St. Armands and Lido Key boast some of the oldest homes in our area. Beautiful 1920s waterfront mansions, alongside modern homes, overlook the Intracoastal Waterway. Also the key has more common ranch style homes that sprung up in the 1950s and 60s. Another popular living choice are the older and charming condo developments. Make no mistake, this area is prized real estate, so of course many people are tearing down and building new. If you are purchasing on Lido or St. Armands, it’s important to research if the home has cast-iron sewer lines. These can become brittle and fail after 50 years or so. Living on Lido and St. Armands is a dream for many. Some of the areas best shops and restaurants ring be circle. There’s a great mix of locals and tourists comfortably hanging out together. St. Armands Circle has been carefully updated throughout the years, preserving its old world charm. People love to live in this area because of the casual luxury atmosphere…if budget permits. One place you have to eat at is the Columbia Restaurant. The company is now over 110 years old and their founders would be proud!
The Gillespie Park Neighborhood
of Sarasota is in the process of transformation. This is one of the areas where property values are ascending most rapidly. Originally, it is one of the oldest settlement areas in Sarasota. A drive through the neighborhoods will display the many smaller and modest homes. Some buyers choose to update the older homes, maintaining the quirky old-world charm. However since many of the homes are wood frame, building a new home out of masonry is a popular option. Whatever style home you choose, you will be sure to see lots of activity in the years to come. Entire streets are being rebuilt and the city is undergoing urban renewal projects. If you do choose to buy a home in this area, it is recommended to get a termite inspection from a licensed WDO inspection company. Gillespie Park is home to many of the oldest wood frame structures so it is wise to do your due diligence.
One of the many benefits to living in the Gillespie Park and 17th Street area is the proximity to downtown dining. Everyone has their favorites. Boca opened up in downtown Sarasota in the past few years. They serve upscale casual traditional American fare. Miss Saigon on Washington Boulevard is also a favorite. They have an excellent vermicelli bowl that is unsurpassed. Lastly Patrick’s on Main Street serves the best restaurant burger in our area.
Just around the corner is the Rosemary District
. This is a residential and commercial mixed zone, which it’s kind of like Sarasota’s Brooklyn. Hipper, trendier and more expensive shops rub elbows with blue-collar auto repairs and industrial supply houses. The area has a genuine feeling of future greatness. Many delicious food and beverage establishments are popping up in the area. A favorite is Station 400, a railway themed breakfast restaurant. Lolita Tartine and the Mandeville Beer Garden are also making waves for there high quality and inventive fare.
If you do see a home that you like in the Rosemary District, it would be wise to look closely at buying it. Property values in this area will continue to ascend. If you like the living style of the area, there’s nothing else in Sarasota like it. New construction is booming. Currently there are over 1000 new residential units being developed as well as dozens of condominiums and several hotels. The area will continue to rapidly expand in the years to come. This spot is Sarasota’s most stark intersection of old & new Sarasota to be found in the area. In bigger cities, I believe it is called “gentrification.”
Arlington Park is south of downtown. It is another eclectic and upcoming neighborhood. There are still a few bargains left for a home that is mere minutes from downtown. Many of the 1950s and 60s homes in Arlington Park require some updating. If you are purchasing one of these homes, you will want to pay particular attention to the plumbing and electrical systems. If no updates have been done, it is time to do so. This is another area where homes are being torn down and rebuilt. Unfortunately the popular Style is two-story homes which look strikingly unsimilar to the older homes in the area. This is primarily done by builder is to maximize square footage on smaller building lots.
Many of the people that live in Arlington Park have the benefit of being close to the Yummy House China Bistro
. They serve authentic Cantonese dim sum which are small plates for small prices. Also if you have a few extra bucks, you can have dinner at Michael’s on East which is a landmark fine dining Institution.