Archives June, 2010

Seven of 11 top Sarasota luxury agents work for Michael Saunders

By Michael Braga

Given its dominance of the luxury real estate market so far this year, it is not surprising that seven of the 11 top agents in the Sarasota market work for Michael Saunders & Associates.

Court records show that one of the firm’s agents, Linda Dickinson, is this year’s most successful saleswoman when it comes to properties valued at $1 million or more.

Dickinson was the listing agent on three properties that sold for a total of $3.75 million and represented the buyers on three more properties that sold for $16.1 million.

Fellow Michael Saunders agent Kim Ogilvie also has had a terrific year, closing four deals totaling $10.7 million for sellers and two totaling $3.1 million for buyers.

Other Michael Saunders agents in the top 11 include Deborah Beacham, Ian Addy, Gail Wittig, Michael Moulton and Hannerle Moore.

Perennial producers Barbara Ackerman of Coldwell Banker and Cheryl Loeffler of Signature Sotheby’s also earned a spot in the top 11, as did Sylvia Babineau of My Realty Company and Judy Kepecz-Hays of Coldwell Banker.

Sarasota Condos
Agents listed below represented either the buyer of the seller in $1 million-and-up sales that took place from January through May
Agent / Company / Total Sales / Dollar Value
Linda Dickinson / Michael Saunders / 6 / $19.8 million
Kim Ogilvie / Michael Saunders / 6 / $13.8 million
Deborah Beacham / Michael Saunders / 4 / $11 million
Michael Moulton / Michael Saunders / 3 / $9 million
Sylvia Babineau / My Realty Company / 2 / $9 million
Ian Addy / Michael Saunders / 5 / $8.9 million
Judy Kepecz-Hays / Coldwell Banker / 3 / $8.9 million
Gail Wittig / Michael Saunders / 5 / $8.1 million
Barbara Ackerman / Coldwell Banker / 4 / $7.1 million
Cheryl Loeffler / Signature Sotheby’s / 4 / $5.9 million
Hannerle Moore / Michael Saunders / 3 / $5.8 million
Source: Sarasota County Property Appraiser and My Florida Multiple Listing Service

Click here to read the original article:


The Neighborhood Report – Sanderling Club

Enjoy beachfront living in the Sanderling Club. Pictured: 7808 Sanderling Road.

The Sanderling Club had its beginnings as Siesta Properties, Inc. Its developer was Elbridge Boyd, originally from Atlanta, who was also responsible for developing Hidden Harbor, Cedar Park Circle and Cocoanut Bayou. Gulf-front lots sold for $10,000 and waterway lots for $8,000. An integral part of the plan was dredging on the east side of Midnight Pass Road to create bay access and a tidal flow for Heron Lagoon. Between 1946 and 1958, 67 houses were built in Siesta Properties. The homes built during this period were basically three-month beach houses which were furnished with wicker and had bathroom doors on the beach. As the number of property owners increased—now numbering 100—the need for a homeowners association became apparent. It was around that time, in 1951, that Sanderling Beach Club was founded in order to give non-Gulf front owners access to the beach. Paul Rudolph was commissioned to design the original cabanas, and his designs later won the grand prize at the Brussels World Fair and launched his career. He went on to become dean of the Yale School of Architecture. The Sanderling Beach House, also designed by Rudolph, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Three tennis courts and a 15-slip marina were added in later years.

A Closer Look – Sanderling Club

Powder-white beaches, a Paul Rudolph-designed cabana club exclusively for the use of residents, acre-plus lots, deed restrictions that protect the natural—what’s not to love about the very private Sanderling Club on the south end of Siesta Key? (more…)


The Great Florida Outback

Myakka River State Park

We were informed the other day by friends who are avid hikers, campers and birders that not only is June National Camping Month but also that 2010 marks the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks.  So to honor their good-natured scolding that this column has yet to address the recreational opportunities that exist in what they like to call the “Great Florida Outback,” today’s feature is dedicated to the sea of green that defines eastern Sarasota and Manatee Counties, mainly east of I-75.

The first destination that comes to mind, of course, is the granddaddy of them all—Myakka River State Park—which is not only Florida’s largest state park, but also one of its oldest.  Just nine miles east of Sarasota, its 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks and pinelands are bisected by the hauntingly beautiful Myakka River—whose serpentine length stretches some 66 miles from its headwaters in Northern Manatee County to its outfall in Charlotte Harbor.

Due to strong grassroots support for preserving its magnificent scenery and pristine qualities, the Myakka River was declared “Wild and Scenic” by the Florida Legislature in 1985.   Moreover, the legislature noted that the segment running through Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte Counties “possesses remarkable ecological, fish and wildlife, and recreational values which are unique to the State of Florida.”

Before there was a Myakka State Park, much of its land—then known as Meadow Sweet Pastures Ranch—was owned by Bertha Honore Palmer, one of Southwest Florida’s most important historical figures. Palmer used her land to raise cattle; and much to the amazement, annoyance and barely-concealed anger of her neighboring ranchers, this most unlikely rancher and doyenne of Chicago society completely “out-ranched” them all by adopting new cattle-rearing techniques for which she was looked upon as being certifiably crazy.  For one thing, she was the first to dip her cattle in insecticide to prevent deadly tick-borne illnesses from decimating her herd; an unheard-of process her fellow ranchers were sure would annihilate the cattle first.  She also was first to fence-in her cattle, something that wasn’t required by Florida statute until 1949.  Twelve years after her passing in 1918, her sons donated 2,000 acres of the ranch to form much of what is today Myakka River State Park.



Up and Away – Top 10 Ways For Fresh Summer Air

This summer, set your sights to the sky.

The blue skies above beckon your attention. This summer, set your sights beyond the solid ground under your feet and take advantage of the fresh summer air above. Explore the limits of the sky, and gaze upon the sparkling stars that shine from the distant heavens. The weather is right to step outside. It’s up to you to get the most of it.

Here are our top 10 ways to take your fun to the air and enjoy your summer:

1. Skydiving – Face your fears and find yourself plunging safely from a perfectly working airplane, all in the name of fun of course. Suncoast Skydiving offers you the chance to perform a tandem skydive, which is with two skydivers, both the student and the instructor, harnessed to the same parachute system. You will free fall at speeds of up to 120-mph and enjoy breathtaking views during your canopy ride. The experience of a lifetime! Click HERE for more information.

2.  Star Gazing – Looking for something a little less exciting than skydiving? On a clear night, thousands upon thousands of stars can be seen in our sky. Why not take a loved one, or a night alone, to the beach to gaze upon the grandeur of sparkling stars? (more…)


NPR Broadcast Declares Sarasota Beaches Safe From Oil

Last weekend on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, host Liane Hanson interviewed beach expert Professor Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University. Leatherman, better known to beach aficionados as “Dr. Beach” talked about his annual ranking of the top ten beaches, which he issued for 2010 shortly after the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Leatherman said that he had to leave off a beach on Florida’s panhandle because it could be affected by the spill. On the other hand, he had no qualms about ranking Siesta Beach # 2 in the nation; because in his own words “I don’t really see any way oil is going to get down that way.”

To read or listen to the transcript of the broadcast click the link below:


Saunders Luxury Sales Report for June 19, 2010

Michael Saunders & Company is proud to announce 2  successful closings made possible through the professional representation of our agents, who work each day to fulfill the unique needs of homebuyers and sellers. For the week ending June 19, 2010, 2 properties sold for over $1 million.

Sarasota property sold for $3,050,000 on June 17

Linda Roe Dickinson and JoAnn Thorpe of Michael Saunders & Company closed a sale on a home in Sarasota with beautiful views of protected Bayfront and a separate, 780 square foot guesthouse. Linda represented the seller, who sold the exquisite bayfront estate for $3,050,000 on June 17, 2010. JoAnn represented the buyer, who will be enjoying incredible outdoor living with a pool and spa, a deepwater dock with hoists, a complete summer kitchen, and even a tiki hut.

Deborah Nelson of Michael Saunders & Company closed a sale on a property on Longboat Key boasting 165 feet directly on Sarasota Bay with tremendous views across to Jewfish Key, Sister Key, and Tidy Island. Deborah represented the buyer, who bought the superb bayfront property for $1,400,000 on June 14, 2010. The seller was represented by Reid Murphy of Developers Realty Inc.

Fran Sola Joins the Palmer Ranch Office

SARASOTA, FLORIDA – (May 2010) – Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Fran Sola to the Palmer Ranch office.

Originally from Maryland, Fran relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, before settling in Sarasota, where she has served as a full-time residential real estate specialist for the past 30 years. Prior to joining Michael Saunders & Company, Fran worked for Re-Max Alliance Group and earned her Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Short Sales and Foreclosures Resource (SFR) and Certified New Home Sales Professional (CSP) designations. She has also served as a past director on the Sarasota Board of Realtors.

For more information, contact Fran at 941.356.2249 or at


Saunders Commercial Sale and Lease Report for June 19, 2010

Michael Saunders & Company is proud to announce 3  successful closings made possible through the professional representation of our agents, who work each day to fulfill the unique needs of commercial buyers, leasers, and sellers. For the week ending June 19, 2010, 3 properties were leased.

4333 Tamiami Trail

Buyer/landlord:  Sawyer Oaks, LLC
Seller/tenant:  Youthful Aging Home Health Care, Inc.
Address:  5602 Marquesas Blvd., Units 104, 105 & 106, Sarasota, FL, 34231
Type of Space:  5,508 Professional Office Space
Term of Lease:  5 year lease
Aggregate of Lease:  $318,654.18
List Side: Lloyd Robbins of Harry E. Robbins Associates
Sales Side: Susan Goldstein of Michael Saunders & Company

Buyer/landlord:  Teresa Marra
Seller/tenant:  Aubrey Lee Price
Address:  7441 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL  34243
Type of Space:  2,566 SF Office Space
Term of Lease:  1 year lease
Aggregate of Lease:  $27,540
List Side: Larry Schaper of Michael Saunders & Company
Sales Side: Tierney Foster of Keller Williams Realty

7441 N. Tamiami Trail

Buyer/landlord:  Alex & Patricia Struzziero
Seller/tenant:  Tax Professionals Largo, LLC
Address:  4333 Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL  34231
Type of Space:  2,125 SF Office Space
Term of Lease:  3 year lease
Aggregate of Lease:  80,120
List & Sale Sides: Larry Schaper of Michael Saunders & Company


Manatee, “North of the River” Neighborhood Video

History is everywhere “North of the River.” That’s what the natives call the towns of Palmetto, Ellenton, and Parrish that line the shore of the mile-wide Manatee River. The ancient Indians mounds at Emerson Point show that people have been living here for centuries. And legends of pirates hiding out in the coves and bayous of Terra Ceia linger to this day.


Ask Dennis – Are Businesses Moving To Any Specific Geographical Area Within Your Coverage Zone?

In this Ask Dennis video, Dennis Dahm discusses whether or not businesses are moving to any specific geographical area within our coverage zone.

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