between the calm azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the subtropical wilderness of the Florida Everglades, Naples and surrounding communities boast miles of unspoiled beaches, incredible wild life, upscale amenities, award-winning neighborhoods, over 130 highly acclaimed golf courses, culinary delights, cultural events, art exhibits and exquisite sunsets. Snorkel, stroll, shop or shell. Tantalizing island fare and local bounty, or international cuisines, an abundance of dining options are available in the region. Naples, Marco Island & the Florida Everglades comprise The Paradise Coast. Neighboring communities include Fort Myers, known as “The City of Palms” and Fort Myers' beaches, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, with their laid-back island culture. Here you'll discover a gentle pace and tropical ambiance. Home of the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, the unsurpassed natural beauty of this region and strong nature conservancy focus captivates the outdoor and wild life enthusiasts. From upscale to economical, whether you prefer fishing, shelling, tennis, nature hikes or swamp buggy excursions…this quintessential Florida community welcomes you. FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

17


SUN COAST

SUN COAST

TAMPA, ST. PETERSBURG, CLEARWATER, LARGO, MADEIRA BEACH, TREASURE ISLAND, TARPON SPRINGS, PALM HARBOR

The Sun Coast, also recognized at the “Nightlife Capital of Southwest Florida” is also known as a boating and fishing paradise. Home to three award winning beaches, this region is geographically defined by the Tampa Bay area and numerous barrier Islands. For families, entrepreneurs, artists, nature enthusiasts, retirees, as well as beach goers and boaters, longing for the endless sunshine and enviable lifestyle of Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast, the Sun Coast is beyond compare. The Sun Coast includes the communities of Tarpon Springs to the north, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach, Largo, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, and St. Petersburg, recently regarded among America's Top Livable Cities.

The Tampa Bay area, rich with natural resources, unmatched beaches, endless waterways and marvelous attractions makes this region of Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast one of the top destinations for visitors, as well as those looking to relocate to the Sunshine State. Boasting the largest performing arts center in the southeast, the largest science museum in the south, 2008's number one beach in America, tens-of-thousands of acres of natural preserve, the number one zoo in the country for children, along with a vibrant business climate, the life and the lifestyle are unsurpassed on Florida's Sun Coast. Experience award-winning beaches and gorgeous waterways, where you can lounge, fish, swim, sail or shell. Take a

18

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

magnificent moonlit dinner cruise, visit the Henry B. Plant Museum, with its fine furnishing and incredible architectural presence, schedule a tee time on one of the Tampa Bay area's gorgeous golf courses, or watch some of the world's best performers at the Tampa Bay Arts Center, one of the largest performing art centers in North America. The Sun Coast's natural bounty is expansive in their nature parks and preserves. The regions commitment to the preservation of natural resources and dedication to protecting vulnerable marine and avian life is seen in the area's vast wildlife sanctuaries, rehabilitative, rescue and research aquariums.

Wild Adventures…choose your venue. Sensational roller coasters at Bush Gardens and the interactive wildlife expositions at the Florida Aquarium, or visit the Lowry Park Zoo offering close encounters with over 2,000 animals housed in natural habitats. Invigorating professional sporting events, big game fishing, or a night on the town at one of Tampa's trendy hotspots, whatever your skill or thrill, the Sun Coast promises to engage your senses and capture your heart. Tampa's Latin Quarter, has a reputation of “party central” in Tampa Bay. One of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida, Ybor (pronounced Eebor) City's quaint streets, trendy galleries, live music and exceptional cuisine


draw thousands to its energetic atmosphere and old-world charm. This particular destination has also given rise to Tampa's recognition as “the Nightlife Capital of Florida's West Coast” and offers an exotic blend of scents, sights, sounds and flavors. A tropical climate of quiet and calm draw visitors and residents to the prominent destination of Clearwater/St. Petersburg. Award-winning beaches, a rich history, a thriving economic base, numerous attractions, along with a host of special and sporting events offer a wide variety of activities in this quiet coastal community.

In addition to marvelous beaches and amazing Gulf of Mexico sunsets, you'll find endless boating opportunities, with yachts, sightseeing boats, dinner cruises and even a pirate ship at the Clearwater Marina. Be amazed by the work with rescued and vulnerable sealife at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, or experience St. Petersburg's infamous Sunken Gardens.

Location Florida's west coast , Hillsborough County, just north of Sarasota, 25 miles in from the Gulf of Mexico. Geography Hillsborough County 1,050 square miles of land area Temperature 82° F average high temperature 61° F average low temperature 73.1° F annual average temperature Annual Precipitation 44.8 inches Average Annual Sunshine 346 days Population Hillsborough County 1,197,317 residents Airport Tampa International Airport is located just five miles west of downtown Tampa on the east shore of Tampa Bay General Information: 813870-8700. St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport is located on State Route 686, Roosevelt Blvd. 4 miles north of St. Petersburg.

Boasting the Henry B. Plant Museum, a Children's Museum, Museum of Fine Art and a History Museum, along with various cultural venues including St. Pete's Florida Craftsmen Gallery and Mahaffey Theatre complex, the cultural amenities of this community are impressive. Live theatre and performances are featured at Ruth Eckerd Hall and The Palladium Theatre, home of the St. Petersburg Ballet Company. Tarpon Springs is home of the world-famous Sponge Docks, graceful mansions and a Mediterranean heritage peacefully coexisting with casino cruises, championship golf and deep sea charters. The historic downtown features a vibrant city center of galleries, restaurants, antiques and specialty shops.

SUN COAST

Clearwater Beach is consistently ranked as of the best Florida Beaches and one of the most popular with families. Secluded Caladesi Island holds the title as “America's Number One Beach” in 2008. A largely undeveloped barrier island, Caladesi is only accessible by boat. This little piece of heaven offers a 3mile nature trail, dockage for your boat and ferry access to the nearby Honeymoon Island.

Tampa, along with its neighboring communities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, are located midway down Florida's west coast. Surrounded by miles of waterway, the region offers world-wide appeal as a resort destination, as well as a comfortable place to live.

Sea Port Port of Tampa 1101 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL 33602 (800) 741-2297 Cost of Living Index 98 (U.S. average is 100) Median Resident Age 41.24 Years

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

19


DON’T MISS

SUN COAST

THERE’S A SUNNY SIDE TO THIS AREA OF FLORIDA’S WEST COAST THAT MAKES IT A HOT SPOT AMONG THE WORLD’S DESTINATIONS. FUN ‘N SUN LOVERS COME FROM AROUND THE GLOBE TO THE BEACHES OF ST. PETERSBURG AND CLEARWATER EARNING THIS REGION THE TITLE OF FLORIDA’S “SUN COAST”. Savor the Flavors After a day at the beach, the museums, on the course, or at any of the host of attractions throughout the Sun Coast, escape to a tropical paradise for a marvelous meal at Fish Tail Willy's, or tantalize your senses with the meticulously chosen menu at Jorge's Seafood Grille. Satisfy the most discriminating taste with exquisite meals at Savant Fine Dining, or experience old-school cuisine and professional service, dinner and dancing at the Wine Cellar in Redington Beach. Voted one of the “20 Best New Restaurants” in Florida, by Florida Trend Magazine, Middle Grounds Grill, at Treasure Island, features the freshest in local fare, while Britts Laguna Grill serves up sunsets almost daily in the coolest tropical paradise location on Clearwater Beach. For the epitome in European allure, try St. Pete's Cafe Alma, celebrating community, art and intellect with live entertainment. Notable Nightlife The Tampa Bay area sizzles with chic nightlife locations and tropical retreats. Bay Area bands crank out jazz, blues, rock, country and salsa at clubs and restaurants throughout the region, The “Soul of St. Petersburg,” BayWalk is an open-air entertainment complex sure to please in the heart of downtown. Let loose at Y'bor City's Green Iguana, or try a famous “martooni” at the Chic-a-Boom Room in Dunedin, serving as a haven for those looking to relax and enjoy mingling. New York New York, in Clearwater, serves up an entertaining ambiance and great local bands. A “must visit” is the highly popular Shephard's Tiki Bar, right on Clearwater Beach. This raucous establishment is a favorite of fun-loving souls. Come by boat, or by car, but don't miss it. Water Wonders With miles of endless shimmering waterways, lakes, rivers and secret hidden backwater, you can fish to your heart's desire. Whether you prefer a pier, or the deck of a deep sea charter, the Sun Coast is sure to thrill you. Hubbard Marina at John's Pass, in Madeira Beach Florida is West Florida's Leader in Deep Sea Fishing for 40 years, offering all types of water excursions, including sightseeing tours. While you're there, don't miss the Pirates Cove Bar. Exhilarating lunch or dinner cruises are sure to please in Tampa and St. Pete. All aboard for a Dixieland lunch, or a glamorous dinner cruise with

20

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

stunning water views. Watch the dolphins cavort from the Dolphin Encounter® Cruises and view these graceful marine mammals along with the gorgeous shoreline of Caladesi Island. Native Adventure An unsurpassed abundance of parks, nature preserves, estuaries and exhibits will have you on a first name basis with many of the true Florida Natives. Few destinations offer the opportunity to visit sanctuaries specifically focused on rescue and rehab of Florida's vulnerable wildlife. Located in Indian Shores, The SunCoast Seabird Sanctuary is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of injured avian life, with an on-site hospital. The Lowry Zoo, the Florida Aquarium and the Tarpon Springs Aquarium offer experiences with marine and wildlife most will never forget. Or, strike out on your own adventure at one of the many preserves. Brooker Creek Preserve's 8,500acres are sanctuary to over 50 reptiles, 40 mammals, 160 bird species and 20 amphibians, of which many are rare or listed as protected. Shell Key Preserve is a 1,755-acre preserve, whose unique habitat provides a sanctuary for vulnerable and protected wildlife species. Moccasin Lake Nature Park, a 51acre preserve, or Boyd Hill Nature Park located on Lake Maggiore, a 245-acre preserve, will bring you up-close to many of the endangered plants and rare wildlife of the Tampa Bay area. Botanical Bounty Not only is the region rich in botanical beauty, but also features the added benefit of a rich history and culture. The signature destination of St. Petersburg's Sunken Gardens, first opening in


1935, offers rare foliage, along with a magnificent butterfly garden. The beautiful Palm Arboretum sits on two-acres of bounty offering hundreds of botanical specimens. Florida Botanical Gardens features 90-acres of protected wetlands and endangered scrubland, along with an abundance of spectacular color throughout the year, and a very special Children's trail. A member of the National Register Of Historic Places, Weedon Island Preserve, situated on Old Tampa Bay, was once home to at least four prehistoric cultures who thrived on the area's natural abundance. The Cultural and National Historic Center features a creative blend of environmental education infused with the Weedon Native American Indian culture.

Creative Expressions An exciting array of annual festivals, street performers and events can be found year-round on the Sun Coast. Live theatrical, orchestra and ballet performances are featured at Ruth Eckerd Hall, The Mahaffey Theatre and The Palladium Theatre, home of the St. Petersburg Ballet Company. St. Petersburg regularly tops the nation among art destinations. The Museum of Fine Arts, along with the Salvador Dali Museum offers examples of paintings, glass, decorative objects, photography, and antiques. The Gasparilla Festival of Arts attracts hundreds of artisans and art enthusiasts to the exhibits of photography and jewelers, sculptors and painters.

Thrills and Spills With exhilarating attractions like Busch Gardens' Gwazi, a double wooden coaster, boasting the title of the Southeast's largest, and The Serengeti Plain, featuring hundreds of exotic African animals, to professional baseball, professional football and hockey, you're never far from the action on the Sun Coast. Sunscreen Required Known for award-winning beaches, this region offers a plethora of pristine shore line. Home to America's number one beach in 2008, Caladesi Island State Park, which is dog friendly as well as family friendly, Clearwater offers a cornucopia of top-rated sandy destinations including the Number one beach in 2005, Fort De Soto Park. For a high energy beach excursion try Clearwater Beach, with hotels, beachwear boutiques, a marina and the infamous Pier 60. Relaxing on the beach, with no highrises in sight, Pass-A-Grill on the lower end of St. Petersburg Beach offers a tranquil respite, or for those seeking a more “secluded” approach try Shell Key Preserve, no structures, just palms, dunes, white sandy beaches and resident wildlife. Ambient Accommodations From modest to magnificent, the accommodations on the Sun Coast are as unique as the communities themselves. Five-star resorts, boutique hotels, or bed and breakfasts offer a restful environment to soothe the senses. One of the most famous, situated on a 22-acre bluff overlooking Clearwater Bay, the Belleview Biltmore, built in 1897, is a private, waterside, fullservice resort offering golf, tennis, spa and beach club. Discover distinctive personal service and heartwarming ambience at the Quorum Westshore Tampa, or loose yourself at the highly acclaimed Innis Brook Resort, Palm Harbor, a 900-acre impeccable resort offering top ranked golf courses, tennis, a host of restaurants, lakes and trails. Don't miss Ybor City's beautifully restored boutique hotel, The Vincente de Ybor Historic Inn, built in 1895, and the true centerpiece of Ybor City's historic district.

SUN COAST

Niche Excursions Lively, quaint, fragrant and scenic effectively describe the many hidden treasures of the Sun Coast. Tampa's Hyde Park Village provides a perfect backdrop with its tree-lined streets, brick courtyards and fountains. You'll find an array of dining, shopping and entertainment options from The Channel Side Bay Plaza to Ybor City's historic Seventh Avenue, named as one of 2008's “Nation's Greatest Streets” by the American Planning Association. Discover an eclectic urban village in the heart of St. Petersburg at the Grand Central District, or immerse yourself in the ambiance and a rich history at The Florida Orange Groves Winery. John's Pass Village offers the feel of a unique fishing village, with shopping, dining and entertainment for the whole family. Scenic boardwalks, great restaurants, specialty wine making, and even a streetcar will transport you to the enchanted sites, sounds, aroma and rich culture of the region.

Clearwater annually hosts their four-day Jazz event featuring street performers, crafts and music. In Largo, visit the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, featuring the work of Florida artisans, or Heritage Village where Florida History comes to life. Known for its small intimate atmosphere, don't miss the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center hosting Broadway musicals, plays and concerts year-round. Don't miss the Henry B. Plant Museum, housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, an architectural majesty and a designated National Historic Landmark.

Days on the Green There are plentiful manicured greens in this Golfer's Paradise, with over 300 semi-private and public golf courses, along with an average of 346 days of sunshine. Host to major golfing events, you'll find challenging courses readily available, along with golf academies to assist you sharpen your skills. TPC Tampa Bay has recently received the number 18 ranking of the top 50 public facilities in the country, by Golf World Magazine in their annual 'Reader's Choice: Best Places To Play' edition.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

21


SUN COAST

HAPPENINGS Year-round outdoor festivals, with tantalizing fare and spectacular sounds can be explored on the Sun Coast. Indoors, the live performances command audiences at the Mahffey Theatre January through May, and the Tampa Bay Performing Art Center almost year-round. Spectacular shows and concerts at the St. Petersburg Times Forum offer more than 150 events, annually, including ice shows, the circus and indoor sports. Enjoy year-round walking tours of the Downtown St. Petersburg Historic District, or party in Palm Harbor during their First Friday's events, when the historic district transforms into a large block party, with live entertainment and art exhibits.

Fair taking place in Tampa's trendy downtown area with courtyards and tree-lined streets. Spectacular surroundings augmented by amazing sculpture, photography and one-of-akind jewelry. May brings the Annual Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races in Garrison Channel featuring team paddling in a fiercely competitive fashion.

In January, convene with colorfully costumed Pirates during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in downtown Tampa, or explore over 100 area artisans at the Dunedin Fine Art Festival.

Things begin to crank up come October with the NSRA Southeast Street Rod Nationals where vintage auto collectors from around the globe gather at the Tampa Florida State Fairgrounds. This show features over 1,400 pre-1949 vehicles in the “largest street rod show in the Southeast.” In the Lively Latin District “Guavaween” the annual celebration in Ybor City attracts thousands from around the world to the spirited parade and magnificent music venues.

February brings one of Tampa's signature annual events celebrating the Latin Heritage of Ybor City during the Sant'Yago Knight Parade and Family Festival. Experience the best of Seafood and Blues at the Annual Sea Blues Festival in Clearwater's Coachman Park, or “Mardi Gras on Main Street” in Downtown Dunedin. March plays host to the annual Gasparilla Festival of Arts where hundreds of sculptors, photographers and various artisans, from around the globe, display their work in downtown Tampa. Just in time for the onset of April, St. Petersburg gears up to host it's Annual Folk Fair featuring ethnic villages, and authentic costume, with demonstrations of time-honored craftsmanship and ethnic cuisine. In April and May the three-week Clearwater Fun N' Sun Festival plays host to over 40 events, with musical venues ranging from classical and jazz to that cool Latin beat. This is also the month for the highly anticipated Hyde Park Village Art

22

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

In June and throughout the summer months, spend a night under the stars with some of nature's most amazing animals at the Lowry Park Zoo's Summer Safari Nights.

Sample the freshest seafood fare in November, with vendors and restaurants treating visitors to their famous seafood specialties during the Ruskin Seafood and Arts Festival, or if you're so inclined, sample some of the finest Cigars in the world at the Ybor City's Annual Cigar Heritage Festival. This festival brings amazing aromas, great food, live music, drinks and fun for the whole family. A host of parades, both on and off the water, holiday concerts and seasonal performances are featured, annually, during the holidays on the Sun Coast. Experience the charm of the 19th Century holiday at the Tampa Bay Hotel during the Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum, chosen one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events in December.


coverprofile A neighborhood within itself, yet an inspiration to the Sarasota community, Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay has unique qualities that are unmatched anywhere. With exquisite views of Sarasota Bay or the Gulf of Mexico that can be seen from every residence, this spectacular location in the premier area of Sarasota will surpass even the most demanding of expectations. Residents experience a life of luxury and convenience at Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay. An abundant list of resort-style amenities frees residents from the daily responsibilities, expense and stress of home ownership while encouraging them to pursue an active lifestyle within a supportive community-centered environment.

PLYMOUTH HARBOR ON SARASOTA BAY

inclusive. supportive. inspired waterfront living FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

23


Spawned from the dream of The Rev. Dr. John Whitney MacNeil, Plymouth Harbor opened its doors to a luxury and inclusive lifestyle in 1966. Beyond superb quality, this interfaith community is grounded in shared values, integrity, innovation and trust. One of the area's most distinctive communities for vibrant and active adults, their long established tradition, based upon strong principles and a level of excellence, continues to attract generations of exceptional residents. The atmosphere at Plymouth Harbor provides a foundation which supports a resident's sense of independence and dignity, while creating both inspiration and opportunity to follow their dreams. Residents enjoy an engaging environment where they become part of the Plymouth Harbor family including their neighbors, a compassionate and committed staff, along with an engaged board of directors. Plymouth Harbor is located on Coon Key, a unique sixteen-acre sanctuary nestled on pristine Sarasota Bay. The beautifully maintained campus includes serene walking trails, resident gardens, boat slips, kayak and canoe launch, and a refreshing outdoor pool area. Residents enjoy the natural habitat that surrounds this tranquil tropical setting. For over forty years, Plymouth Harbor has successfully and seamlessly met the need for an appealing luxury lifestyle, while providing for the possible future needs for health care and supportive living. A not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) attracting dynamic residents over the age of sixty-two, community residents are eager to embrace the next chapter in the journey of living in a supportive and luxurious waterfront setting. Thoughtful Design The award winning architecture is not only evident in the modern exterior, but in the vision of customizing contemporary residences and designing the interior common areas that invite residents to connect with one another. Many customized residential options allow each resident to create a living environment to express their unique personal style, within the intimacy of one of the Plymouth Harbor Colonies. Architect Frank Folsom Smith designed Plymouth Harbor after Denver landmark Brown Palace Hotel to offer the greatest feeling of light and openness. Every three floors are grouped as a spacious colony, sharing an atrium and balcony. Each colony has its own representation on the resident’s association. They often gather for community-wide occasions and volunteer projects.

24

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

The building was ingeniously designed to offer a wide variety of residential options, featuring eighteen different floor plans to suit the evolving lifestyles of residents. Many of the residences feature spectacular views of Sarasota Bay, the Gulf of Mexico or the surrounding city sites. Customization of individual residences is highly encouraged to best suit the needs of each resident and allow for a smooth transition into their new living environment. A stunning renovation of the main lobby has recently been completed, which has retained the urbane style and character of the original design. The interior amenities include a fitness facility, wellness clinic, indoor whirlpool, message therapy center, indoor therapy pool, business center, full service dining restaurant, café, chapel, art studio, woodworking shop, theater, and library. Both residents and staff are enthusiastically involved in coordinating programs, performances, lecture series and social events. Plymouth Harbor has over 200 independent living residences, promoting a carefree luxury lifestyle. Monthly fee includes: All utilities, including cable television, local telephone services, electricity, sewer and water, maintenance services, weekly housekeeping service, weekly change of linens and towels, medical emergency alert system, daily monitoring system, security services, transportation and shuttle services, programs and events, and fitness programs. Delectable Cuisine “The flavors of life at its best” appropriately describe dining at Plymouth Harbor. With the feel of a 5-star hotel or restaurant, you'll find superb and varied menu selections served in an atmosphere of casual elegance. The Mayflower Dining Room serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, while the Plymouth Rock Café offers casual fare and cocktails 6 days a week from 11:30 am - 7 pm. To assist residents plan for special events and gatherings, there is private catering available throughout the year. From a formal dinner, or reception to an intimate affair, the professional and courteous staff assist to assure your event is memorable.


Philosophy of Overall Wellbeing The Plymouth Harbor philosophy includes a proactive approach to healthy living and overall fitness, while maintaining preparedness to attend to the healthcare issues of each resident on an individual basis. Their philosophy embraces a continuum of care, providing supportive services to assist with navigating the challenges of life as they occur. Onsite access to first-rate health care services and Medicare certified Smith Care Center offers incredible piece of mind when medical needs arise.

In addition to the outstanding services and amenities, life at Plymouth Harbor assures resident's priority access to assisted living, home care services, rehabilitation and skilled nursing services all on one campus. Residents and staff of Plymouth Harbor share a love of the water and boating, a passion for helping others, a natural spirit of friendship and a sense of belonging. Plymouth Harbor is home to all who love gracious and carefree living, embraced by stunning vistas of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf.

inspired waterfront living FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

25


Like its historic counterpart far to the north, Plymouth Harbor is a lively community committed to an exceptional independent lifestyle.

Distinctively Sarasota Although there is no need to leave the all inclusive Plymouth Harbor, it is conveniently located just minutes from the renowned shopping and dining of St. Armands Circle, Sarasota's continually evolving downtown area and a thriving Cultural District. As a resident of Plymouth Harbor, cultivate lifetime friendships with like-minded adults in an atmosphere that truly strives to promote the well-being of humankind. The nearby civic, arts, and cultural opportunities available make Plymouth Harbor and Sarasota a very unique community in which to call home. A Tradition of Excellence As the decades have passed and times have changed, Plymouth Harbor continues to attract vibrant residents, both nationally and internationally. It has evolved into one of the premier continuing care retirement communities in the United States and is recognized as an employer of choice in the region. The name of Plymouth Harbor reveals much about the foundational values it embodies.

Featured Amenities Mayflower Dining Restaurant, Plymouth Rock Café, Private Dining Room, Business Center, Mezzanine Art Gallery, Theater, Recreation Facilities & Activities, Full Time Program & Event Staff, Heated Outdoor Swimming Pool, Heated Indoor Therapy Pool, Whirlpool, Fitness/Wellness Center, Calm Center with Massage Therapy, Art Studio, Library/Media Center, Boat Dock & Kayak/Canoe Storage, Island Boardwalk & Pavilion, /Waterfront Walkway, Gift Shop, Chapel, Shuffleboard Court, Sewing Room, Woodworking Shop, Colony Areas & Balconies, Bridge, Scrabble, Weekly Programs, Weekly Movies, Personal Gardens, Waterfront Fishing. Come experience all that Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay has to offer. The residential team provides informative tours of the impressive campus, exceptional facilities and available residential options.

WATER VIEWS

From Nearly Every Residence

“There is no other place in Sarasota with the views and location like this. Not to mention the convenience of being so close to downtown Sarasota and the cultural scene. We are within a few minutes' walk of St. Armands, one of the most beautiful shopping areas in the world. We see people making the mistake of postponing the "good life." We decided years ago that Plymouth Harbor was the place where we could have our freedom to enjoy our later years.”

Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay 700 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236 941.365.2600 - email: info@plymouthharbor.org www.PlymouthHarbor.org

26

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE


plymouth harbor offers a five-star lifestyle

Programs & Events Lifelong Learning Lectures & Classes, Art Gallery Exhibits, Music Concerts, Resident Play Production, Bridge, Scrabble, Mahjong, Book Discussions, Chapel Talk, Writer's Workshops, Wellness Programs, Aquacises/Yoga/Tai Chi, Movies, Support Groups. Medical Services Emergency Nurse Call System, Skilled Nursing Care, Rehabilitation Therapies, Home Care Services, On-site Dental Services, Pharmacy Delivery Services, Respite Care, Hospice Care. Convenience Services Daily Transportation for Shopping and Errands, Personal Courier Services, Bus Service to Cultural Events, Beauty Salon & Barbershop, Laundry Facilities, Dining & Catering Services, Notary & Fax Services.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

27


CULTURAL COAST

CULTURAL COAST

S A R A S O T A , L O N G B O A T K E Y, L I D O / S T. A R M A N D S , S I E S TA K E Y, V E N I C E , ENGLEWOOD, CASEY KEY, BOCA GRANDE, ANNA MARIA ISLAND, MANASOTA KEY, BRADENTON, LAKEWOOD RANCH, OSPREY

30

The cultural capital of Southwest Florida, the Sarasota area is a haven for art patrons, musicians, and writers, performing artists, sculptors and painters. With two symphonies, an opera house, world-class ballet company, numerous playhouses and a plethora of art galleries, the region hosts festivals, visiting artists and exciting exhibits year-round. Art patrons will enjoy The Asolo Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre, Island Players, Lemon Bay Playhouse, or Theatre Works, and of course the Sarasota Ballet. Experience the melodic offerings of the Florida West Coast Symphony, Key Chorale, the Sarasota Jazz Club, or Venice Symphony. Sarasota and her distinctive barrier islands are home to awardwinning beaches where you can snorkel, shell or stroll through the warm azure Gulf waters. Lose yourself in the gentle

breezes and the soothing sound of lapping waves, or be completely awestruck by magnificent sunsets. Lido Beach provides a picture postcard setting along with sugary soft white sands. Enjoy the sun, or build castles in the sand while the family can stroll along the shore to St. Armand's Circle, a distinctive designation in itself consisting of upscale shops and boutiques. Don't miss one of the top beaches in the world at Siesta Key. Voted as One of “America's Best Beaches;” “Third Best Walking Beach in the USA,” by USA Today International Edition; and “The Best of the Best Sand,” by Conde Nast Traveler. To experience "Old Florida" at its finest, visit Casey Key, just to the south of Siesta Key. Picturesque winding gulffront roads make for an incredible ocean-side journey. Whether by car, or scenic bicycle ride, you'll be among some of

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

the finest homes Sarasota has to offer. Little traffic, on this remote stretch of pristine paradise, quaint inns and Old Florida resorts transport you to a simpler time with gentility and grace. Bradenton and the tropical paradise of Anna Maria Island offer a unique sense of Old Florida Charm, lush golf courses, cultural attractions and historic ambiance, along with white sand beaches and stunning sunsets. Bradenton offers a unique historic and cultural flavor, along with award winning planned communities such as Lakewood Ranch, while Anna Maria takes you back to a simpler unhurried pace and stretches a mere 7.5 miles in length and less than one mile wide. Venice abounds in natural beauty, with a quaint downtown area, tremendous live oak trees and magnificent Old Florida

appeal. A designated “Florida Main Street” community, Venice is also a cultural Mecca, with its annual festivals, galleries, live theatre and of course the Venice symphony. Also known for white sand beaches, Venice's Caspersen Beach is especially appealing to naturalist's offering an unspoiled and secluded area, left primarily in its natural state. The essence of the Old South is found in the historic waterfront town of Punta Gorda. Palm-lined cobblestone streets, Victorian mansions, wide verandas and street lamps capture the spirit of a different era. The barrier island of Manasota Key offers uncrowded beaches and an ideal environment for shelling, golf or fishing in a serene setting.Located on Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande offers the perfect setting for quiet coastal living.


This unique island sanctuary features a rich history and abundant natural beauty. Peacefully nestled between Charlotte Harbor and the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico, Boca Grande reveals miles of white sand beaches, abundant parks, exceptional dining and lodging, in an intoxicating atmosphere of barefoot elegance.

The Gulf of Mexico invites a wealth of boating opportunities, from rentals, cruises and deep-sea fishing trips, to sightseeing and sunset tours. Take the helm of a watercraft, or let another direct your boating destination, the choices on The Cultural Coast are endless. Dolphin runs, eco-tours, kayak, or canoe, this region has the best-of-the-best in fishing and boating. Regardless of the size of your water craft, there are ample marinas to welcome you along the way. Dock for the night, or for a while. Featuring fine dining experiences, live entertainment, incredible natural beauty, and a host of aquatic wildlife, find your senses tantalized by the rich abundance of the water and the region. Sophisticated St. Armands Circle, in Sarasota, features over 130 fine shops and gourmet restaurants. A world-renowned location,

Location Florida's west coast between Tampa to the north and Ft. Myers to the south. Sarasota County is between Manatee County (north) and Charlotte County (south). Located on the Gulf of Mexico. Geography 571.75 square miles of land area 35 miles of beachfront Temperature 82.8 F (28.2 C) average high temperature 61.9 F (16.6 C) average low temperature Annual Precipitation 55.18 inches Average Annual Sunshine 361 days Population Sarasota County 369,765 residents Airport Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (941359-5200) is located at the intersection of US 41 and University Parkway.

St. Armands is a market place of charming European-influenced elegance. Gracefully blending past and present, courtyards and treasures accompany contemporary architecture and lush tropical foliage to create an enchanting atmosphere of continental appeal. Home to world-class dining, shopping, sophisticated amenities, theaters, galleries, a symphony and the Sarasota Ballet, along with 35-miles of beaches and six barrier islands...for a while, or a lifetime, The Cultural Coast is a perfect piece of PARADISE. Don't miss Crescent Beach an 8-mile stretch of pristine beach and warm Gulf waters. The magnificent backdrop creates an ideal location for beach weddings, but also holds a peaceful allure for writers and artists. Crescent Beach holds claim to the official title of “The Worlds' Finest, Whitest Sand”.

Cost of Living Index 85.8 (less than average, U.S. average is 100) Median Resident Age 41.1 Years

CULTURAL COAST

The Cultural Coast is well known as a golfer's paradise, boasting magnificent golf courses both public and private. Beautiful weather year-round, lush greens and tropical foliage create a perfect backdrop for the avid golfer. Many of the golf courses are associated with award-winning country club communities featuring vast acreage of natural beauty, wildlife, lakes and resort-style amenities.

Sarasota, together with its neighbors to the north and south, Manatee County and Charlotte County, form the 7th-largest market in Florida.

A magnificent array of professional theater, opera, ballet and symphony performances, home to Ringling fame and a host of yearround art and music events, this region has earned the title of Florida’s “Cultural Coast.”

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

31


DON’T MISS

CULTURAL COAST

BEING HOME TO PROFESSIONAL THEATER, OPERA, BALLET AND SYMPHONY, ALONG WITH A VARIETY OF ART AND MUSIC EVENTS, THIS REGION HAS EARNED THE TITLE OF FLORIDA’S “CULTURAL COAST”. Savor the Flavors After a great day of exploration, or before you embark, there are great restaurants in the region to satisfy any taste. The Bay View Bar & Grill at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, offers full bay views and uncomplicated cuisine in a Florida Casual outdoor setting. Try the Crow's Nest Marina Restaurant, Venice's waterfront landmark since 1976 and voted "Venice's Best All Around Restaurant," or The Monkey Room on Longboat Key featuring a spirited ambiance and creative island-influenced cuisine. Don't miss breakfast at Siesta Key's Broken Egg, or the magnificence of Chef Paul Mattison at Mattison's Riverside at Twin Dolphin Marina in Bradenton, sunset at The Sandbar on Anna Maria, or The Captains Table at Fisherman's Village, in Punta Gorda, with exceptional local seafood fare and some of the best Florida views available. Notable Nightlife When the sun goes down, the fun's just begun on the Cultural Coast. Live music, dance floors, mild breezes, twinkling white lights and tiki torches are all components of the silk & sandals nightlife. Don't miss the Five O'Clock Club, the Gator Club, Siesta Key Oyster Bar, The Beach Club on Siesta Key, Blasé' Café' or Mattison's City Grille where you're sure to find great food, outdoor dining, exotic beverages and magnificent music. Water Wonders If it's fishing that interests you there are more than 1000 species of fish, along with endless bays, rivers and streams to keep you reeling-them-in on Florida's Southwest Coast. Tarpon enthusiasts find the months of May and June offer adventure in the world famous Boca Grande Pass. And, don't forget about the Redfish, Snook and Trout. Check out the action on Anna Maria City Pier, or have all of your fishing needs met at Englewood Bait House. The warm Gulf waters are not just for fishing, try snorkeling or scuba at Crescent Beach's Point-ofRocks, kayak or canoe at Myakka River State Park, or dock your vessel at one of the regions marvelous marinas. Native Adventure For a real native adventure, the wildlife, avian life and flora of the Cultural Coast can be found in the state parks, along the beach, or at one of the aquariums, botanical gardens or museums. Don't miss the Crowley Museum and Nature Center, Mote Marine, The Parker Manatee Aquarium, or

32

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

Sarasota Jungle Gardens where you can convene with Florida's greatest natural assets, alligators, manatee, flamingos, deer and armadillos. Botanical Bounty The natural bounty of the area will amaze you. From the worldrenowned Marie Selby Gardens to the Rose Garden of Mable Ringling, take a stroll through lush gardens throughout the area. Don't miss Historic Spanish Point a window into 5,000 years of human history, Oscar Scherer State Park or Caspersen beach, where you can hike, bike and search for shells or sharks teeth. Niche Excursions From St. Armands Circle, Downtown Sarasota and Main Street to the quaint offerings of Downtown Venice and Englewood's Dearborn Street, shop and discover the neighborhoods rich in cultural as well as historical flair. Palm-lined streets, renaissance architecture, secret gardens, casual outdoor cafes, along with intriguing boutiques will have you wondering what's around every corner. Curtain Call So much to experience…live performances at the symphony, the ballet, or theatre. All along the cultural coast you'll find performing artists waiting for their next encore'. Not to be missed Sarasota: Opera House, Florida Studio Theater, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Venice Little Theatre, The Asolo Repertory Theatre, The West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, Banyan Theatre Company, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, Venice Symphony and Lemon Bay Playhouse.


Circus Enthusiasts A tremendous component of this region's heritage is attributed to John and Mable Ringling. The region boasts romantic gardens and Mansions to the infamous Sailor Circus. Don't miss the Tito Gaena Flying Trapeze Academy in Venice or Circus Sarasota, The Ringling Museum of Art, The Ringling Museum of the Circus offering the history of the Greatest Show on Earth, or the Sarasota Classic Car museum featuring four vehicles used personally by John Ringling.

Sunscreen Required World renowned beaches await on the Cultural Coast. Pristine and unspoiled, surrounded by natural bounty and sunlit splendor, each area of the coast offers a unique experience. Quiet North Lido Beach, the action of Siesta Beach or the petfriendly Brohard Park offer something for everyone in the family. Try shelling on Turtle Beach, near the southern end of Siesta Key, or on Caspersen Beach in Venice, where you'll find much of the area in its natural state. Longboat Key features magnificently manicured communities, as well as tropical havens tucked away in a traditional “Old Florida” style. For a true Old Florida adventure, Gasparilla Island holds the allure of a quaint Florida village, with abundant wildlife, or ferry to Little Gasparilla Island, accessible only by boat, offering the tranquility of a remote island paradise.

On The Green Some of the finest golf courses in the US are located on the Cultural Coast. Area resort accommodations often include outstanding golf courses. Try the course at the Boca Grand Resort, or the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. You'll find public play at Sarasota's Bobby Jones Golf Complex, SunCoast Golf Center, Sunrise Golf Club, Lake Venice Golf Club in Venice or the Manatee County Golf Course in Bradenton. Voted among the “Best Places to Play” by readers of Golf Digest 2008-2009, The Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch offers a level of service and greens found at world-class private facilities. This Arnold Palmer Signature 18-hole golf course is open to the public and was also voted one of America's Top Golf Courses by ZAGAT Survey 2007-2008. Consistently noted as one of America's best places to live work and play, the list of accolades for this area is long. Best Places to Live “Top 100 Places to Live and Launch/Money Magazine” The Great weather and cultural climate, in addition to a strong retirement and tourism market placed Sarasota in the Top areas to Live and Launch a Business (2008). Countless activities and clubs geared toward singles, and organized around interests from wine tasting to ballroom dancing led Fortune Magazine to rank Sarasota as one of the Top locations to” Retire In Style.” The endless parade of black-tie events means lots of opportunities for a night on the town with your date (2006). Excellence in Health Care For the second year in a row, Sarasota Memorial Hospital was listed among “America's Safest Hospitals” by Forbes.com (2009). Widely accepted as the gold standard of patient care, Sarasota Memorial Hospital received re-designation as a "Magnet" hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) (2008). Sarasota Memorial Hospital received a Sliver Performance Achievement Award from the American Stroke Association recognizing their commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care (2007).

CULTURAL COAST

Creative Expressions An intrinsic component of the areas culture that has drawn international recognition, art is a mainstay of the region. From the Ringling Museum of Art and the Historic Oslo Theatre to the countless galleries in our Downtown districts, you'll experience one-of-a-kind sculptures appearing seasonally along Sarasota's Bay front. A Stroll down Venice Avenue is an art enthusiast dream. Visit the Collector's Gallery with the bold sweeping canvases and the work of Maryanne Jacobsen, or the Venice Art Center, the oldest community art center on Florida's Culture Coast, offering ongoing exhibits and workshops for the community. Don't miss Village of the Arts in downtown Bradenton featuring artisans representing an eclectic mix or mediums including photography, pottery, jewelry and furniture makers.

Ambient Accommodations Magnificent downtown Sarasota and Sarasota Bay views await at the world renowned Ritz-Carlton Sarasota featuring the finest of resort amenities, golf, fine dining, tropical resort pool, Jacuzzi and even programs for the kids. Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel located on Lido Beach, offers a storybook seaside setting, with 600 ft of private beach on the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. The Lido Beach Resort is a tropical beachfront location on Lido Key, with warm hospitality and top-notch service in a casual tropical venue. Relaxation, with personalized and friendly service, is what you can expect from the Inn at the Beach in Venice. The Seaside Inn Beach Resort on Anna Maria features a casual appeal in a boutique hotel environment. Try tennis, golf or take a romantic retreat at the Gasparilla Inn and Club on Gasparilla Island, a premier destination on Florida's Gulf Coast since 1913.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

33


CULTURAL COAST

HAPPENINGS On the fourth weekend in January the Annual Arts and Crafts Festival is held at the Venice Municipal Airport. The Venice Symphony begins its season in January and has concerts on the first Friday of the month through April. The Venice Little Theatre runs from October through May, while the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre features year-round performances. Each January brings Sarasota Arts Day, a celebration of the local artists, on the streets of downtown Sarasota, along with the St. Armands Circle's Winter Art Festival, Punta Gorda's Sullivan Street Craft Festival and the Annual Downtown Venice

Craft Festival. The official opening of the Opera Season includes a Sarasota extravaganza and the Winter Concert Series of the Jazz Club of Sarasota. January also plays host to Circus Sarasota Opening Night and the Southwest Florida Heritage Festival at the Crowley Museum. In February, when our northern counterparts are shoveling snow, we are continuing to enjoy outdoor recreation and numerous festivals including the Anna Maria Island Art & Craft Festival, Venice Craft Festival and Siesta Fiesta Craft Fair. March winds bring the Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic, while live performances continue this month at Florida Studio Theatre and The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, along with many others throughout the area. April offers up the 17th Annual Sharks Tooth Festival, along with the Florida Winefest & Auction at the Longboat Key Club. The Sarasota Jazz Festival held this month brings great bigband, blues and more to the heralded week-long event.

34

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

In May and June, we're closing another cultural season, but the art doesn't stop on the Cultural Coast. Theatrical performances continue at FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Venice Theater Cabaret Series and Asolo Repertory, while The Sarasota Opera hosts its annual Summer at the Symphony. Outdoor activities and events include the Annual Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest and Historic Burns Square Artists' Market. During the summer months the area hosts legions of fishing tournaments, along with local art festivals and exhibitions. The fall is ablaze with vibrence and brings a host of outdoor

festivals to tantalize the senses. Music, cars, local fare, crafts and so much more at The St. Armand's Circle Annual Art Festival, Annual Sarasota Craft Festival, Anna Maria Island Bayfest, The Annual Sarasota Blues Festival, The Venice Art Festival, Annual Taste of Manatee, St. Armands' Circle Classic Antique Car Show and Annual Siesta Beach Holiday Arts and Craft Shows. The holiday season is jam-packed with activities. Holiday parades, Winter Festivals, and of course ART…always. December brings the Art Walk at Towles Court, The Annual Festival of Trees, Holiday Night on St. Armands Circle, Anna Maria Island's Annual Winter Festival, The Annual Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade of Lights, The Sarasota Holiday Parade, The Lighted Boat Parade at Bradenton Yacht Club and The Venice Christmas Boat Parade. You'll be entertained right up till the time of The Pineapple Drop at Midnight on New Years' Eve in Downtown Sarasota.


listen very carefully and you might hear . . .

a five star o p portunity is whisperin g

Nestled along the pristine coastline of Longboat Key on Florida's West Coast, Bleu Claire brings a new level of exclusivity to beachfront condominium living, with only 11 to be built estate residences from 4,000 square feet. Inspired by the villas of the French Riviera, the community’s understated elegance reflects the beauty of its natural surroundings and the enchanting views of the Gulf of Mexico while offering environmentally green construction and surprising amenities.. From the $3 millions USD. Penthouses from the $5 millions USD. Call 941.744.7441 or visit www.BleuClaire.com.

4765

GULF

OF

MEXICO

DRIVE

LONGBOAT

KEY

FL

34228

ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY THE DEVELOPERS TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE IS AN ARTIST'S RENDERING AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE.


PARADISE COAST

PARADISE COAST

NAPLES, MARCO ISLAND, SANIBEL, CAPTIVA, BONITA SPRINGS, FORT MYERS, CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA EVERGLADES

42

The Paradise Coast, comprised of Naples, Marco Island & the Florida Everglades, offers unsurpassed natural beauty, a strong nature conservancy focus, upscale neighborhoods, over 130 highly acclaimed golf courses, fine dining, along with renowned cultural events and art exhibits. The surrounding communities of Fort Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Bonita Springs and Cape Coral augment this fascinating region along Florida's Southwest Coast. Art enthusiasts, nature lovers, boaters and golfers are drawn to the magnificence of the area, with opportunities to explore Florida's “wild side” in the Everglades, or experience distinctive culinary delights in Naples. The finest in resorts, award-winning restaurants and luxuries abound, while romantic islands beckon with white sand beaches, crystal clear Gulf waters, swaying palms and some of the best shelling in the world.

Naples' European charm and tropical climate invite residents and visitors to rejuvenate, recreate and explore year-round. Named the best “Small Art Town” in 2005's publication of the 100 Best Art Towns in America, Naples shimmers in the art and cultural arena. Venues include over 130 galleries, historical attractions, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, home of the Naples Philharmonic, and the Naples Museum of Art. Explore the shopping districts of Fifth Avenue South, with restored historic city center buildings and sidewalk cafes, or Third Street South with its small-town aura, tree-lined streets, chic boutiques and European bistros. The Naples downtown waterfront district features the exceptional Bayfront Marina, unique shops, galleries, or try the local sea fare at one of Tin City's restaurants with beautiful views of Naples Bay.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

Naples sets the standard for Golf in Southwest Florida. Over 140 golf courses can be experienced in the Naples-Marco Island area. Surrounded by nature's abundance, you're assured each day on the green is a unique experience. Worldclass courses and pristine greens, under the watchful eye of eagles, osprey or alligators are sure to stimulate the senses. Thirty minutes to the south of Naples is the world-class resort destination of Marco Island, with distinctive dining, miles of pristine beaches, cavorting dolphins and uninhabited tropical islands. The largest of Florida's “Ten Thousand Islands” Marco Island has retained much of its natural beauty. Gulf waters invite fishing, manatee excursions, dinner cruises, shelling and snorkeling. Relax in the sun, or thrill to an Everglades airboat adventure. Surrounded by protected areas, Big Cypress

National Preserve, 10,000 Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Everglades National Park assure Florida's fragile wildlife, eco-systems, coastline and natural bounty remain the state's greatest treasures. Magnificent Royal Palm-lined streets have earned Fort Myers the celebrated title of the "City of Palms." Trustees of the winter estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, poised upon the Caloosahatchee River, this pristine community has become an intoxicating blend of old and new. Boasting highly acclaimed golf courses, magnificent architecture, and a thriving arts community. Take in a show at the Florida Repertory Theatre, The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, or experience some of Broadway's finest at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.


The laid-back Fort Myers beach has gained recognition as the “World's Safest Beach”, with its calm waters and pristine beach stretching the length of the 7-mile island. A splendid destination for family fun, exceptional dining, lots of silky sand, sun and water sports. Fort Myers Beach provides the gateway to the Islands of Sanibel and Captiva. Sanibel and Captiva feature 15-miles of unspoiled beaches, 22-miles of bike path and no stop lights. The quaint island lifestyle offers amazing alfresco dining, two, Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, 18-hole golf courses, live performances at Big Arts cultural center of the islands, along with the acclaimed annual Sanibel Music Festival each March.

Referred to as “The Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico,” Bonita Springs lies between Fort Myers and Naples, along the gorgeous Gulf. Sparkling white sand and clear waters, along with the amazing natural beauty, this Paradise Coast community offers quiet seclusion as well as outdoor recreation and resort amenities.

Location Florida's west coast , Collier County is just south of Sarasota on Highway 41 and Florida's Gulf Coast. Geography Collier County 2,025.5 square miles (making it the largest county in the State of Florida, based on land area). Temperature 91° F high temperature 54° F low temperature 77° F annual average temperature Annual Precipitation 51.3 inches Average Annual Sunshine 324 days Population Collier County 293,909 residents Airport Naples Municipal Airport is located minutes from downtown Naples and Interstate 75, serving as the gateway to "paradise.” 239643-0733 Cost of Living Index 130 (U.S. average is 100)

From the epitome in refined European elegance to unpretentious barrier islands, theatrical performances, or swamp buggy races, the Paradise Coast will embrace you with her charm, mesmerize you with her natural beauty, and tantalize the senses with her chic boutiques, luxurious resorts and culinary delights. The Florida Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, at the tip of South Florida, is an impressive ecosystem, rugged, beautiful and intricately diverse. From the marine life of Florida Bay, to cypress swamps and topical hammocks, there's something magical about this enchanted and yet fragile area that provides recreational as well as valuable environmental resources.

Median Resident Age 44.4 Years

PARADISE COAST

Sanibel Island Beach is on of the best that Florida has to offer. Still largely a well-kept secret, the tranquil surroundings are popular with windsurfers and wildlife. Captiva Island Beach, near the Bahia Honda Channel, features stunning reefs and marvelous snorkeling.

Naples, Marco-Island, Fort Myers, along with the neighboring barrier islands and Florida Everglades offer a beachside location, vibrant arts scene, high-end shopping and nature preserves. In 2005, Naples was voted the “best beach in America” by the Travel Channel as well as the number one “small art city in America”.

Don't miss Lover's Key Beach, ranked among the “Top Ten Florida Beaches" by the Travel Channel, this peaceful respite offers an intriguing island getaway for sunsets and stargazing.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

43


DON’T MISS

PARADISE COAST

MILES OF PRISTINE BEACHES, UPSCALE AMENITIES, ALONG WITH THE ABUNDANCE OF PICTURESQUE WILDERNESS AND WETLANDS DEPICT THIS AREA AS “FLORIDA’S LAST PARADISE” AND HAVE EARNED THIS REGION THE TITLE OF FLORIDA’S “PARADISE COAST.”

44

Savor the Flavors Dining options on the Paradise Coast are a true culinary delight. Open-air, international cuisine, steak house, or local seafood, the delectable local fare is a tantalizing component of this refined community. Upscale, or casual, a wide range of culinary influences and award-winning chefs, create the ultimate dining experience. The Turtle Club Restaurant at the Vanderbilt Beach Resort offers a magnificent beachfront dining experience. Their outstanding cuisine and gracious service earned them the honor of Naples “Best Waterfront Dining,” by the Naples Daily News in 2007. Bayhouse Restaurant, overlooking Osprey Bay and the Cocohatchee Wildlife Preserve, is one of the most respected seafood restaurants in the area, while picturesque bay views and continental cuisine compliment the M Waterfront Grill. The Dock at Crayon Cove is an open-air restaurant with ideal views of Naples Bay. Informal, you'll feel like you've arrived at a special island retreat. Fort Myers' Varanda provides a charming atmosphere at its circa.1902 location, specializing in regional flavors and marvelous seafood. Bokeelia's acclaimed dining at the Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant features spectacular water views, sunsets and cuisine. In Bonita Springs try Doc's Beach House Restaurant, a local landmark, steps from the Gulf, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or, for some of the best seafood around, try Pinchers Crab Shack. In addition to the restaurant, there's a fresh seafood market, with the days local catch. Notable Nightlife When the sun goes down, the nights heat-up on the Paradise Coast. The Tiki Bar at Sam Seltzer's, Fort Myers features a huge tiki bar, live music and spirits. Naples' Shane's Cabana Bar is a spectacular outdoor destination, directly over the water, featuring a full bar, tropical specialty drinks and martinis. If you're looking for jazz, Sanibel's Ellington's Jazz Bar & Restaurant books a fantastic array of pianists, saxophonists, guitarists and more. This old-school jazz spot hosts Ellington's signature white grand piano. At its marvelous Venetian Bay location, M Lounge features spectacular views, spirits and a full calendar of live weekend music. Take an evening cruise, with live music, aboard the Big M Casino at Fort Myers Beach. Try your hand at Las Vegas casino-style gambling aboard a 162-foot yacht, with black jack, roulette, shot machines and dining.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

Water Wonders Beyond the abundant fishing options and venues, there are numerous water adventures on the Paradise Coast. Snorkeling, challenging deep-sea charters, air boat excursions and dinner cruises offer something for every water enthusiast. Marco Island Sea Excursions offer water adventures to fish, sail, or tour the islands. While you're so near the exhilarating Florida Everglades, don't miss the opportunity to take an air boat ride. Captiva Cruises offer a Dolphin Watch excursion, the Sunset Serenade Cruise, with live entertainment, as well as shelling cruises to Cayo Costa. Native Adventure The Paradise Coast takes its nature conservancy role seriously with environmental activities and tours that highlight the area's rare, exotic and fragile wildlife. Everglades-fringe ecology reveals a private world of wetlands, salt and freshwater marshes along with an extensive system of backcountry mangrove estuaries. Abundant nature preserves, wildlife sanctuaries and protected habits offer tremendous opportunities to view native wildlife whether on water, or on land. In the upper segment of the Fakahatchee Strand of the Big Cypress Swamp, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge works fervently to protect, preserve and repopulate the endangered Florida Panther. Big Cypress National Preserve protects over 720,000 acres of the vast Big Cypress Swamp and contains a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida Panther. Everglades National Park, is the only one of its kind and the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, protecting rare and endangered species.


Botanical Bounty On a hiking trail, via canoe or by island tour, the vast array of State Parks on the Paradise Coast will provide scenic journeys into the secluded sanctuaries of exotic plants vital to the survival of local wetlands and wildlife. Discover the unique plants and animals that make this coastal ecosystem so valuable. Visit Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park for an introduction to beach ecology, Cohatachee Nature Center for kayaking, or canoeing the fascinating estuaries, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park with a marvelous collection of wild orchids, Bald Cpress and native Royal Palms, with a boardwalk to a virgin cypress strand, or Rookery Bay

Niche Excursions Palm-lined streets, European bistros and historic treasures of the Paradise Coast offer avenues of enchantment. Spend the day at Naples City Dock at Crayton Cove. Featuring the largest fishing and sailing charter fleets in the area, you'll find sightseeing excursions, shopping, restaurants and lodging. Naples Tin City Waterfront Marketplace recalls the area's nautical past, with unique boutiques and great restaurants. Visit the estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in the heart of Fort Myers for an exploration into the fascinating history behind two of the world's most remarkable men. A trip to the tip of Sanibel reveals the Sanibel Lighthouse, a beacon to nautical navigators since 1884. Curtain Call The Paradise Coast glistens with a refined appreciation for the performing arts. The Philharmonic Center for the Arts is the premiere performance hall in the region, and home to the Naples Philharmonic. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre accommodates 450 guests, and features eight professional

Creative Expressions Creative talent and art patrons are enthralled by the galleries and exhibits of the Naples area. From the collection of over 130 galleries, outstanding permanent collections and traveling exhibits at the Naples Museum of Art, to the eclectic galleries of Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. Throughout the year there are hundreds of art and cultural events in the area monthly. Sunscreen Required The Paradise Coast is a prime location for beach goers. Naples' features 10 miles of silken sand and one of the most beautiful beach parks in the state at Lowdermilk Park Public Beach. The Travel Channel's Beach Week Expert Panel selected Naples, Florida as “America's Best All-Around Beach� for 2005. Lovers Key offers an unspoiled state park to enjoy the magnificent Gulf sunsets and Marco Island's Tigertail Beach is picture postcard perfect. Fort Myers Beach is recognized as one of the safest beaches in the world and Sanibel Island Beach is undoubtedly one of the best Florida beaches. Ambient Accommodations Resort amenities, sumptuous surroundings and spectacular golf courses typify the amazing accommodations on the Paradise Coast. LaPlaya Resort is one of Florida's finest resort hotels. It's marvelous location between the Gulf of Mexico and Vanderbilt Bay offer guests the ultimate tropical experience. The Vanderbilt Beach Resort offers 5-miles of white sand beach, elevated tennis courts, a beachside infinity pool and award- winning full service restaurant. For a Tuscan inspired resort Bellasera Hotel, located in the heart of Old Naples, offers a distinctive ambiance, Italian architecture, courtyard fountains and marvelous amenities near Naples Fifth Avenue South. Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa boasts a haven of hospitality and refined luxury in an idyllic setting. Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa, nestled on 3-miles of sun swept beaches, transports you to a tropical and luxurious enclave. No passport required to be embraced by the peaceful Gulf waters, beachside tropical pool, luxurious spa and private golf course.

PARADISE COAST

Environmental Learning Center for a guided exploration of the bays and mangrove forests of Rookery Bay. At the Naples Zoo you'll find Caribbean Gardens. This historic tropical garden was founded in 1919 and offers 52-acres of botanical bounty and exotic plants. The Naples Botanical Gardens offers tropical gardens with beautifully restored natural habitats, and an interactive children's garden. At the conservancy of Southwest Florida, explore the vast natural habits via boat, conoe, kayak, or through one of the many hands-on exhibits.

productions each season January through August. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers offers outstanding Broadway Series as well as dance productions January through July, while the Florida Repertory Theater features live theatrical performances October through June.

On The Green The Paradise Coast and the Naples area set the standard for golf in South Florida. Naples has more golf courses per capita than any other area in the world. One of the exceptional attributes of playing golf on the Paradise Coast is the amazing abundance of nature, natural water hazards and interesting wildlife. Numerous area resorts feature stunning greens, along with amazing amenities.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

45


PARADISE COAST

HAPPENINGS You'll be enthralled by the leisure activities and abundant recreation, sun swept beaches, endless days on the green and tantalizing sunsets of the Paradise Coast. But there is much to experience when it comes to great music, art and festivals throughout the year.

February is also the month for the Annual Everglades Seafood Festival in Everglades City, the Naples National Art Festival, the Naples Jazz Festival in Cambier Park, the Annual Mardi Gras Celebration downtown Naples and Annual Photography Exhibit at Rookery Bay, along with the Annual Art fest in Fort Myers.

Monthly events, exhibits and series welcome the entire family into the worlds of watercolor, history, great music and wildlife discovery. Exhibits and educational programs at the Museum of the Everglades, Naples Historical Society, Naples Museum of Art, Naples Botanical Gardens and the Collier County

March brings the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, Annual Sanibel Shell Fair, Cape Coral Sounds of Jazz, The All Florida Championship Rodeo and Major League Baseball Spring Training with the Red Sox in Fort Myers. Into April Marco Island's Annual Film Festival includes elegant parties, as well

Museum continue throughout the year. Marco Island Center for the Arts features exhibits in the Lauritzen/Rush Gallery and MacFarland Atrium Gallery, while the “Art in the Park” exhibits showcase the talent of Naples Art Association members.

as film screenings. Fort Myers hosts its River and Blues Festival, while you can capture tropical delights at Sanibel/Captiva's Taste of The Islands. May serves up the Taste of Collier in downtown Naples, featuring the culinary talents and fare of local restaurateurs. The annual Great Dock Canoe Race on Naples Bay happens in May and July brings the Fort Myers Beach Annual Taste of the Beach.

January through July, you'll find Broadway Series productions at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. October through June the Florida Repertory presents awarding winning theatrical performances, or be entertained year round at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre's concert series and Off Broadway performances. In January, the music abounds at the Philharmonic, while the seafood and entertainment spice up the Goodland community at their annual Mullet Festival. In Fort Myers the Annual Medieval Faire and Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science & Inventor's Fair begin the year, while Cape Coral hosts its Annual Festival of Arts and Bonita Springs hosts is National Art Festival. From the end of January into February, the Edison Festival of Lights in Fort Myers includes a regatta, fireworks and three days of crafts along the river.

46

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

Come September it's time for Fort Myers' Fall Community Art Showcase, while October features the Southwest Florida Folk and Blues Festival in Pine Island. From the end of October to the first of November, the signature event of the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival celebrates Southwest Florida's 190mile marked paddling trail, The Great Calusa Blueway. During November, Naples beams with Celebrate the Arts Month, along with the Naples Renaissance Fall Art Festival. Fort Myers Beach hosts its Annual Sandsculpting Festival, along with the Annual Taste of the Town. During the holidays…November to New Year's, festivities and lights dazzle throughout the Paradise Coast. The Annual Holiday Boat Parade and Holiday House at the Edison-Winter Estate are winter favorites in Fort Myers.


WE KNOW the only way to build stronger communities for TOMORROW is to invest in our communities TODAY

The communities that GEICO insures are also the places where

OUR FAMILIES LIVE LEARN AND PLAY.

So, although we take great pride in being one of the nation's fastest-growing auto insurance companies, we are even more proud of the work we do outside our office walls.

It's our insurance plan for the future. And, it's a policy we're proud of.

geico.com


Gulf Front Residence $3,995,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

Luxury Waterfront Townhomes $499,000 Ray Alexander or Tina Rudek 941-538-6660

Lakewood Ranch Estate 4Bd/4.5Ba $1,395,000 Lisa Bouck or Ray Alexander 941-538-6600

Spacious Key Royale Canal Front Home $949,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337

Holmes Beach Bungalow 3Bd/3ba $450,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337

Water, Water, Everywhere $339,900 Gina Brulato 941-730-3653

Key Royale Estate $2,495,000 Vicki Gilbert 941-713-0195

Buy One or Both Tradewinds Units $150,000 Ea James Patterson 941-730-9296

Hawthorn Park 3Bd/3Ba $409,000 Gary LaFlamme 941-725-0928

Holmes Beach Florida Cottage 3Bd/3ba $479,000 Carolyn Spencer 941-730-0496

Key Royale Canal Front 3Bd/2ba $625,000 Gina Brulato 941-730-3653

Country Estate 4Bd/3ba $419,900 Lisa Bouck 941-374-0165

The Shore 2Bd/2Ba Gulf Views $500,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

Whitney Beach 2Bd/2ba Condo $274,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

“Old Florida Style” Cottage $475,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337

Anna Maria Island Realty Longboat Key Realty 6000 Marina Drive Holmes Beach Phone +1-941-538-6660

The Longboat Key Office: Phone: +1 941.383.5543 Fax: +1 941.778.7070 longboatkey@engelvoelkers.com www.engelvoelkers.com/longboatkey

The Anna Maria Island Office: Phone: +1 941.538.6660 Fax: +1 941.778.7070 AnnaMariaIsland@engelvoelkers.com www.evannamaria.com

ANDORRA ARGENTINA AUSTRALIA AUSTRIA BELGIUM CHILE CHINA CROATIA CYPRUS CZECH REPUBLIC DENMARK FRANCE GERMANY GREECE HUNGARY IRELAND ITALY LUXEMBOURG MACAU MONTENEGRO NETHERLANDS OMAN PERU PORTUGAL QATAR RUSSIA SOUTH AFRICA SPAIN SWITZERLAND THAILAND TURKEY UAE UNITED KINGDOM USA


Saturday’s 8 -10am

8 - 10am

OnOf The Your Side Closing Table Lauren P. Kohl Attorney at Law

Law Offices of Gibson, Kohl, Wolff & Hric, P. L. 1800 Second St, Ste 901, Sarasota, FL 34236 414 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229

Protecting Your Interests

Representing local and international clients purchasing and selling real estate, including waterfront, golf course, foreclosures and short sales in the greater Sarasota area. We protect your interests at closing. 52

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

966.3575 1.941. 1.941.966.3575

www.SarasotaClosings.com

GKW& H GIBSON, KOHL, WOLFF & HRIC, P.L.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.


the best of sarasota Living Take advantage of exceptional pricing, carefree living, historically low interest rates and all that Sarasota has to offer. Barbara offers the best of Sarasota carefree living and concierge-level client service. Find the best of Sarasota Living at BarbaraMei.com Leave the upkeep to someone else...travel, opportunity and adventure are yours for the taking. Find the best of Sarasota Living at BarbaraMei.com

Your Resource for the Perfect Sarasota Lifestyle

B A R B A R A

M E I

b r o k e r / a s s o c i a t e

Signature

Sotheby s INTERNATIONAL REALTY

BARBARA.mei@sothebysrealty.COM barbaramei.com


54

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE


IMMIGRATION LAW

Victoria Jaensch Karins, P.A. 2017 Fiesta Drive, Sarasota, FL 34231 1-941-927-2708 victoria@karinsimmigrationlaw.com www.KarinsImmigrationLaw.com

WHAT IS AN “INVESTOR VISA”? By Victoria Karins There are two kinds of “investors” referenced and recognized in

The investment must also not be “marginal.” This means that it

U.S. immigration law. These are often confused, as one refers to a

must do more than provide a basic living for the investor and his or

nonimmigrant visa status and one to permanent resident status.

her family. This is accomplished by showing the projected profits of

This article addresses the basics of both.

the business operation, or by demonstrating that the business will make a significant economic impact such as by providing

The E-2 Nonimmigrant Visa

employment to American workers.

An E-2 visa is available to Canadians who invest in an existing

The business operation must be owned at least 50% by a

business or start their own businesses in the US.

Canadian or group of Canadians.

There is no minimum monetary investment required, so long as it

Unlike other visa statuses, the E-2 requires a submission of an

can be considered “substantial” for the type of business being

application for the visa to a U.S. Consulate in Canada. If approved,

operated. An investment is considered “substantial” if the money

an interview is scheduled and a visa is issued into the applicant's

invested or to be invested is “proportional” to the total needed to

passport for two to five years depending on the size of the

start operations. For example, if you are starting a business that

investment and the discretion of the consulate.

requires $50,000 to become operational, then in order for the investment to be considered “substantial,” $50,000 in qualifying

This is a temporary visa category, not U.S. permanent residence.

funds (cash, proceeds of loans not secured by the business,

One must intend to return to Canada at the duration of E-2 status.

personal property and so on) needs to be actually invested.

However, it can be renewed indefinitely so long as the business investment continues to qualify.

The investment must be made in a real and operating commercial enterprise. The business, in other words, must be an active

The E-2 investor is required to be directly involved in the

business and not a passive activity, such as an ownership of stock

“development and direction” of the enterprise.

or vacant land.

58

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE


Spouses and children under 21 also obtain the E-2 visa. Spouses

The application is made for the green card with the U.S. Citizenship

of E-2 investors are able to obtain full work authorization once in

and Immigration Service and if approved, is granted conditionally

the U.S. Children may attend public school.

for two years. Prior to the expiration of the two years, the applicant must apply to remove the conditions on residence by

I am often asked if owning a home in the U.S. counts as an

demonstrating that the investment still meets all of the

investment for E-2 purposes. The answer to this question is

requirements.

generally no. Any investment in real estate or property for personal use does not count toward the investment.

Spouses and children under 21 also obtain permanent residence with the investor. The E-2 nonimmigrant visa and the “$1 Million Investor” green card

There is a “green card” category for individuals who invest at least

categories are entirely separate “creatures,' each governed by their

a $1 million in a qualifying operation that will employ at least 10 full-

own set of complicated rules, regulations and procedures. Any

time U.S. workers. An investment of $500,000 can also qualify if it

business investment undertaken with the intent to obtain a U.S.

is made through an approved “regional center,” which typically

immigration benefit needs to be carefully orchestrated, with the

involves pools of investors in specific real estate development

assistance of legal counsel and financial/tax advisors.

projects. Areas of Practice: Temporary Work & Non-Work Visas, Finance The investor in this category does not need to demonstrate

Visas, Student Visas, “Green Cards”, Labor Certification,

involvement in the direction and development of the enterprise.

Citizenship & Naturalization, Consular Services

Over 15 Years Experience 1-941-927-2708 www.KarinsImmigrationLaw.com

2017 Fiesta Drive Sarasota, FL 34231

The Karins Law Firm understands that the immigration process is one of the most significant experiences in a person's life. With personalized, professional attention and care, we assist you in negotiating through a variety of processes including:

IMMIGRATION LAW

The $1 Million Investor “Green Card”

Temporary work and non-work visas including investors and small businesses, fiancé visas, student visas Employment-based permanent residence ("green cards") Labor certification Family-based permanent residence ("green cards") Citizenship and Naturalization Consular services

Hands-on personalized attention to carefully negotiate you through each step of the complex US immigration process.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

59


INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE 60

®

Carla Rayman, REALTOR Director of International Development Prudential Palms Realty Sarasota, Florida 1.941.724.0519 1.941.487.5181 www.YourGlobalAgents.com

Prudential Palms Realty

INVESTING IN FLORIDA REAL ESTATE By Carla Rayman

The team at Your Global Agents specializes in working with international buyers and sellers of Florida real estate, and we will be happy to offer our experience and expertise to assist you. You will find more information on our website, but in the meantime here are some of the questions we are most frequently asked by our overseas clients. What are the tax implications for foreigners owning U.S. property? Many and varied! There are income tax implications if the property is to be rented. Capital gains tax considerations when the home is sold, and possible estate tax issues. It is important to consider these BEFORE you purchase a property and take the appropriate professional advice on how the property should be titled – your personal name, a limited company, cross border trust, etc. The approach will vary depending upon your citizenship and personal circumstances. We will be happy to refer you to a professional who specializes in international taxation. As a buyer, why should I work with a REALTOR®? In your home country, you may be accustomed to working with several real estate agents to be sure that you see all of

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

the properties that are available in the market. Here in Florida, we have the benefit of a computerized Multiple Listing System (MLS). The system contains details of almost all properties that are available in a specific market, and can be accessed by licensed Realtors.® This allows you to choose a Realtor you feel comfortable with, and one who has knowledge of the local market as well as the issues you need to be aware of as a foreign buyer. Some of the other things your realtor will bring to the table include: skills to negotiate best possible terms for your purchase, protect your interests in the contract, introduce you to and co-ordinate with other professionals who will be needed for a successful transaction. An agent who acts for a buyer is usually compensated by the agent who lists a property, so these services are normally offered to buyers at no charge. Surely I will get a better deal if I work directly with the listing agent? This is a common misconception. Remember, the listing agent is just that – an agent working for the seller of the property. The seller of the home pays a commission to the listing agent and he shares that with the agent who brings the buyer. The seller pays the same commission whether there is one agent involved or two.


What about buying new construction? Is it better to work directly with the builder? When working with a sales person in a new construction environment, remember they are employed by the builder to sell homes. It is not their job to educate consumers objectively on the area and the pros and cons of their particular development. The myth that a buyer will get a better price from the builder if the builder does not pay a realtor commission is just that – a myth. Many builders pay realtor commissions from a separate marketing budget and they are not factors in discounting a property. Realtors know how much each property sold for in a particular development and would not bring buyers to a builder if they felt two tier pricing was in place. A typical builder can realize more than 80% of their sales from realtor introductions and they will not jeopardize such a significant source of business. Do foreign nationals pay more in property taxes and homeowner’s insurance?

No. Property taxes are influenced by whether the home you buy is your primary residence or not. A second home owner from New Jersey or Ohio pays the same taxes as one from Canada, U.K. or any other part of the world. The cost of homeowner’s insurance is set based upon the risk associated with the location, occupancy and condition of the subject property. It bears no relation to the nationality of its owner. How can I protect myself against fluctuations in the currency exchange rate? There are a number of ways you can accomplish this, and we will be happy to introduce you to our partner in the foreign exchange market. They can offer you better exchange rates than most commercial banks, and a number of tools that will allow you to time your exchange to maximum benefit. They will also allow you to fix an exchange rate now and into the future to help pay running costs, condo fees, etc. ®

Carla Rayman, REALTOR , GRI, CIPS, TRC, e-PRO Patricia Tan, REALTOR®, GRI, CIPS, TRC YourGlobalAgents@Tampabay.rr.com www.YourGlobalAgents.com

INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE

Having your own realtor represent you in the negotiations will ensure you are provided with impartial advice and objective analysis of the property and its price, condition, location, etc.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

61


RBC TO CONTINUE SERVING CONSUMER BANKING NEEDS

ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER By Alain Forget Canadian consumer cross-border clients will continue to have RBC Access USA RBC's consumer cross border clients can expect many of the same unique services - including online cross-border money transfers - even after the Royal Bank of Canada completes the sale of RBC Bank (USA) to PNC Financial Services Group in early 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. As part of its refocused U.S. growth strategy, RBC intends to maintain U.S. banking operations through a U.S. subsidiary, RBC Bank (Georgia), N.A. (“RBC Bank”), that will serve the personal banking needs of Canadian cross-border clients in the United States, subject to regulatory approval. Cross-Border Clients Keep Seamless Personal Banking Services RBC Bank will continue to provide unique services and capabilities to its Canadian cross-border clients, including RBC Access USA®, on-line funds transfer and foreign exchange capabilities for clients to manage their personal banking needs in Canada and in the U.S. RBC Bank will also ensure access to funds through ATMs and will service clients through its dedicated cross-border call center and inmarket relationship bankers. As of now, there are no changes to cross-border clients' personal banking services or accounts. Canadian cross-border personal banking clients will continue to receive integrated service capability from RBC through RBC Bank (USA) that enables them to seamlessly and confidently manage their finances when in the United States.

More Information Coming Soon Over the coming months, RBC clients will receive detailed information about what's ahead including when their accounts will transition to the new banking platform of RBC Bank (Georgia), N.A., expected in early 2012. They will also learn about new capabilities and features RBC plans to introduce. RBC plans to host a series of seminars and events this season to educate clients in person about the changes ahead as well as the new and existing capabilities available to meet their U.S. banking needs. An Exciting Season Ahead RBC Bank is looking forward to the upcoming Cross-Border season, which will be full of seminars, educational events and client appreciation activities. Be sure to look for information throughout the season about these activities as well as information relating to your U.S. banking relationship with RBC For more information regarding RBC's June announcement on refocusing its U.S. growth strategy, visit www.rbcbank.com/usgrowthpressrelease. To learn more about RBC's U.S. Banking for Canadians, also known as RBC Access USA, visit www.rbcbank.com/usbankingforcanadians or call 800-ROYAL-53.

CROSS BORDER BANKING

Alain Forget, Director Cross Border Banking RBC Bank USA Boca Raton, Florida 1-561-443-5432 alain.forget@rbc.com

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

61


BUILDING . HOME . LIFE

Gail Shane Realtor Liaison Neal Communities Manatee & Sarasota Counties 941-713-8008 www.NealCommunities.com

AN INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN MCGREEVY By Gail Shane This month's interview is with Brian McGreevy, Broker/Owner of Sarasota Home Realty. We had an interesting walk and talk at Sarasota's popular Main Street. One of Sarasota's most successful Realtors is Brian McGreevy, Broker/Owner of Sarasota Home Realty. This year, Brian has won his 5th consecutive award for excellence in customer satisfaction in real estate. This coveted honor, the “Five-Star Best In Client Satisfaction” Award reflects his devotion to his profession and to those he helps in fulfilling their dream of buying a Florida home. With a diverse educational background in engineering and business marketing, Brian, who is an MBA, has managed sophisticated industrial plants for large corporations, and has negotiated multimillion dollar deals for Manufacturers Augsburg Nuremburg, a German equipment manufacturer. He comes from New York and New Hampshire, where relatives still own a real estate company that specializes in ski chalet properties.

“I come from a smart family,” he laughs, “My grandparents lived here in the sixties, and I have a lot of relatives living here now who had arrived years ago. As a kid, while visiting my Grandparents, I recall playing endlessly on the beach. I was already building my castles in the sand…” Brian smiles at the memory. He grows serious and does a general sweep with his arm. “More than a decade ago, I wanted to escape the bleakness of the North. You see the lifestyle, you imagine the potential…a few are lucky enough to make this a permanent home. I wanted to be one of them, and so I did.” “You mentioned some of your relations are Canadian,” I remember. “Do many Canadians tend to gravitate to Sarasota?”

Brian's myopic approach brings results, as customers both past and present affirm. He consistently focuses his talents for business and sales, with an attention to detail that please customers, bringing them back for more of his special skills when new real estate ventures are sought.

“Most definitely,” Brian nods. “Think about it. Sarasota's proximity to Canada makes buying a second home here very attractive.”

A recent walk with Brian through Sarasota's popular and lively down town shopping district, on a brilliantly sunny day, prompted some interesting dialogue.

He answered enthusiastically. “In so many other cities, going from point A to B always seems to feel like a road trip…” he stated. “But here, your destination is accessible. It's a wonderful combination, unusual really, of cohesion and variety.

I asked him about his choice to settle in Sarasota from the North East: “What made you decide to come here?” His expression alone stated the obvious to anyone who has spent time in the area; his reply was laced with a friendly tinge of

64

sarcasm and a bit of amusement at my question, which could only suggest one type of answer.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

I wanted him to elaborate further: “Why do you think Sarasota is a special place to live?” I asked.

Locations are close enough to make the area feel livable in a unique way, because within that cohesive quality, you have so many different chances for a variety of pursuits.”


“Like what?” I ask. “In Lakewood Ranch, for example, you have world class polo, and steps away are businesses and golf courses,” he says. “And within ten minutes, you can be on the beach. Where else is this possible?” I was curious as to how this very busy Realtor preferred to capitalize on Sarasota's eclectic scene: “Your own hobbies are what?” I want to know. “In Lakewood Ranch, for example, you have world class polo, and steps away are businesses and golf courses,” he says. “And within ten minutes, you can be on the beach. Where else is this possible?”

“That is all true,” I nod in agreement. “Sarasota is an awesome location, so what kind of real estate opportunities are there here? Is it affordable?” “Definitely,” Brian states. “There are so many great ways to choose your living lifestyle as well. Beautiful condominiums are plentiful, and the kind of 'turn-key' mode of living is so liberating. Many dual residents live in condos, because they want to escape winter, lock up and go home. We have a lot of Europeans as partial residents, and in particular, Canadians. Florida, as a winter escape, is so convenient for them.

I was curious as to how this very busy Realtor preferred to capitalize on Sarasota's eclectic scene: “Your own hobbies are what?” I want to know.

I ask about other options, and he adds: “Single family homes are available in a very diverse range of price and type of property, too. You can have stunning waterfront or even five-acre lots with beautiful homes zoned for horses, and it's all relatively near to the city center.

His upbeat response made perfect sense for the region. “I love to scuba dive,” he offered, “And locally, there are so many opportunities with endless, visually interesting areas to explore. The colors of our gulf coast waters are nothing less than breathtaking: who could know there are so many variations on turquoise, blue and aqua?”

Some planned communities such as Palmer Ranch and Lakewood Ranch offer villa style living as well, which is a kind of hybrid between single family and condo styles of living. It's unlike any other area in this way - from downtown living to equestrian properties, Sarasota has it all.”

His eyes have become very bright and alive as he elaborates; he is clearly inspired: “The water sports boating, fishing, snorkeling, and what I do, scuba diving, are right here, and available within a challenging, beautiful environment. These are just some examples of the perks and benefits those residing in Sarasota discover.”

Brian McGreevy can be reached at 941-544-6763, SarasotaReal@gmail.com Gail Shane is the Realtor Liaison for Neal Communities, and is the host of Gail Shane & Friends “Community & Real Estate Talk" on WTMY 1280 AM Radio or www.wtmy.com, Saturdays 10-11am.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

65


R


Vol 3 I4 Florida Homes Magazine  

Florida Homes & Lifestyles Magazine is the go-to source for those seeking information and inspiration for all things related to real estate,...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you