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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 $1,849,000 .....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


YOU worked hard... YOU saved...

YOU endured the cold and snow...

The time has come to

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

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

relentlessly pursuing perfection

TM


CONTENTS Volume 3 Issue 1

ADDY

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THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE

FEATURES

2009 ADDY Award Winner

PUBLISHER’S PAGE ................................................................... 12 WELCOME ................................................................................. 14 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................... 16 SUN COAST ............................................................................... 18 RENEE BUTLER/The Masterpiece on Lake Eloise .................... . . 24 CULTURAL COAST ..................................................................... 30 PARADISE COAST ...................................................................... 42

DEPARTMENTS CROSS BORDER BANKING by Alain Forget why canadians are giving florida another look ................................... 58 INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE by Carla Rayman the importance of who you choose as your real estate agent ............. 60 IMMIGRATION LAW by Sabine Weyergraf new developments in immigration law .............................................. 62 BUILDING. HOME. LIFE by Gail Shane an interview with Mirian Metz ........................................................... 64 1700 N. Lake Eloise Drive (see page 24)

gobal glo


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FROM THE PUBLISHER

s we welcome in a new year, as well as a new Governor to the Sunshine State, let's take a look at some of the opportunities and positive indicators for Florida's economic and real estate future. Great real estate value. Statewide, the economic downturn, mortgage crisis and housing struggles of the past two years offer potential home buyers unsurpassed value from every vantage point. With a continued spotlight on the hot real estate market in Southwest Florida, investors, retirees, international buyers and seasonal residents are springing into action to assure this unprecedented opportunity doesn't pass them by.

About the Publisher: Canadian-born Mike Mattina has a passion for the Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle. His personal search for a home in Florida exposed a great need for area information not easily attained, and has propelled his present desire to assure comprehensive relocation, vacation and real estate information is readily available to international buyers seeking the Florida lifestyle.

A long-term growth state. Long-term economic and demographic trends continue to favor Florida. Florida has been one of the 10 fastest growing states in the U.S. for each of the past seven decades, and often the state has been in the top four, according to Census data. Population growth will continue to provide a foundation for other economic development, such as new jobs, an increased need for services and subsequent demand for housing. A migration magnet. Even with a slowdown in economic growth nationally, projections call for Florida's population to return to more normal growth levels of about 317,000 per year between 2010 and 2020, according to the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. A continued favored retirement destination. Over the long-term, Florida stands to benefit from the migration of the aging Baby Boomer generation, roughly 80 million strong. Demographic studies show that the Sunshine State's mild climate and recreational amenities continue to make Florida a favorite retirement destination, as well as a preferred seasonal and second home location. A diverse economy. Florida's economy, like the rest of the nation, is impacted by the recession. Some business sectors though appear promising for the Florida economy. The healthcare and technology sectors are quickly becoming an important economic force in South and Central Florida, while transportation is in expansion mode and retail businesses appear to be launching additional Florida locations, while others are expanding their existing Florida operations. Home ownership value. Home ownership provides a variety of tangible and intangible benefits to the community, as well as the homeowners. Recent surveys indicate The American Dream of home ownership remains a vibrant pursuit, and more readily attainable to many previously priced-out of the market. Long-term sense of well-being. Owning a home leads to increased personal wellbeing. Research shows that people who own their own homes tend to show higher levels of personal self-esteem and overall life satisfaction. Stronger communities through resident involvement. People who own homes have a strong financial stake in what happens in their community and tend to become more involved in community and civic affairs. A truly unsurpassed lifestyle. Finally, the abundance that brings people to Florida in the first place, and will continue to attract them -- beautiful beaches, fabulous weather, environmental protection and a friendly business climate, with no state income tax. It's no wonder that Florida's combination of welcoming climate, outstanding recreational amenities, diverse natural bounty and economic opportunity have consistently put the Sunshine State at the top of "Most Desirable Places to Live." Last, but not least, we extend our deepest appreciation to the continued support of our advertisers that make this publication a reality. On behalf of everyone at Florida Homes Magazine…our sincerest wishes to all for a vibrant and prosperous 2011.

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ATCHLEY

INTERNATIONAL REALTY

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

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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. Equally famous for historic districts, intriguing architecture and landmarks, the cultural attractions of Naples, Sarasota and Tampa include theatre, seasonal ballet, the symphony, and countless distinctive art galleries, along with a large population of local artisans. While festivals year-round such as the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa, the Sarasota Blues Festival and the Taste of the Islands in

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 awardwinning greens.

Going Coastal

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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

1700 N. Lake Eloise Drive (see page 24)


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.


The Masterpiece

On Lake Eloise, Central Florida

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Magnificent Lakefront Estate with 16,000 sq ft, 9 bedrooms, bedrooms, 8.5 8.5 baths, baths, located located inin Central Central Florida Florida on on Lake Lake Eloise. Eloise. Stunningt Stunning architectural design, situated on 4.5 acres with separate guest house, additional nanny quarters and 6 car garage. This award winning “Green� home has received 5 Aurora Awards, staged for 2009 H20 Extreme motion picture, and MTV Teen Cribs Episode! Discover the larger-than-life experience from this marvelous estate offering unsurpassed quality and refined craftsmanship, no luxury has been spared in the finishes and appointments throughout. A thoughtful approach to design and an extensive use of custom cabinetry, hand-crafted details, granite, porcelain tile, architectural details and state-of-the-art technology provide the ultimate luxury lifestyle. 24

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a magnificent lakefront estate A sweeping drive and grand entry, with stunning leaded glass inset mahogany doors, provide a stately welcome to the impressive Grand Room with gorgeous panoramic view of Lake Eloise and the extraordinary outdoor entertaining area. In the heart of the home, a kitchen of grand proportions, anchored by a 9’ by 6’ granite island, plus breakfast room and family room share an open space where the family can gather together. From the meticulously appointed gourmet kitchen with circular stepped tray ceiling and catering kitchen with separate entrance to the epitome of entertaining and advanced system implementation, immerse yourself in the best of Florida living.

Photography by: Anne Soule

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Twilight Photography by: Mike Potthast

the epitome of luxury with grand architectural details

and the finest finishes throughout the 16,000 square feet 26

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A state-of-the-art Theatre Room offers a 110-inch projection screen, fiber optic star-lit ceiling and gracious leather recliners, while an advanced entertainment system allows for radio, CD and DVD programming, in any room, via a number of small wall-mounted touch screens. The ultimate in sophistication and refinement are found in the Music Room, with double door entry, elaborate ceiling and hand-scraped walnut plank floors, finished in the finest details. Start your day in the mirrored Exercise Room with morning kitchen, along with a dedicated massage area, equipped with 7-foot table and a private entrance to the front terrace. Relish the perfect romantic escape in the sumptuous Master Retreat, with lavish appointments, majestic master bath, hand-crafted finishes and fireplace, accompanied by a private courtyard, sauna and stacked stone exterior fireplace. In addition, you'll find a teen or mother-in-law suite downstairs and five bedrooms upstairs. Extensive landscape and ambient outdoor lighting beckon spectacular lake front entertaining, with an endless pool, large elevated swim-in-place spa, multiple waterfalls, fully equipped summer kitchen and loggia with gas fireplace. The architecturally striking open pavered lanai and pool area are protected with the latest technology in pest defense allowing for the elimination of conventional screening, while optimizing lake views. A maintenance-free dock, constructed of Choice Deck, covered boat slip, electric hoist and private boat ramp offer the best of boating and water sport activities. A comfortable guest house offers a 12-foot tray ceiling, beautifully appointed full bath, morning kitchen and network capabilities, while separate Nanny quarters, above the 6-car garage, boasts a gorgeous lake view, well appointed kitchen, laundry facility and separate alarm system. Many additional systems and features have been included to assure the greatest comfort for residents. They include an elevator, whole house 150KW generator, three Rinnai insta-hot water units, nine Lennox heating & cooling systems w/SEER 20, individually climate controlled rooms, five gas fireplaces, Sony Sound system, state-of-the-art entertainment system, Bahama shutters and motorized shades, custom molding and trim throughout, central vacuum, security systems and Bugslayer System for year-round outdoor pleasure. Offered for $5, 250,000

Renee Butler Brokers Realty of CFI 1142 First Street South, Winter Haven, FL 33880

Toll Free 800.420.6773 Direct 863.294.6773 Fax 863.297.5337 ReneButler@aol.com www.ReneeButlerTeam.com

Because Every Home Needs A Butler

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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. Lose yourself in the gentle

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

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

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

appeal. A designated “Florida Main Street” community, Venice is also a cultural Mecca, with its annual festivals, galleries, live theatre and of course the Venice symphony. Also 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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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.


941-735-8989 or 941-730-5555 imagedigitalcommunications.com


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.

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

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


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

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

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

PARADISE COAST

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

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

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

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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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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.


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. 50

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

966.3575 1.941. 1.941.966.3575

www.SarasotaClosings.com

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

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


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

Luxury Waterfront Townhomes $499,000-$599,000 Ray Alexander or Tina Rudek 941-538-6660

Heritage Harbour 4Bd/3Bath Beauty $499,000 Lisa Bouck or Ray Alexander 941-538-6600

Gulf Front 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath $379,000 James Patterson 941-730-9296

Live The Lifestyle, Own The Dream $1,090,000 Vicki Gilbert 941-713-0195

Water, Water, Everywhere $439,000 Call Gina Brulato 941-730-3653

Truly One Of A Kind $5,500,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

Buy One or Both Tradewinds Units $170,000 Ea James Patterson 941-730-9296

Bel Mare 2Bd/2.5 Bath Condo $379,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337

Longboat Key Gulf Front Condo $599,999 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168

Magnificent Bayou Club Estate $2,200,000 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168

Unique North Shore Estate $1,395,000 James Patterson or Bill Brittain 941-538-6660

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

Gorgeous Full Bay View Duplex $999,999 Lisa Bouck 941-374-0165

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

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

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

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

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


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CROSS BORDER BANKING 58

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

WHY CANADIANS ARE GIVING FLORIDA ANOTHER LOOK By Alain Forget When Alain Forget, director of RBC Bank’s US-based Cross Border Banking Segment, contemplated a series of seminars to brief Montreal and Toronto residents on some important nuances of buying Florida real estate, he had no idea how popular the 2-hour events would be. As it turns out, they were standing-room-only with lots of Q&A. Forget invited Florida-based experts in real estate, law and tax as well as foreign exchange professionals to speak at a series of invitation-only, in-person seminars in Canada this fall. For the Montreal seminars held in late September and October, middleclass to high-net-worth Canadians filled a total of 1,000 seats to learn about Florida real estate. That response prompted Forget to schedule additional dates, including Toronto this fall. More than 80 percent of the initial series attendees said they did not yet own Florida property and more than half said they were actively considering buying. From these 2010 sessions the Canadian attendees asked questions and voiced some common themes. Here are a few highlights: Why Now? Younger Baby Boomers in their mid-40s to mid-50s are reaching the age when some are taking active steps toward retirement. For many, that means looking for a house in a warm climate with lots of amenities from which to choose. In the last two years U.S. prices have been falling; but it seems that prices are now stabilizing and

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE

the window of opportunity is open. For the Canadians who are considering retirement in three to five years, the return on their investment looks favorable to purchase a Florida property for $150,000 to $200,000 that two years ago sold for $350,000 to $450,000. These new buyers will also likely find familiar accents in their new Florida neighborhood. One speaker told the attendees that of 200 properties his firm sold recently in a Florida development, 100 were to Canadian buyers. Dollar for Dollar, It’s A Very Tempting Opportunity The exchange rate for the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar is close to par. Movement of a few percentage points makes a substantial difference in a purchase of $200,000. There may be no better time to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate in combination with historically low mortgage interest rates and a choice of properties at affordable prices. Understanding the process for locking in a current exchange rate for a period in the future, for example, can make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars when it is time to close on a new property. Short Sales and Foreclosures Draw Attention The prospect of getting a tremendous bargain, which a foreclosure may represent, is offset to an extent by the length of time and complexity of the process required to buy in a short sale or to purchase a foreclosed property. The appeal of capturing the very best deal also extends to different geographies around the state.


Homeowners Associations offer prospects of Convenience, Choice and Confusion A property might have a low purchase price, but require a significant monthly fee paid to the homeowners association. Understanding those HOA fees and what they cover can increase the comfort level for prospective buyers and help them establish realistic budgets. Lifestyle Is Key For some buyers, a condominium with no frills, but plenty of access to the sun and surf is just the right fit. For others, the gated community offering golf, tennis, pools and other club amenities makes the decision easy. The Florida market provides both kinds of properties – and others in between. But for prospective buyers who are just starting the process and who want to know the implications of cross border tax issues, immigration restrictions and other critical information, the decisions about the vacation and retirement home are complex. The popularity of the Canadian seminars signals a brighter future for Florida investment by younger Canadians and sends the message that these prospective buyers are hungry for professionals with Florida knowledge and Canadian experience. About RBC Bank RBC Bank, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., offers a wide range of financial services and advice to individuals, businesses and public institutions throughout the Southeast.

RBC Bank’s network includes more than 420 full-service banking centers in six states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia). RBC Bank is the 40th largest U.S. bank by consolidated assets, according to SNL Financial’s List of the Nation’s 50 Largest Banks, September 2010. RBC Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Canada's largest and most stable bank as measured by assets and market capitalization. In August 2009, Global Finance Magazine ranked RBC as the safest bank in the Western Hemisphere. RBC is also one of the world's financial, social and environmental corporate leaders, having appeared on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index every year since its creation in 1999. In today's economy, RBC Bank is especially fortunate to be part of the RBC family. As the sixth largest financial institution in North America and among the 15 largest globally by market capitalization, with one of the best credit ratings in the world, RBC offers its U.S. clients unparalleled strength and stability. Alain Forget Born in Montreal Canada, Alain has been working for RBFG (Royal Bank Financial Group) for over 32 years in Canada, the Caribbean and since 2000 in the United States. Alain has performed various business and sales leadership roles and since 2004 is responsible for the cross border segment. For more information about Cross Border Banking and related resources, contact Alain Forget: alain.forget@rbc.com, 1-516-4435432 / www.rbcbankusa.com.

Get access to your money seamlessly with RBC Access USA.

CROSS BORDER BANKING

Understanding West Coast vs East Coast and Northern vs Southern markets is very important in weighing cost and value, but is not easy from 2,000 miles away.

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INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE

®

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 IMPORTANCE OF WHO YOU CHOOSE AS YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT By Carla Rayman

A REALTOR in Florida has access to a multiple listing system

renting it for a few months a year? What is your exit

and can show you any properties that are available for sale.

strategy? Should you put your children on the title? Should

You do not need to contact numerous agents to see different

you put the property in a corporation, or trust?

properties – this can only confuse the issue and create problems. Identify the right agent for you and develop a relationship with them before you start viewing properties. A licensed real estate agent with a CIPS will know how to guide you through the purchase process seamlessly. They will direct you to a tax advisor, real estate attorney, currency exchange company, financial institution or mortgage broker, immigration attorney (if applicable), as well as helping you secure the right property for you.

Certified International Property Specialist and the team of experts that he/she will have you speak with to best advise you. Once your agent understands your needs, he/she will be able to locate the appropriate property based on your criteria and financial capability. They will deliver you service and be able to offer you advice on the local market and any problems or issues that may exist with a property or location.

So how does this “team of experts” come into play?

They will advise you on how to construct your offer based on

Everyone’s situation is different. How will you use the

market conditions and will negotiate with the seller.

property? Will it just be a second home, or do you plan on

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These and other numerous questions will be asked by your

FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE


Interested in learning more about purchasing in the USA?

transaction details and help you with identifying financial

Contact Your Global Agents for details on upcoming

advisors, attorneys, inspectors, interior designers, etc. They

seminars in Florida and Canada.

will make sure you are aware of all contract deadlines and will find solutions when problems arise. And when problems do arise, a good agent will tell you the truth and protect your interests versus “selling you� and telling you what you want to hear.

As Certified International Property Specialists, our expertise is assisting international buyers purchase real estate in Florida or with partners in other parts of the world. We work with a team of experts to consult you on the right investment choice, financing, currency exchange, tax, legal,

Finding the right real estate agent for you is key to not only a

immigration, and due diligence. Please contact us for a

successful transaction, but to the financial future of you and

private consultation.

your family. Choosing an agent that is sophisticated in the Your Global Agents international property field helps ensure asset protection and

Carla Rayman, GRI, CIPS, TRC, e-PRO

piece of mind for one of the most important purchases in your

Patricia Tan, GR,. CIPS, TRC

lifetime.

www.YourGlobalAgents.com

INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE

When your offer is accepted, the agent will keep track of all the

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IMMIGRATION LAWS AND RESIDENCY 62

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

NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN IMMIGRATION LAW By Sabine Weyergraf, Esq. With the inauguration of President Obama we were hoping of new positive

petitions filed in the United States currently have processing times of

developments in Immigration for 2010. Now, looking back, what did really

between two and three months. The faster processing times are a function

change for Immigrants and Visa Holders in 2010? Not much for the better

of the lower numbers of cases that are being filed. Rumor has it that in

that is for sure. However there are some interesting new procedures and

order to keep their jobs, USCIS reviewers are increasing the number

developments.

requests for additional evidence—in essence creating more work so that they can justify their continued employment with the agency.

New Non-Immigrant Visa Form The Department of State introduced a new online form, the DS-160, which

Fee Increases

every non-immigrant has to complete. The form is a “smart form,” changing

The State Department and US Citizenship and Immigration Services fees

its questions based on the information entered—although some have found

have increased quite significantly this year. The E-2 visa fee at the

the form developers not so “smart” when they go on line to fill the form out

Embassies went up to $390 per person and the fee for a tourist or student

and encounter difficulties.

visa increased to $140. The fee for an immigrant visa petition for a family member went up to $420 and the fee for an immigrant employment-based

The form requires that the passport picture of the applicant be directly

petition is now $580.

uploaded into the form. After completion of the form, it is electronically submitted to the Embassy. That means the Embassy will have the

The fees for Eb-5 Immigrant Investors have also significantly increased to

applicant’s information a long time in advance of the interview. It also

$1,500 for the I-526, the initial recognition as a Immigrant Investor and

means that it is more difficult to correct any errors made in the form.

$3,750 for removal of the conditional status. Also there is now a $6,230

The form is still a new form with quite some “hiccups” such as crashing

fee for the recognition as a certified Regional Center.

constantly and still not being appropriate for all visa classifications. The DS160 also requires some technical skills to correctly upload the passport

Spouses and Children of Legal Permanent Residents

picture and even more patience to complete it. However, the Department of

The most positive development of the year is the drastic decrease in the

State loves it. We are glad that somebody loves it.

green card waiting time for spouses and minor children (under 21) of Green Card holders.

Processing Times In general processing times greatly decreased. Some examples: E-2

Previously spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents had

processing times in Vienna and Frankfurt are currently four weeks and

to wait years before a green card number would be available for them and

faster, Toronto two months and London about three months. L-1, E-2 or O-1

they could be reunified with their spouse or parent. The current waiting

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This is great news for minor children, whose parents were sponsored for the green card by older siblings. Now they can receive their green card within months. However, you have to be careful--these children need to have maintained a legal immigration status in order to process the green card here in the United States; otherwise they will need to leave and process the final stages of their case at the U.S. Embassy in their home country. Extraordinary Aliens There have not been a lot of positive developments in immigrant petitions for extraordinary ability aliens. After quite a few denials coming out of the Texas Service Centers, as well as appeals decisions reversing these denials, Immigration developed a new approach to determine if an applicant is extraordinary. The future will tell if the new approach will be upheld in the courts. For now it seems Immigration is again trying to close the door to a specific group of immigrants. L-1 Visas There have also been very interesting developments in the L-1A, Managers and L-1B, Specialized Knowledge categories. Well prepared L1A applications for business managers in new offices in the United States are still approved fairly easily. The visa is then valid for one year, during which time the applicant must establish the U.S. subsidiary of the foreign parent company and carry out systematic, bona fide business activities. The difficulty comes with the 3 year extension after the one year initial period.

Applications for $3.3 million dollar companies or businesses with 14 employees have been denied. Thus, in many cases, the L-1A visa only serves as a means of opening the door for an initial one-year period but it is not a long term visa option. The E-2 is often the applicant’s alternative after the one year L-1A status. Immigration has also established a very restrictive view of applicants that qualify for an L-1B specialized knowledge visa. Immigration Enforcement Immigration Enforcement increased everywhere. We saw a significant increase in site visits from immigration investigators at H-1B work sites. Employers sponsoring immigrant petitions for permanent workers also received more visits from Immigration officers. Other enforcement measures include I-9 audits and audits triggered by irregularities with social security numbers. Ending up with a flat tire on the side of the road can lead to the police officer asking you for your immigration status. You don’t need to be in Arizona for that to happen—it is happening right here in Florida every day. What can we expect for 2011? Immigration reform does not seem very likely. The best we can hope for is that the State Department and US CIS will develop and follow adjudicatory policies that are both beneficial to the United States as well as for Visa Holders and Immigrants. Sabine Weyergraf is funding partner and New York licensed attorney practicing solely immigration law with Weyergraf & Martin Immigration, PA in Sarasota, Florida. Contact: 941-706-4102, sabine@weyergrafimmigration.com This article is provided for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

IMMIGRATIONS LAWS & RESIDENCY

and they could be reunified with their spouse or parent. The current waiting time is only four months and we were told by State Department and US CIS Officials that it might even get better.

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BUILDING . HOME . LIFE

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

AN INTERVIEW WITH MARIAN METZ By Gail Shane This months’ interview is with Marian Metz, a licensed Realtor with Prudential Florida Realty. We are talking about all the wonderful things happening in Venice, Florida. Marian, what makes Venice so special? Gail, I feel like I have discovered a hidden gem in Venice! We all love the weather in Southwest Florida, and Venice certainly has endless beautiful sunny days, but it is also an interesting and diverse area in terms of cultural activities and fun things to do. What are some of the most popular activities to do in Venice? The City of Venice was designed by well known planner John Nolen. It is a pedestrian friendly layout with a charming downtown area featuring fine dining, shopping or just strolling and "people watching". Did you know Venice is a Florida Main Street City, as awarded by the State of Florida for Historic Preservation? We truly enjoy a small town feel with big city amenities! Some of the most popular activities include: The Venetian Waterway Trail and The Legacy Trail--Two incredible paved walkways for walkers, bicyclists, rollerbladers and all other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy! The Venetian Waterway Trail runs along both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway providing a calming view of boats and dolphins. The Legacy Trail, just opened this year, is a rail-to-trails project that links Venice to Sarasota via a paved lane through several different ecological habitats. Can you take a Historical Walking Tour of Venice? Yes, there is a Historical walking tour of Venice. Venezia Park is one of the residential subdivisions developed by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) according to the John Nolen plan

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for the city. The houses were constructed during the 1926-1927 development period in the Mediterranean Revival style. The neighborhood was listed in the National Register of historic places in 1989. While in that area, don't miss the Historic Triangle Inn, where the Venice Archives & Area Historical Collection is located. Walking tour maps are available at the Main Street office as well as the Chamber of Commerce. Let’s not forget the incredible beaches!!! Absolutely, explore our beaches! Venice is the shark tooth capitol of the World!!! The best shark tooth hunting can be found along Casperson Beach, located on the south end of Venice Island. Brohard Beach Paw Park offers a pet friendly place to enjoy the beach with your furry friend. Venice Beach is located at the western end of Venice Avenue--strolling distance from downtown and a great spot to watch the sunset! Don't miss the famous "Jetty Dog" while you visit South Jetty Beach. Munch on your hotdog while you watch the boats cruising to and from the Intracoastal Waterway! Marian, we have a lot of readers who enjoy fishing and bird watching, what does Venice have to offer them? Gail, Venice is extremely fortunate to have excellent saltwater AND freshwater fishing. Venice Fishing Pier is located on Harbor Drive, next to Sharky's--a great place to eat while admiring the Gulf views! Pole rentals and bait sales are available directly on the pier. Drive East on Venice Avenue and you will end at the Myakka River! Snook Haven County Park is located there and offers casual dining in an "old Florida" setting. Boat, canoe and kayak rentals are available. Bird watching….Venice Area Audubon Society Rookery is one of


Venice's best kept secrets. Birders and photographers come to enjoy the busy nesting season when the area is crowded with Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets, Anhingas and Night Herons. It is located behind the Anderson Sarasota County Administration Building on US 41. Now I want to sit back and relax with a nice dinner and theater, where should I go? The Venice Theatre…enjoy live theatre in downtown Venice. One of our favorite activities is a casual dinner at Luna Italian Ristorante and a show at the Venice Theatre! You can find a restaurant to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Gail, some of my favorite restaurants on the Island are: Back Eddy Bistro, Casariano, Cafe Mangiofico, Venice Cafe, Pineapple's Grill--these are all walking distance from Venice Theatre and downtown. The Crow's Nest offers fine dining with beautiful views of the Intracoastal Waterway. The Allegro Bistro is located on East Venice Avenue, and we love to eat on the patio and enjoy live music on the weekends. And how do I work off all these wonderful meals?

Or, play a round of golf at the Venice City course or any one of a number of pubic and semi private courses in Venice! You can choose from Waterford Golf Club, Capri Isles Golf Club, Calusa Lakes Golf Club and Pelican Pointe Golf Club. They are located within 10 minutes of downtown Venice. Each course features a fully stocked pro shop and restaurant for breakfast & lunch. Marian, if I’m ready to move or buy a second home in Venice, what are my opportunities? The housing opportunities in Venice run the gamut from luxury Gulf front homes and condos, deed restricted gated golf course communities, and non deed restricted smaller single family communities to mobile home communities! We have the best of Gulf Coast living! Marian Metz can be reached at Prudential Florida Realty: 941-726-2799, marianmetz@comcast.net Gail Shane is the Realtor Liaison for Neal Communities, and is the host of Gail Shane & Friends “Community & Real Estate Talk" on WTMY 1280 AM Radio or www.wtmy.com, Saturdays 10-11am

The City of Venice has public tennis courts located on Venice Avenue. Just drop in and put your name on the list to pick up a game.

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Volume3 Issue 1 Florida Homes Magazine  

The best of coastal Florida Living.

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