Sarasota Scoop: The Inside Track about Sarasota & Her islands

Start looking for your property tax notice to show up in your mailbox any day now. Both Sarasota and Manatee counties have mailed the notice to comply with the state. Truth in Millage (TRIM), which requires disclosure of tax rates proposed by authorities.

Property values generally rose in both counties and government budgets apply the windfall to increase spending. Public hearing on the budget proposals begin in September.

Property values increased 4.8 percent in Sarasota this year, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and 4.2 percent in Sarasota County. The rates went up 9.3 percent in Anna Maria, 6.9 percent in Holmes Beach, 6.7 percent in North Port and 3.9 percent in Manatee County.


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For up-to-date Real Estate Market Statistics for Sarasota County click here.

These statistics offer a clear-eyed view of exactly what's happened in the Sarasota County real estate market during the past 12 months. Community stats appear on the page for each neighborhood.

Note that these four charts are updated frequently and automatically from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) feeds. For the date of the most recent update, please see the line below each chart.

  • The Market Activity chart tracks inventory trends;
  • The Pricing chart tracks median and average sale price changes;
  • The Days On Market chart tracks length of time between listing and sale;
  • The Sold Price to List Price Ratio chart compares aggregate original list price to sold
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In 2007, developers leveled Sarasota Quay (Photo below) to make way for condos, retail and hotel space on the 15-acre gateway property. Today the grassy waterfront parcel Photo at left) at the intersection of Tamiami Trail (US 41) and Fruitville Road (SR 780) fills the space between the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota and the Hyatt Regency Sarasota.

Now the Irish government has cleared the legal hurdles to repossess the vacant bayfront property and established its new ownership as National Asset Sarasota, LLC. The intial asking price will be $40 million, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Given the post-recession resurgence in Southwest Florida, the time seems right for development of this desirable downtown location.

Please contact me for more

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Photo Credit: Kadri Tali

In a bid to engage young adults, six of Sarasota's cultural institutions created a way for 21-40 year olds to enjoy the local art scene at a big discount by joining the Sarasota Culture Collective.

The $99 annual membership includes two tickets* to Asolo Repertory Theatre, FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, The Ringling*** and the Arts & Culture Alliance. Sarasota! Sarasota Culture Collective members receive:

• FREE admission to exclusive Culture Collective events
• FREE 1-year membership to the Arts and Cultural Alliance and 2 Tickets to the Annual Awards Ceremony at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
• FREE admission to The Ringling Underground events
• FREE subscription…
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WWE Wedding on Siesta KeySiesta Key's best beach offered the perfect setting for the made-for-E! Total Divas wedding starring WWE performers Natalya and Tyson Kidd. Although rumor tells that the couple actually married a few months before their soon-to-be-broadcast Siesta Key nuptials, Sarasotans feel happy to go along with the attention that the celebrity couple brings to our shores.

The glam wedding in our neck of the beaches happened Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at a private Siesta Key beach home. A reception followed at Michael's On East, a favorite special events venue. Natalya purchased her Allure Bridals gown from Something Blue Bridal Boutique in nearby Bradenton. Watch Total Divas at 10pm Sunday, August 18, 2013 on E! for the first of multiple episodes featuring

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When the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the newspaper of record for our community, reared its paywall on August 13, 2013, clients asked me for directions to local online news. Here are a couple of alternatives:

  • The Observer Newspaper Group offers hyper local news coverage and often scoops the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on real estate news. Go to and let us know what you think by adding your comments. Readers love the "Cops Corner" feature! Black Tie doubles as a face book to help identify new acquaintances. Print copies are available on local news racks.
  • The Sarasota News Leader, available online only, shows rapid growth as the go-to source for in-depth reporting on local government action and the major issues affecting Sarasota County.
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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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