Vol 6 No. 36 - May 31, 2006

Real estate booming in one area

FILE PHOTO

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer


BRADENTON BEACH – While the real estate market seems to have leveled off somewhat on Anna Maria Island, there is one unique area where the only thing holding back sales is a lack of availability.

Over the past three months, all 23 units of the final phase of Tortuga Inn in Bradenton Beach have sold. Developer David Teitelbaum is closing on approximately $8 million, the last of the newly-built units, this week.

These sales won’t show up on a lot of reports regarding the real estate market because many of those reports are based on the number of homes listed and sold through the Multi List Service of Manatee and Sarasota counties. Teitelbaum sold these units without listing them, and he attributes their unique position in the market to their popularity.

"They are unique because their land use is multi-family and are not sold as rentals," he said. "We sell to people who live there.

"In addition, they also have a land use designation for seasonal rentals," he added. "People can live in them part of the year and rent them the rest of the year."

Teitelbaum said Resort Quest manages the rentals and affiliated services such as maid service. He manages the sales.

In addition to amenities typical of an upscale condominium such as swimming pools, lush landscaping and deluxe interior appointments, Tortuga also offers amenities some would associate with upscale rental units such as free long distance, HBO and wireless Internet.

Teitelbaum said another part of the successful formula has been price.

"These units were priced right, they can be used as residences and they can be rented," he said.

Teitelbaum spoke recently at the Florida Symposium on Financing, Developing and Operating Condo Hotels and he said it is becoming the latest trend. He said sales from the final phase of Tortuga will total almost $16 million and the ongoing rental business will pay for itself.

"The hotel use and the residential use compliment each other," he said.

In addition to the fair pricing and the beach to bay location, Teitelbaum said there is another attraction that helped sell the units.

"We have space for 14 boats out back (on the bay)," he said. "We’re drawing boaters in from Tampa and other areas to rent units."

In addition to Tortuga Inn, Teitelbaum developed the Tradewinds Beach Resort, also in Bradenton Beach. Those units are also privately owned and professionally managed as rental units when owners are not there.

After developing these two properties, Teitelbaum has stayed on to manage the real estate end of the business. He has also joined the WAVES committee, a group that works to facilitate Bradenton Beach’s new designation as a Waterfront Florida community.

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