June 2012

Found 8 blog entries for June 2012.



Opening reception for IN / FORMED BY THE LAND - The Architecture of Carl Abbott, a retrospective of models and photographs by well known local architect, Carl Abbott, a student of Paul Rudolph at Yale University who has gone on to earn fame for his own architectural designs. 5-7pm Friday, June 29, 2012. FREE Admission. Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, 2700 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34234 USA. Info: 941.359.7563

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The statistics are accumulating to build evidence that a housing recovery is underway, The New York Times reports (June 27, 2012).

Prices are rising in many communities, including Sarasota. Sales are increasing. Home builders are raising roofs again.

Yes, recovery likely will be at a snail's pace, and not all houses will bring higher prices. Many households owe more than their homes are worth and face foreclosure. There's also the ever-present danger that something untoward could happen to douse the positive signs in the overall U.S. economy as well as in housing.

Even so there are signs of life in Sarasota and throughout the industry.

“It feels very much like we’ve hit a bottom and we’re starting to come off of that bottom,” Stuart

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From a flea market entrepreneur to The Diamond Vault, businessman Ali Chokr credits a diamond ring for his transformation. About six months ago, he and his family opened a new 7,000-square-foot store on South Tamiami Trail (US 41) in Sarasota, and they see potential growth from involvement in a diamond-backed fund proposed for the New York Stock Exchange.

Loose Diamonds"Modeled after ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that have bought gold, silver and other bouillon, the fund would buy one-carat diamonds and store them in a vault in Antwerp, Belgium, providing daily values on which investors could buy or sell," Michael Pollick wrote in a Sarasota Herald-Tribune article (June 25, 2012).

In the United States, most diamond selling revolves around engagement rings and

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Sarasota Music Festival performances garner headlines most every day through the three week schedule, and last night's closing concert drew cheering ovations.

"... [A]udience revelry ... greeted the student musicians after their performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 in D major, Hob. I:104 (London). The decision to have the entire orchestra stand, save the cellos, was not the sole reason this performance was so close to perfection," Gayle Williams wrote in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "but it did add a previously unheard vibrancy.  In Haydn’s day, standing was common practice. If this quality is the result, let all orchestras stand! Llewellyn drew out vigorous contrasts in the strings, and when given the chance, the winds soared admirably.

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Harold Bubil wrote in his Real Estate Today blog (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 22, 2012) that a National Association of Realtors economist predicts a "big Jump in either prices or housing starts."

Behind the gates at Longboat Key ClubAt the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ Spring Journalism Conference in Denver, Colorado, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, shocked his audience and fellow economists with his view that pent-up demand and a lack of for-sale homes would either create a 70 percent jump in housing starts next year or send median home prices up 10 percent.

By the next day, many listeners were piling on to say that Yun was crazy optimistic.

Yet just days ago, the Sarasota Association of Realtors announced "the available

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As the real estate market rebounds in Sarasota & Her Islands, I find that buyers express different values today than they did in the boom times. Sellers would do well to pay attention to this development, too.

Instead of focusing on resale value, today savvy buyers have shifted to more enduring values. It's no longer "keeping up with the Joneses." Instead I see buyers focusing on finding a true home, comfortable enough and flexible enough for longer-term living. While buyers think about resale value, they focus even more on personal experience than on what might appeal to a future buyer.

As you search for your dream home on my website, I encourage you to explore the Walk Score for the properties that appeal to you.

The Walk Score feature shows up in the

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While New Edzell Castle illustrates a romance of bygone days in Sarasota, visitors and residents share another kind of a love story when they join the Siesta Key Drum Circle on Sunday evenings.

Here's where you can see the weekly ebb and flow of community. For more than 15 years, drummers and dancers have mingled with locals and tourists swaying to the beat. Marguerite Barnett, MD, a Harvard-MIT trained physician who holds board certifications in Plastic and General Surgery, often creates palm-frond mandalas in the sugary sand before joining the swirl. Shawn Bowen of World Collision sets the rhythm.

How can I equate building a mansion with a weekly gathering on America's #1 beach?

I see a little of Henry David Thoreau in each impulse. As he

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For all you history buffs out there, I assure you that Sarasota culture dates back to forever. I enjoy discovering the backstory for places that I find intriguing, and I found a story about Bird Key that mimics the love story behind the Taj Mahal. It all happened an exclusive island nestled between Downtown Sarasota and St Armands Circle.

In the early 1900s, a 12-acre island named Bird Key peeked a few feet above the shallows of Sarasota Bay. Thomas Martin Worcester, purchased the island in 1906, and he and his Scottish wife, Davie Lindsay Worcester, wintered in Sarasota.

In 1911, Worcester began work to build a mansion on the island, a first for Southwest Florida. He dredged a channel through grass flats and used dredged material to create a

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