Archives October, 2010

Marianne LeBar of Michael Saunders & Company earns the Performance Management Network Designation

Sarasota, FL (October 2010) Marianne Lebar of Michael Saunders & Company’s Main Street office has earned the Performance Management Network (PMN) designation by the Women’s Council of REALTORS®. Marianne joined other top producers by attending a series of sessions that cover a variety of subjects including: negotiating strategies and tactics, networking and referrals, business planning and systems, personal performance management and cultural differences in buying and selling. This designation is designed to deliver the real-world skills, know-how and tools to keep agent’s business out front and on top of an evolving real estate market.

The Main Street office of Michael Saunders & Company is located at 1801 Main Street, Sarasota.  Marianne LeBar can be reached by calling (941) 650-0337; or at (941) 951-6660.  Her email address is


Meghan Foley-Leiter Rejoins Michael Saunders & Company

SARASOTA, Florida—(September 2010)—Michael Saunders and Company is proud to announce that Realtor Meghan Foley has rejoined the company to serve from the Main Street office and specialize in residential properties. 

Foley-Leiter is no stranger to the real estate business, as her parents have played a significant part in the industry. Learning from the best, she helped market her developer father’s luxury downtown condominiums and has mentored under her mother, a top producing Sarasota Realtor.

A Sarasota native, Foley-Leiter graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in business.  Before entering real estate, she was Exhibit Sales Administrator for a company who plans and produces investment conferences.

Foley-Leiter is a member of the Young Professionals Group and the Downtown Partnership of Sarasota, and she is well-known locally as the former co-owner of the popular Sarasota News and Books, a longtime staple of downtown.

The Main Street office of Michael Saunders & Company is located at 1801 Main Street, Sarasota.  Meghan Foley-Leiter can be reached by calling (941) 554-7733; or at (941) 951-6660.  Her email address is

Michael Saunders & Company Names New Managing Broker for its Two St. Armands Offices

Danny Williams Is A Veteran Florida REALTOR® Who Has Overseen All Aspects Of Real Estate Sales And Management

SARASOTA, Florida—(September 16, 2010)—Danny Williams has been named Managing Broker for the two St. Armands Circle offices of Michael Saunders & Company, it was announced today from the firm’s headquarters in downtown Sarasota, Florida. 

Williams will manage the company’s flagship office on St. Armands Circle, located at 61 South Boulevard of the Presidents.  It was from this location, which presently houses more than 60 of the firm’s 550-plus agents, that Michael Saunders launched the company more than 34 years ago.   He will also manage the firm’s newest storefront location on St. Armands Circle. That office, located at 330 John Ringling Boulevard, was opened in January 2007. 

A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Danny Williams recently relocated to Sarasota from the Orlando/Winter Park area where he was a top-selling agent and assistant manager with Coldwell Banker.  In 2007, he was awarded that company’s prestigious Legends Society designation for logging over $47 million in closed sales.  Williams also owned and operated his own real estate company in Winter Park and has been an instructor with the Bert Rodgers School of Real Estate, where he helped more than 30,000 students successfully achieve licensure.  He also conducted continuing education classes, courses in condominium law and sales training sessions.

In 2009, Williams became assistant manger of Coldwell Banker’s Winter Park office—which houses more than 150 agents.  As part of his managerial responsibilities there, he conducted weekly instructional and training sessions on such timely topics as short sales, real estate contracts and purchasing bank-owned properties.  As both a company owner and managing broker, he has overseen all aspects of real estate—including commercial sales and leasing, new luxury condominium development and pre-sales; and residential re-sales.

In his spare time, Williams enjoys a good game of tennis, when he isn’t out fishing; and is very proud of his two sons, both college students.

“We are very fortunate to have quickly discovered Danny right here in our own market area just as we were preparing to launch a nationwide search for the best candidate to manage these two very important and strategic locations,” said Michael Saunders, the company’s founder and CEO.  “Though a recent transplant to our area, Danny has spent a considerable amount of time here over the years and has developed a keen understanding and familiarity with our region.

He will not only make a superb manager for our two teams on St. Armands Circle, but Danny’s breadth of experience makes him a valuable asset to out exceptional leadership team. Drayton and I are confident that he will hit the ground running as we rush headlong into the final quarter of 2010.”

Danny Williams can be reached by calling (941) 388-4447, or by email at

Christie’s to Present DeLorenzo: Thirty Years

A Masterful Collection of 20th Century Decorative Arts from Anthony DeLorenzo in a Once in a Lifetime Event

Photo: Frank Lloyd Wright, An important copper urn, circa 1903. Estimate: $800,000-1,200,000

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced DeLorenzo: Thirty Years, a sale of 20th Century Decorative Arts & Design from the collection of renowned New York gallerist Anthony DeLorenzo. Over 127 pieces from the Art Deco, modernist, mid-century and contemporary periods will be offered in single-owner Evening and Day Sales to take place on December 14 and 15, at Christie’s New York. Highlights from artists such as Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Armand-Albert Rateau, Eileen Gray, Jean Dunand, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charlotte Perriand, and Jean Prouvé will be featured in the sales. There will also be several works from the collection on offer from DeLorenzo: Thirty Years in Christie’s Interiors sale on December 16. The collection in total is expected to realize upwards of $10 million.

A native New Yorker, DeLorenzo is a trend-setter credited with bringing French Art Deco to the forefront in the U.S. DeLorenzo’s affinity for Tiffany lamps was reflected in his early holdings, but he eventually expanded his collection with Art Deco, Modernist, and French Mid-Century period design in his first gallery in Manhattan In 1980, he opened his eponymous gallery on Madison Avenue followed by additional galleries in downtown New York that are frequented by top collectors, museums and institutions. Also to DeLorenzo’s credit, he mounted the first U.S. exhibits of Dunand, Rateau, Prouvé and Serge Mouille, introducing those artists to America.

“This sale marks a milestone for me,” said DeLorenzo. I attribute my success over the past thirty years to my ability to anticipate the next trend in 20th Century Decorative Arts and I expect to continue doing the same for the next thirty years.”

“Tony has been the driving force behind the global appreciation for every category of 20th Century Decorative Arts, in particular French Art Deco,” said Joshua Holdeman Senior Vice President International Director, 20th Century Art at Christie’s. “We could not be more thrilled to have been entrusted with the sale of certain key objects that he has acquired over his 30 year tenure in the field.”

Highlights from the 50 lot Evening Sale include two works by Eileen Gray. Gray’s Sirene Chair, 1912, made of lacquered wood with a velvet seat cushion (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000), and a White Painted Wood Block Screen, circa 1922-1925 featuring five vertical and ten horizontal rows of rectangular panels joined and articulated on vertical steel rods (estimate: $700,000-$1,000,000), pictured left), are exceptional examples of the artist’s work.

An important copper urn by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Dana House, Springfield , Illinois, circa 1903 executed by James A. Miller is another exceptional lot (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000), while a pair of patinated bronze torchères by Armand-Albert Rateau, circa 1933 is a rare find (estimate for each, sold separately: $700,000-1,000,000). The Rateau lamps were originally designed for French fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin’s residence. They are intricately designed with an alabaster shade, supported by six geese and cast with a column with leaves and pots at the tops and florets and fruits at the bottom.

A dynamic oak and lacquered steel library table by Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé has a built in light fixture and was created for the Maison de l’Etudiant in Paris in 1951 (estimate: $700,000-900,000), and a macassar ebony and parchment table by Marcel Coard, circa 1925 (estimate: $100,000-150,000) has Greek key detailing in walnut. Another standout is Jean Dunand’s sculptural prototype single commission lack lacquer chair cast in one piece with an upholstered seat (estimate: $90,000-120,000).

Highlights from the 77 Day Sale works include Francois See’s brushed steel sideboard with two long doors, circa 1960 (estimate: $20,000-30,000), Phillip Lloyd Powell’s two-seat walnut bench with integrated table (estimate: $10,000-15,000) and a brushed metal and steel dining table by Hiquily, circa 1970, which is adjustable to hold a round, square or rectangular top.

Stand out works from the single-owner section in Christie’s December Interiors auction of DeLorenzo:30 Years include A Monumental Gilt Bronze and Cut Glass Forty-Eight Light Chandelier by Gilbert Poillerat (estimate: $7,000- 9,000), A Green and Gold Patterned Velour Upholstered Sofa by Vladimir Kagan (estimate: $8,000-12,000) and Jacques Adnet’s Reverse Painted Glass and Leather-Wrapped Iron Dining Suite (estimate: $15,000-20,000).


Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Counties: September – Year Over Year Sales Comparison


The inventory of properties for sale in Sarasota County, along with the number of properties that were sold, remained essentially flat in September 2010 compared with September 2009. Pending sales—or properties placed under contract—experienced a year-over-year improvement of 7.6%.


The inventory of properties for sale in Manatee County was up marginally in September 2010, compared with the same time last year. The number of properties sold in September a 4.5% improvement over last September; with pending sales up a solid 15.3%.


The number of properties for sale in Charlotte County rose by 14.5% in September, compared with one year ago. Sold properties improved by 4.5% in September, compared with last year. Pended sales were up by 15.3%


Scary Times

This Halloween one needn’t resort to make-believe to conjure up some of this season’s most horrific scares.  Reality on several different fronts is enough to make most of us scurry beneath the covers.  So forget about the garden-variety ghouls that cause many a child to sleep with one eye open; here’s what really sends shivers up our spine, especially as Election Day nears:

– Amendment 4.   Already a Nightmare on Elm Street for the citizens of St. Pete Beach, proponents of Amendment 4 would apparently like to see the same litiginous creature crush the rest of the state’s sagging economy.

When they passed a similar local amendment in 2006, the voters of St. Pete Beach did so under the impression that they were empowering themselves to democratically ratify or reject every proposed amendment to their city’s comprehensive land-use plan.  Instead they unwittingly created a budget-busting monster that’s been out of control ever since; a creature that’s brought nothing but misery in the form of dozens of special interest law suits challenging the results of each costly taxpayer-financed referendum.  So far the taxpayers of St. Pete Beach are still defending their votes in court and have nothing to show for all their good intentions but mounting legal fees that now approach a million dollars (in this economy, no less).

A comprehensive land-use plan is a complex, living document that is fully expected to change over time as a community grows, hopefully prospers and re-orders its civic priorities.  It is one of the reasons we elect city and county commissioners to represent us.  One of their most important tasks is to study such lengthy and complex issues, master their content and vote knowledgeably and responsibly on our behalf.

Please let our commissioners do the job we’re confident they’re up to.   Vote NO on Tuesday and bury this beastly Amendment 4 in a steep landslide.   Once and for all.



Panther Ridge, FL – Neighborhood Video

Horse lovers are often surprised to find such wonderful equestrian communities in the Sarasota area. After all, we’re famous as a beach resort. Yet barely 30 minutes from the white sand beaches of Siesta Key is another world. Here, ancient forests and green pastures recall the way Florida used to be, and Panther Ridge is at the heart of it all.

Comprised of nine communities, each with its own special atmosphere. Panther Ridge is located just 8 ½ miles east of Interstate 75. Set on hundreds of acres of pristine land that had never been farmed or previously developed. Panther Ridge has a post-card perfect setting, with hammocks of oak and pine, abundant wildlife, creeks and lakes, and best of all – absolute privacy.


All Treats, No Tricks – Top Sarasota-Area Halloween Events

Find the right Halloween event for your family this weekend.

For those of you who tuned in to last week’s Top Ten blog, we uncovered and discussed the top pumpkin patches and festivals setting the stage for this weekend’s Halloween celebration. From the spooky to the family-friendly, our area has a bit of everything to entertain children and parent’s alike on this horror-based holiday.

So, get your costumes and candy bags ready and take a trip to one of these top Sarasota-area Halloween events:

Haunted Theatre & Walking Ghost – Meet at the Players Theatre on Saturday, October 30 at 9:30pm to begin the ghost walking tour through Sarasota’s Historic Theatre District, with a stop along the way at the Rosemary Cemetery. Return to the Players Theatre at 11:00pm and enjoy finger foods and refreshments provided by Sundance Catering. Ghost Hunters of SRQ will begin the inside tour of the theatre at 11:30pm. Lead by local Ghost Author Kim Cool. $15 per person (includes complimentary finger foods)

Sarasota’s Largest Pumpkin Carving Contest – This Saturday, October 30, Sarasota’s Largest Pumpkin Carving Contest starts at 8am and all pumpkins must be submitted by 3pm. You can purchase and carve a pumpkin on-site or bring your already carved pumpkin. $5 entrance fee per pumpkin. $500 Cash Award to overall winner, $100 to Student overall winner, $100 to Child overall winner and dozens of prizes! Find out more HERE. (more…)

Condé Nast Traveler: 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards – Longboat Key, FL named one of the Top 50 Islands in the World

Perfection is rare in the world, but you found it. Our 23rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards include 1,060 winners, elected by 259,116 readers whose passion is travel.

The world’s top 50 islands hide a big secret: There are actually more than 3,300 of them, stretching from the South Pacific to the North Atlantic. Consider Bermuda, the top-rated islands in the Western Hemisphere—yes, islands. Comprised of 138 isles, it is, like many winners, an archipelago. There are 3 Caymans, 41 Tuamotus, 115 Seychelles, and a whopping 1,185 Dalmatians. The No. 1 winner (for the 14th time), Maui is the only island to score above 90 this year. Closer to home, several North American islands make their top 10 debut: Victoria, Florida’s Longboat Key, and St. Simons

Longboat Key, FL is #3 on the North America portion of the list for top islands in the world for 2010.

1. Kiawah
2. Victoria Island
3. Longboat Key, Fla.
4. Vancouver Island
5. Nantucket
6. Amelia Island
7. Mount Desert Island
8. Prince Edward Island
9. Hilton Head
10. St. Simons Island, Ga
Click here to see the entire post by Conde Nast Traveler

The Neighborhood Report – Conrad Beach

Homes of varying sizes with a Key West style grace Conrad Beach.

A quiet and peaceful seaside enclave, Conrad Beach offers maintenance-free living in a limited edition of 27 single-family homes. Located between the quiet beaches of north Longboat Key and the historic Village of Longbeach, the residents of Conrad Beach enjoy convenient access to the beautiful beach on Longboat Key along with a community pool. The neighborhood was designed by nationally renowned architect Frank Folsom Smith as a traditional coastal community. The homes are designed in the Key West style with open, airy floor plans, wrap-around porches and the latest energy saving features.

Market Activity – Conrad Beach

There are currently three homes available through MLS in Conrad Beach with listing prices ranging from $849,000 to $1,299,000. These residences range in size from just under 2,000 square feet to just over 3,000.

Hannerle Moore of Michael Saunders & Company’s South Longboat Key office represented the sellers for the two listings that have sold in Conrad Beach in 2010. One of those sales was a lot, which sold in February for $285,000. The other was a house with just over 2,000 square feet, which sold in March for $575,000. (more…)

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