Vol 7 No. 35 - May 23, 2007

Timeless, tropical appeal at LaCosta

Project designer Emily Anne Smith created a village look with an alternating color scheme.

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

If you’ve driven along Gulf Drive North in Bradenton Beach any time during the past several months, you’ve probably noticed one of the most unique and colorful renovations to take place on Anna Maria in recent years. LaCosta condominiums located at 1800 Gulf Drive North has a brand new look and one that the owners and managers hope will create a timeless and tropical appeal.

The extensive renovation of the building exterior was designed by Emily Anne Smith, whose concept was to create the look of a village through the use of an alternating color scheme. The owners feel the hefty special assessment was well worth the results, giving LaCosta a Key West appeal that blends in with the Island ambiance.

The 42-unit Gulffront complex was built in 1980 and is unique on Anna Maria Island because the land the building sits on is in a 100 year lease. I’m told it’s the only one on the Island. Since there are 65 years left on the land lease, with the potential of ultimately purchasing the land, most buyers are comfortable with the arrangement.

All units are 1,000 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a balcony. With the exception of eight units, all have direct Gulffront views. The complex has under building parking with two living levels above and one elevator. There are laundry rooms on each level, but many of the owners have installed washers and dryers within their units as part of their personal renovations. Maintenance fees are $1,650 quarterly.

In the front of the property along Gulf Drive is a tennis court, and in the rear just off the deep sandy beach is a heated pool with a patio barbeque and pool kitchen. All units have been wired for high-speed Internet and direct TV.

The majority of the units are available for rent, with a one week minimum rental policy. In season, rents are $4,000 for the month or $1,400 per week. Off season is approximately $2,800 per month and $1,000 per week.
Currently there are none for sale, which is understandable until the renovation is completed. The last sales in 2006 and 2005 ran between $700,000 and the low $500,000s. The on-site property manager feels that units coming on the market this fall, after the exterior renovation is completed, will be in the high $800,000s for fully renovated units.

Slow down the next time you’re driving through Bradenton Beach and check out the new look of LaCosta condominiums. It’s blue, it’s yellow, it’s peach, it’s shuttered, it’s Key West on Anna Maria.

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