The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 24 - March 16, 2011


There is life off the Island

Is there really real estate on the other side of the Cortez and Anna Maria Island bridges? I actually know people who wouldn't swear to it, since they only leave the Island if they need to go to the airport, praying they'll be able to pass through the real world unnoticed. Well, I'm not afraid. I've seen real estate in the real world, and I'm here to tell your it's pretty nice.

A few weeks ago there was a Historic Homes Tour in Whitfield Estates in Sarasota. For those who never leave the Island, Whitfield Estates is an interesting community nestled between Route 41 and Sarasota Bay not far from Sarasota/Bradenton Airport. The tour was considered historic since the homes that were opened were all built during the Florida land boom of the 1920s.

The area was promoted as "The Jewel of Florida's West Coast" and was named for its principal financial backer, Louis Broughton Whitfield. The vision of the developers in 1924 was to create a community of homes, a hotel, golf course, yacht club, business district and even two islands.

By 1926, the Florida real estate market was already starting to collapse and although 61 homes, an apartment building, the country club and one store were completed, very little of the original plan was achieved. Many of the original homes still exist and 14 houses and one apartment building are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Four of the five homes on the tour were listed in the National Register and are considered to be architecturally significant to one of the most important periods in Florida's history.

Building in Whitfield Estates didn't start again until after World War II and was finally built out in the early 1980s. So what you'll find in the community are the large original mostly Mediterranean influenced homes mixed in among the more contemporary ones.

The homes built in the 1920s are for the most part large, at least 3,000 square feet, with many large windows to promote cross ventilation in the days before air conditioning. Many balconies and screened porches; incredibly maintained tile, slate and wood floorings and arched doorways gave the homes substance and character hard to find today. One has been described as the prettiest house in Sarasota.

In 1924, the homes were marketed from $16,000 to $30,000, and the lots sold for between $3,000 and $7,000. But after the real estate market collapsed, so did the values and one of the houses resold in 1945 for $3,950, another in 1939 for $5,800 and one in 1938 sold for $7,000. I could find listings for two of the homes on Broughton Street currently on the market for $650,000 and $549,000, however, I believe all five houses are available to purchase.

As of this writing you could still go to and see the beautiful historic homes on the tour with a description of each.

If you didn't have the opportunity to go on the tour, a drive around Whitfield Estates along Delmar Avenue and particularly Broughton Street are worth the excursion just to see the exterior of the homes.

Anna Maria Island can feel like you're living in a parallel universe. – it's the Island and the rest of the world. But if you take the time to venture out into the real world, you may be surprised what you'll find on the other side of the bridges.

Real Estate Transactions
Real Estate Transfers from Jan. 1 to 31, 2011
Sponsored by Alan Galletto Island Real Estate

Sold Date | List Price | Sold Price | Address | Provision | Property Style

Anna Maria

01/21/2011 329,000 310,000 612 North Bay Blvd None SF Res
01/25/2011 1,474,000 1,050,000 103 SeaGrape Ln None SF Res

Bradenton Beach

01/31/2011 179,900 152,500 611 Gulf N Dr # D23 None Condo Res
01/14/2011 299,000 280,000 244 17th St N # 25 None Condo Res


01/27/2011 169,000 150,000 4227 126th W St None SF Res
01/24/2011 749,000 722,000 12519 Safe Harbor Dr None SF Res
01/21/2011 736,800 728,800 12310 BayPointe Ter Reo/Bank Own SF Res

Holmes Beach

01/18/2011 244,700 222,000 3402 Sixth Ave # 3 None Condo Res
01/21/2011 275,000 250,000 6400 Flotilla Dr # 11 Short Sale Condo Res
01/28/2011 349,000 310,000 6200 Flotilla Dr # 293 None Condo Res
01/20/2011 334,900 304,000 6313 Gulf Dr None Condo/TH Res
01/12/2011 699,900 500,000 5808 Gulf Dr # 109 N None Condo Res
01/05/2011 475,000 425,000 526 70th St None SF Res
01/21/2011 498,900 475,000 213 70th St None SF Res
01/14/2011 575,000 570,000 206 55th St None SF Res
01/28/2011 619,000 580,000 309 68th St None SF Res
01/14/2011 1,999,000 1,775,000 717 Key Royale Dr None SF Res
01/31/2011 359,000 345,000 307 63rd St None Duplex Inc
01/21/2011 1,000,050 1,000,050 534 70th St Cash Vacant Land

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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