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B E A U C I E L

discover a beautiful life

A N A DD R E S S O F D I S T I N C T I O N

9 9 0 B O U L E V A RD O F T H E A R TS # 1 1 0 2 – S A RA S O T A F L O R I DA


home in the sky 3,400 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3-1/2 baths For a complete list of the residence, building and hotel amenities visit www.MyBeauCiel.com $1,995,000 .....actual view from residence

relaxed living luxurious surroundings in the heart of sarasota Barbara Mei, Broker/Associate Surfside Properties (941) 893-7417 www.BarbaraMei.com

beau ciel.... the epitome of luxury


Your Lifestyle Awaits Matching Naples Properties To Your Perfect Lifestyle

Your Luxury Real Estate Specialist Representing Some Of The Finest Properties On Southwest Florida’s Beautiful Gulf Coast

239-298-9000

www.JackieSweet.com


CONTENTS Volume 2 Issue 4

FEATURES PUBLISHER’S PAGE ................................................................... 14 WELCOME ................................................................................. 16 NTRODUCTION .......................................................................... 18 SUN COAST ............................................................................... 20 LENNAR HOMES/River Strand & Heritage Bay.............................. 26 CULTURAL COAST ..................................................................... 32 PARADISE COAST ...................................................................... 44

DEPARTMENTS FOREIGN CURRENCY by Laura McLoughlin international buyer and currency exchange ...................................... 56 INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE by Carla Rayman the gulf of mexico and the state of florida ......................................... 60 IMMIGRATION LAWS & RESIDENCY by Sabine Weyergraf investment green card ................................................................... 64

ADDY

R

THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE

2009 ADDY Award Winner

gobal glo

.com mag s e hom rida o l f . www


FROM THE PUBLISHER

Summer is in full swing on Florida's Southwest Coast. Our gorgeous coastlines remain pristine and highly populated with visitors and residents alike. Whether the avid angler, sun worshiper or eco-enthusiast, the coast of Southwest Florida continues to offer the ultimate in natural bounty, and has remained unscathed by the oil off the coast of Louisiana. Get a coastal experience, via live web cam of awardwinning Siesta Key Beach at http://seesarasotalive.com/siesta-key.html.

About the Publisher: Canadian-born Mike Mattina has a passion for the Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle. A successful entrepreneur, 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.

The newest statistics from the National Association of Realtors'® 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, indicate the US remains a strong destination for international buying interest. The states of Florida and California, again, hold the position as the top two destinations, while Canada represents 23% of the international buying population, the largest buying group for the past three years. As of June 22, 2010 the International Property Journal named "Sarasota Florida is the best buy in the Western World!" The report, published in www.Global Edge.co.uk ranks popular resort and second home locations globally. Housing Snapshot As the recent US national headlines have read “Housing Falls off a Cliff,” the Southwest Florida Market continues to attract real estate buyers and post positive indications of market stability. With real estate being truly “local,” the following snapshot offers an overview of area activity. Sun Coast June 2010 sales continued a strong showing in the Tampa area market with 2,069 total residential sales, the highest since August of 2006, with April and May posting 1,951 and 1,851 respectfully. The Tampa market presently posts a 6.5-month inventory level, nearing the point of market balance. Cultural Coast Property sales in Sarasota have continued strong right through June 2010. Property sales hit 776, the highest of 2010, and the greatest total since December '05, while pending sales were once again strong at 767. Paradise Coast During the month of June 2010, the median sold price of a home in the Naples area was $245,000, versus $198,000 in June 2009. The $1M, and above, price points posted the greatest increase in pending and closed sales. A consistent increase in both pending sales and closed sales, along with a median price increase offer the greatest confirmation of the overall housing market recovery in Naples. Results You Can Count On Florida Homes Magazine's online presence www.FloridaHomesMag.com is a topranked website featuring digital editions of each issue, Southwest Florida Real Estate News, and feature Cover Stories of some of the areas finest homes. With an Alexa (web traffic) rank of 1,439,223, FloridaHomesMag.com is in the top 4.63% of all websites globally.

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ATCHLEY

INTERNATIONAL REALTY

Alan Atchley Broker-Associate, GRI, TRC, e-PRO

R

9040 Town Center Parkway Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 Office 941-782-1202 Cell 941-720-1641 www.AtchleyRealty.com

beyondreal estate FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

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WELCOME

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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.

Going Coastal

Equally famous for historic districts, intriguing architecture and landmarks, the cultural attraction 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 Sanibel and Captiva, awaken your spirit, foster your imagination and feed your soul. 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. FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

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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

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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

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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 336,823 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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.


LENNAR’S RIVER STRAND GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB RESORT PROVIDES AN EXCELLENT GETAWAY TO ALL THAT FLORIDA’S WEST COAST HAS TO OFFER

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coverprofile

B R A D E N T O N

E

xperience vacation style living everyday of the year at Lennar's River Strand Golf and Country Club Resort located in Heritage Harbour in beautiful Bradenton, Florida. This brand new gated community by Lennar, one of the nation's leading homebuilders since 1954, offers a lifestyle second-to-none. Whether you're an avid golfer, tennis player, or enjoy a relaxing day by the pool, River Strand is your oasis for luxury living. Heritage Harbour's exclusive gated golf and country club community, and its prime riverfront location, offer more than 2,500acres, including 200-acres of islands within the Manatee River. Minutes to the community marina, dining, amazing beaches, attractions and world-renowned performing arts, you'll enjoy the charms of hometown living with big city neighbors, only minutes away. Lennar offers a style for every life, featuring four neighborhood collections within the resort community. Terrace Condominiums: ranging from 1,194 to 1,408 square feet, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms; from the mid $100's. Coach Homes: two floor plans ranging from 1,861 to 2,193 square feet, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms; from the low $200's. Manor Homes: four floor plans ranging from 1,678 to 2,047 square feet, with two to four bedrooms and two to three bathrooms; from the $200's. Classic Homes: eight floor plans ranging from 2,553 to 2,926 square feet with three/four bedrooms and two/three and half bathrooms; from the low $300's. Estate Single-Family Homes: four floor plans ranging from 2,553 to 3,814 square feet with four/six bedrooms and two and a half to four bathrooms; from the low $500's. With the purchase of a new River Strand home, homebuyers receive a Full Country Club Equity Style Membership, which entitles them to have full-use of all River Strand's facilities including the 27-hole championship golf course designed by Arthur Hills.

You Belong Here Directions: From I-75, exit 220 East (SR 64), 1/4-mile to first light, left on Grand Harbour Pkwy into Heritage Harbour. Follow sign to River Strand. For more information call 888-214-1674 or visit www.RiverStrand.com FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

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LENNAR'S HERITAGE BAY GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB RESORT PROVIDES A FLORIDA LIFESTYLE AT ITS FINEST

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N A P L E S

H

eritage Bay Golf & Country Club Resort is fast becoming one of the most sought after addresses in Southwest Florida. With Lennar, one of America's leading homebuilders, offering amenityrich home collections, there's a style for every life. Heritage Bay, a new Naples gated golf and country club resort community is an amenity packed resort near pristine beaches, exclusive Coconut Point, Gulf Coast Town shopping and luxurious dining. Offering four distinctive neighborhood collections within the 673-acre resort community, each collection features a wide variety of amenities and three car garages, while pools and spas are also available.

The Terrace Condominiums: three floor plans ranging from 1,194 to 1,408 square feet, two bedrooms and two bathrooms; from the mid $100's. Luxury Verandas: two floor plans ranging from 1,414 to 1,681 square feet, two bedrooms and two bathrooms; from the low $200's. Coach Homes: offer two floor plans ranging from 1,883 to 2,099 square feet, three bedrooms and two bathrooms; from the high $200's. Estate Single-Family Homes: offer four floor plans ranging from 2,553 to 2,926 square feet, four bedrooms and three bathrooms; from the mid $500's. Heritage Bay combines golf, tennis and fitness, along with a full calendar of social events to fill days and nights with active enjoyment. Featuring a 27-hole championship, Lewis-Azinger designed, golf course in this “bundled” golf course community, where golf and amenity membership are included with the purchase of a home. For tennis enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels, there are seven lighted Har-Tru tennis courts, or residents can simply relax and enjoy the natural abundance of miles of preserves and crystal blue lakes surrounding more than 80% of the resort community.

Homes for Every Lifestyle from the Mid $100s – $500s Directions: I-75 to exit 111 (Immokalee Rd.) Community on left just east of SR 951 For more information call 888-204-3691 or visit www.HeritageBayLennar.com FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

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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.


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

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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. Loose 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 know 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 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.

Sophisticated St. Armands Circle, in Sarasota, features over 130 fine shops and gourmet restaurants. A world-renowned location, St. Armands is a market place of charming European-influenced

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 325,957 residents Airport Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (941359-5200) is located at the intersection of US 41 and University Parkway.

elegance. Gracefully blending the past and the 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. A popular escape for lovebirds, 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 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.

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."

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.


PARADISE COAST

PARADISE COAST

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

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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 21,377 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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


WHITNEY BEACH SHOPPING CENTER 4 (+/-) acres of rare commercial waterfront property (C2) in prime location with 534 ft. of road frontage directly across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. Currently operating as shopping center with 35,000 s.f. of space. $4,100,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

GULF FRONT RESIDENCE Approved architectural plans to build a luxurious “landmark” 8000 s.f. (+/-), 5 bedroom, 6.5 baths w/office, media room, elevated swimming pool & private spa. Surrounded by expansive terraces and lush tropical landscaping. $3,995,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

LOVELY KEY WEST STYLE HOME Secluded & airy 3BR/3.5BA home in Conrad Beach area of north Longboat Key. 4 balconies, fireplace & rooftop widow’s walk for viewing sunsets. $1,275,000 Butch Hunt 941302-8254

LUXURY WATERFRONT TOWNHOMES Large 2000 sf+ 3/2.5 Key West Style townhomes, furnished with Bay to Beach Views. Buy 8 as a whole project for $3.8 million or as individual units starting at $499,000. Ray Alexander or Tina Rudek 941-538-6660

FIRST FLOOR BEACH FRONT WALK OUT Step out to the beach or pool from this 2BR/2BA Gulf front unit in desirable Longbeach Condominiums on the white sands of North Longboat Key. Tastefully updated with tile, carpet & corian countertops. Rare to find & pet friendly complex. $495,000 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168

LOVELY CANAL WATERFRONT HOME with spacious accommodations. Owners pride shows thru out this beautiful waterfront, island getaway. Ideal as a vacation or primary residence with two Master Suites on main living area and grandfathered ground floor with 2 more bedrooms and additional living area. $799,000 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168

LIVE THE LIFESTYLE, OWN THE DREAM Highly sought after north end of Anna Maria Island, 3bd/3ba beauty with stunning views from all three front porches of Tampa Bay. Kick back and enjoy the marine life. Entertain in style in a private pool complete with Pergola and views of the Bay. $1,090,000 Vicki Gilbert 941-713-

WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE! Build your dream home where the River meets the Bayou surrounded by water on 3 sides. Wonderful views of Manatee River & Warner's Bayou. Stately Riverview Blvd area with a great school district. The dock & lift are ready for your boat. Only 10 minutes to the white sandy beaches of the Gulf. $439,000 Call Gina Brulato 941-730-3653

TRULY ONE OF A KIND and like no other on Longboat Key! 100x550 Gulf front property extends to additional 17,000 s.f. waterfront parcel with existing boat house and docks on protected sailboat water leading directly to the IntraCoastal Waterway. This estate size property offers the best of both water worlds. $5,500,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

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: +1 941.383.9194 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


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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.

1.941.966.3575

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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

Buying a Business? Let Gary Kauffman, Esq. structure the best purchase arrangement to help you qualify for an E-2 visa, or for your unique situation. Mr. Kauffman is experienced and qualified to handle the most complex transactions.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE SERVICES 56

Laura McLoughlin Regional Manager Moneycorp Inc 1.407.352.5890 laura.mcloughlin@moneycorp.com www.moneycorp.com

THE INTERNATIONAL BUYER AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE - A PREDICTABLE TREND? By Laura McLoughlin The anticipated report “The 2010 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity” has just been released and provides interesting reading. Anyone involved in the real estate market over the past couple of years, or more realistically further back to the past 5 years, lets face it who would get into real estate in the present environment, would probably have been looking to diversify their service offering and marketing efforts given the slow down in the housing market and general economic conditions.

So why the change?

More and more real estate professionals looked globally, recognizing that “foreign nationals” represented a big market share. The National Association of Realtors also recognized the buying power of non-residents and undertook its first research project to better understand this market. The resultant 2006 NAR Profile provided a tremendous amount of information on the foreign buyer, and also gave a plethora of facts and statistics of where clients were coming from, the types of homes they bought, the amount of money they spent etc. A useful tool for any budding international practitioner. Back then, it was the Britons who topped the table as number one home buyers in Florida, not surprising for anyone living in Florida, especially in the Orlando area. By 2008, the Canadians had topped the table with the UK running a close second. However, according to the new report, spanning the period April 2009 to March 2010, the Canadians are still number one, followed by Mexico then Hong Kong/China, with the Britons running in fourth place.

Currency exchange rates..a deciding factor?

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

The global economic conditions are no doubt a factor. The UK and Europe are still trying to claw their way back to financial security, while Canada and Mexico are experiencing relative growth. Lack of financing, visa concerns and tax issues are all considerations for international buyers. But, does this help explain why some countries have more buyers coming here than others?

Interestingly, the Canadian Dollar (CAD), Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) and Mexican Pesos (MXN) all either appreciated or remained constant against the United States Dollar (USD) from April 2009 to March 2010, the same period that NAR conducted their survey. The CAD appreciated more than 20% from $0.78 to parity, the MXN appreciated just under 10%, while the HKD remained constant. The Great British Pound (GBP) failed to live up to its great expectations, similar to England's hopes of winning the World Cup, and fell from 1.68 to a low of 1.44. Gone are the days of the GBP trading above 2.00, for now anyway. The NAR report concluded that “it appears that the value of the dollar relative to other currencies is an important factor in influencing the purchasing decision.”


So why so important? For Realtors, it is important to recognize the importance of currency exchange rates because it is the reason clients from other countries buy. For clients, it controls their buying power, which controls the amount of money they have to spend.

The benefits of their service is that they provide the best exchange rates, fast and efficient transfers, and risk management solutions to ensure clients get the best currency exchange and a transfer solution. They also have a Referring Partner Program designed specifically for Realtors working with international clients. How does it work? Open your Trading facility. Book your trade. Transfer funds.

Currencies fluctuate

Opening a trading facility is a one-time, no fee, no obligation process. From there you will then be put in contact with your expert to assist you get the best rate, at the best time. When you have booked your transaction, you will choose the date you want Moneycorp to transfer your funds and arrange for your local currency to be sent to Moneycorp on or before this date.

The first issue, as highlighted above, is that currencies fluctuate. Large movements in small amounts of time are not uncommon. These movements will affect the amount of money buyers have to spend.

If you would like to find out more about the currency exchange market, the services Moneycorp provides, or simply have related questions, please contact Laura McLoughlin on +1-407-352-5890 or visit www.moneycorp.com/us.

Exchange rate “price”

As the Regional Manager, Laura leads a team of specialists who assist clients who need to exchange and transfer their currency. In the recent years, Moneycorp have positioned themselves as the industry leader in the real estate market, assisting clients with the exchange and transfer of funds for the property transactions. Having now helped many clients through this process, in addition to working directly with the real estate professionals, Laura can ensure the process is simply, efficient and provides a complete currency exchange solution. Laura McLoughlin, the Regional Manager for Moneycorp Inc, joined TTT Moneycorp Limited UK in 2000 and worked in the Retail, Operations and Projects division before joining the Key Partnerships team as Business Development Manager. Her first role took her to Spain where she opened the Costa Blanca Office before carrying out market research in Portugal, heading back to London and eventually Moving to Central Florida in March 2005 to establish Moneycorp Inc, a subsidiary of TTT Moneycorp Limited located in Knightsbridge London. Oridinally from North West of England, Laura studied Economics and Law at the University of Wales. With her extensive knowledge of international business and marketing in addition to her expertise of the foreign exchange and international trading markets, Laura is recognized as an industry leader in her field. Laura strongly supports the growth of international business into Florida and is an active member of many international councils and boards across the state. Laura regularly speaks at seminars and conferences on the importance of currency exchange and issues clients with foreign exchange requirements today.

It is also important to understand the issues faced by clients who have to not only exchange their currency, but also transfer it here to purchase their piece of US real estate.

Most people are not aware that the exchange rate market is the same as any other market, and the price a client pays, that is “the 'exchange rate” varies depending on the financial institution used to facilitate the exchange and transfer. Other considerations Commission charges, transfer times, and tracking of funds can cause problems when trying to make an international payment. For clients, it can cause many a headache in the already unfamiliar process; for Realtors it can delay closings or even lose the sale completely. The solution Moneycorp Inc, a subsidiary of TTT Moneycorp Limited, is a specialist foreign exchange company who help individuals and clients make international payments. Moneycorp Trading name of TTT Moneycorp Limited 1962 Company incorporated 1979 Started dealing in foreign exchange £11bn+ Traded in currencies in 2009 600+ Dedicated employees 2.8m+ Customers served in 2009 20%+ Average income growth per Annum since 1979

FOREIGN EXCHANGE SERVICES

I would concur, wholeheartedly, and go one step further concluding currencies that perform well against the USD over a particular time draws-in buyers and visa versa.

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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

THE GULF OF MEXICO AND THE STATE OF FLORIDA By Carla Rayman

As per Wikipedia, the Gulf of Mexico is the ninth largest body of water in the world and encompasses 615,000 miles. It is partially landlocked, largely surrounded by North America and Cuba. When people hear the Gulf of Mexico, they immediately assume Florida however, there are five US states that border the Gulf of Mexico: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. There are also Mexico, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama for the remainder of continental North America. The State of Florida itself is 58,560 square miles. It has 1,197 statute miles of coastline and 633 miles of beaches. In total area, it is ranked the 22nd largest state. You would drive 792 miles, by road, from Pensacola (Florida Panhandle) to Key West, the southernmost tip of the United States. It is important to understand the geography as it relates to the BP oil spill off the coasts of Mississippi and Louisiana. It is this location where the heaviest oil was located prior to BP capping the well in July. The only effect on the State of Florida was some evidence of tar balls coming ashore in the Panhandle (northwest corner of Florida) or roughly 10% of Florida's beaches.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

The areas from Tampa and Clearwater to Sarasota and Naples, over 200-miles from the spill, have been unaffected. Though our coastlines remain pristine, it has hindered tourism and most of Florida's economy. For the most recent information on the BP oil spill and its location, I recommend www.noaa.gov for maps and daily updates. Other sites to reference are: http://www.scgov.tv/SiestaBeachCam and www.mote.org. Due to the crisis, the association of Florida Realtors took action to help those who own property in Florida, but are not homesteaded (meaning Florida is not their primary residence). The Florida legislature is now open to looking at reassessing property taxes to a post-spill date (July 1) versus the current required assessment date of January 1. They can also give affected property owners the ability to defer property tax amounts. So what does this mean if you own, or plan to purchase property in Florida? There is a 5% assessment cap amendment on the November ballot. If this passes, the amendment is retroactive to January 1, 2010.


With respect to the horrible tragedy, there is some positive news. The Gulf Coast of Florida's real estate market has stabilized. The level of sales for distressed properties decreased 8% from 2009 (10% in Sarasota-Bradenton), which is a strong indicator of the return to a normal market. Inventory levels also decreased for single family homes down to 7.2-month supply and 9.7-month supply for condos in May. Once the market reaches the 6-month supply level, it is considered to be balanced between buyers and sellers. The current inventory is a dramatic change from the extreme buyer's market of several years ago, when there was more than a 30-month supply of homes in many markets. Sales of new homes rose nearly 24% in June, from May 2010, nationwide. The southern US states performed the second best, nationwide, with new homes sales up 33%. Manatee County (Bradenton areas) doubled permits in the first 3 months of this year and Sarasota and North Port continued to see rapid growth.

Just south of Sarasota, Charlotte County was one of the few markets to see a decrease in new homes sales from May to June. June condominium sales soared in Southwest Florida, up 53% in Sarasota and Bradenton over last year, the 4th highest percentage increase in the state. Charlotte County and North Port were up 167% from a year ago, which was the largest percentage increase in Florida. Statewide, condo sales increased 33% from May to June. Ft Myers and Cape Coral were the only markets on Florida’s Gulf Coast to see a price appreciation in June. While the prices increased 5%, these areas were also rated second in the nation for the highest foreclosure rates, according to Realty Trac. Yet, the positive news is that the number of foreclosures had decreased by nearly 22% from the previous six months and was down nearly 30% from the first half of 2009. With mortgage rates and property prices still at historic lows, there is no better time to invest. I invite you to visit our area and see why we still call the Gulf Coast of Florida “PARADISE.”

INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE

This will be a 50% reduction from the 10% cap on real estate taxes for non-homesteaded property owners, which limits the amount by which property taxes can increase each year.

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OYSTER BAY ESTATES Stately and impressive sits this grand Tuscan inspired home on a large scenic lake in this prestigious neighborhood. True to its architecture, this home has been authentically appointed with custom milled doors, Venetian plaster walls and ceilings, granite and stainless appliances, 3 fireplaces, porcelain tile and wood flooring R

JANIS COLLIER, GRI, ABR, REALTOR Cell (941) 313-1212, Office (941) 951-6660 janiscollier@michaelsaunders.com www.janiscollier.com

throughout. Over 5800 square feet featuring 4 ensuite bedrooms, an expansive bonus room over the garage, 2 laundry rooms and 3 car parking. You'll enjoy entertaining on the gracious patio, complete with fireplace and summer kitchen, swimming in the saline pool with spa or canoeing on the lake. Located close to the exclusive Field Club, and just minutes to downtown and the Siesta Key beaches. Offered at $1,999,000.


SIESTA KEY Stunning and sophisticated, over 5000 sq ft, 4 en-suite bedrooms, office/den, elevator, high ceilings, floating staircase, summer kitchen, pool with spa and short bike ride to the beach. $1,325,000

BAYPOINT HOMESITE Prime property located on Palma Sola Bay with IntraCoastal & Bay views. Protected boat dock just across the street. Gated community near the delightful Cortez beaches. $259,000

RIVO ON RINGLING Exciting architecture, wonderful amenities, and a convenient location make this 2 bedroom PLUS den a winner!! Enjoy BAY views from the south facing balcony. An incredible price $379,900.

IN GATED TREYMORE NEIGHBORHOOD IN PALM AIRE, bank-owned Rutenberg built home, 4BR + office, pool backing to lush landscaping, stainless appliances, hardwood/tile flooring. A steal at $399,000

PALM AIRE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB maintenance-free villa lives like a home with 2 bedrooms + office, glassed-in Florida room, eat-in kitchen, laundry room and one car garage. $145,000 R

JANIS COLLIER, GRI, ABR, REALTOR Cell (941) 313-1212, Office (941) 951-6660 janiscollier@michaelsaunders.com www.janiscollier.com


IMMIGRATION LAWS & RESIDENCY 64

Sabine Weyergraf Managing Partner Weyergraf & Martin Immigration, PA Sarasota - Cape Coral - Naples 941-706-4102 www.weyergrafimmigration.com

INVESTMENT GREEN CARD By Sabine Wyergraf Green Card - permanent residency is the goal for most immigrants.

E-2 Investor Visa

The question is: How does one achieve this goal?

For people who do not operate an overseas business or would like to receive more than one year of initial visa validity, the E-2 Investor Visa is a viable option. As a general rule, the E-2 Visa requires an investment of around $100,000 into the establishment of an U.S. company.

This answer to this question for many is “marriage.” Marriage to a U.S. Citizen is certainly an option, as long as it is a real marriage. For a married couple who would like to jointly immigrate to the United States, marriage to a U.S. citizen is not an option. Thus, what are the alternatives? Speaking in general terms, two non-immigrant visas, an L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa, or an E-2 Investor Visa are widely popular as a starting point. However for foreign nationals with available economic resources, an investment of $500,000 or $1,000,000 may be the route to go as it leads immediately to the green card. L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa The L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa permits the transfer of a Manager, (which can certainly be the owner of an overseas company) to a branch, subsidiary or commonly-owned affiliate in the United States. The requirements are: a) the transferred employee has been in a managerial or executive position in the overseas company for one year in the past three years, b) the U.S. company is a branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the overseas company, c) the U.S. company demonstrates a viability and capacity for expansion that it will necessitate the hiring of U.S. workers. The overseas and U.S. companies are not required to engage in the same business activity, nor is there a requirement for a set minimum amount of money that must be invested. However, the overseas company has to remain active and operating for the entire duration of the L-1 visa. The L-1 visa for a start-up company will be issued for one year with the option of renewal for three years and then another three years for L-1A managers. The renewal of an L-1 visa requires a significant number of employees and a strong showing of business viability.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

In order to apply for an E-2 visa based on a U.S. business, the investment has to be already completed. This means that the investor must have signed a fully legally binding business purchase contract and have placed the purchase monies in an escrow account for the purchase to be complete upon visa issuance OR the start-up business must be fully established. In those cases where the investor has purchased an existing business, it is important that the business already have employees. If the investor is establishing a new business, she is required to demonstrate that the business has the potential to employ U.S. workers and is already seeking to recruit them. How to convert the L-1 & L-2 As previously stated, the L-1 and E-2 are temporary non-immigrant visas. The next question is “how you can convert those visas into the green card and remain permanently in the United States?” If your U.S. company is well established, which means that it is profitable and providing employment for U.S. workers, and your overseas company is also still operating, you can apply for a Multinational Manager Green Card based on the fact that you are needed in the U.S. on a permanent, full-time basis to manage the U.S. operations. For the Multinational Manager Green Card it does not matter if you are in L-1 or E-2 status.


If you do not want to first apply for an L-1 or E-2 and go straight for the permanent residency, then you can apply for an immigrant investor green card. This is the Eb-5 program, which requires the investment of $500,000 to $1,000,0000 either in the establishment of your own U.S. company or by investing in a Regional Center. $500,000 is sufficient if invested in a designated rural or high unemployment area. Anywhere else you need to invest $1,000,000. SM

After the investment is complete, the Immigration Service issues a conditional residency valid for two-years. Within these two-years either your project at the regional center, or your own company has to create ten fulltime jobs. If you can document these jobs, you will be granted permanent residency. These are only three ways to receive your permanent residency. Besides these, there are also options to receive your green card through the Green Card Lottery, based on a job offer from a U.S. company, or based on extraordinary ability. Currently the purchase of real estate alone does not provide you with a temporary or permanent right to stay in the United States, as it is considered to be a passive investment.

A Regional Center is basically a management company that collects money from foreign investors and then invests it in designated projects, such as the building of an airport, a solar field, housing or farms.

Sabine Weyergraf is managing partner and New York licensed attorney practicing solely immigration law with Weyergraf & Martin Immigration, PA Sarasota, Florida. For additional information and assistance, she can be reached via telephone: 941-706-4102, or email: sabine@weyer grafimmigration.com

If you would like to invest in your own company, then $1,000,000 are mostly necessary. The investment has to be made, in cash, invested in the company. Retained earnings accrued over the years in a successful business do not count.

This article is provided for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

Weyergraf & Martin Immigration, PA is a firm dedicated to providing high quality immigration law services to a wide spectrum of clients for virtually any immigration problem or issue. Moreover, we endeavor to provide our clients with a comprehensive strategy to see their case through to the end by advising our clients how to maintain and extend their no-nimmigrant status and what steps need to be taken in order to pursue legal permanent resident status. We represent employers and foreign nationals with services that encompass the necessary applications and petitions for temporary, non-immigrant visas, provide assistance with family-based immigration, waiver applications, legal services to clients facing removal and seeking relief, employment-based green card applications, as well as immigrant investors.

IMMIGRATIONS LAWS & RESIDENCY

It only matters that the U.S. company and the foreign company remain viable, that you are needed to manage the U.S. company on a permanent and full-time basis, and that you worked for the overseas company at least one year in the three previous years prior to coming to the United States. The L-1 visa is not a necessity to receive a Multinational Manager Green Card. It is important to note, however, that, if you closed your business overseas, you cannot apply for a Multinational Manager Green Card.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

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Florida Homes Magazine Vol 2 Issue 4  

Welcome to the life and lifestyle of endless sunshine and swaying palms that is the allure of Florida’s Southwest Coast. Where near perfect...

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