New construction in and near downtown Sarasota has focused primarily on condos, with one exception: The Homes of Laurel Park. Comprising nearly three acres on the west side of Laurel Park between Devonshire Lane and Alderman Street, the enclave of single-family, million-dollar residences combines convenience, walkability and luxury.
The access via Alderman Street is off Orange Avenue, a block north of U.S. 41. The western boundary is Rawls Avenue. To the east, it’s a small creek.
“You can get a 100-year-old home or a five-minute-old condo, but to find a high-end home, with all the bells and whistles, so close to downtown is rare,” said Ray Collins, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. “It’s an ideal place for retirees, empty nesters and families with children who want to enjoy a close proximity to what Sarasota has to offer.”
The development was started in 2015 by Legacy Builders, a family-owned company in Venice specializing in new and luxury homes, known for its eco-friendly, design detail-oriented construction. There are 19 homesites, and all but one of the homes have two stories with balconies for relaxation.
The modernist look was created by Mark Sultana of DSDG Architects, a local firm that specializes in contemporary design. The Homes of Laurel Park have elegant, clean lines. A few of them offer decorative elements like window awnings and eave rafters. The attractive landscaping in the front yards has a mature feel.
When Legacy Builders broke ground, it offered four floor plans, designed for openness, ranging in size from 1,462 to 2,740 square feet of living space. “The most popular model was the Sand Drift, and it became the base floor plan for most of the homes in the neighborhood,” said Christina Greig of Legacy Builders. “Buyers met with us and the architect to customize the residences for their need.”
The resale listing Collins has at 1655 Alderman St., for example, is a two-story, four-bed, three-bath home with 2,698 square feet under air. Built in 2017 as a “show house” for the developer, it has two bonus rooms that could be used as a den, library or home office.
The interior has high ceilings, wood-look ceramic tiles, remote-controlled blinds throughout, stairs as well as an elevator to the second floor, and a utility room. The kitchen features quartz countertops and high-end appliances. The master bedroom has a big walk-in closet.
Pocket sliding doors lead to the saltwater swimming pool and hot tub, outdoor kitchen and gas grill. The two-car garage has plenty of storage space.
“This is luxury on the cusp of downtown,” said Collins.
The asking price is $2.2 million.
Indeed, walkability is one of the main attractions of the neighborhood. A footbridge and path at the east end of the street, surrounded by lush, tropical foliage, leads across an inlet to Osprey Avenue. The kayak launch there provides access to Hudson Bayou and Sarasota Bay.
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It’s easy to go for a cup of coffee in the morning to one of the cafés in the Burns Court Historic District across Orange Avenue. The area is also a mecca for boutiques, restaurants, a movie theater and nighttime venues with live music. The art galleries and eateries of Towles Court are only four blocks away on the east side of Laurel Park.
Selby Gardens and the bayfront are close by as well. Payne Park and its tennis courts, skate park and walking trails are just on the other side of U.S. 301.
Downtown’s Ringling Boulevard and Main Street, with its vibrant Saturday farmers market, are within easy walking distance. So are the cultural activities at Florida Studio Theatre, the Sarasota Opera, and the Regal Hollywood Cinema.
The Gulf beaches of Lido Key and St. Armands Circle are a 10-minute drive at most (barring traffic complications).
There is a nominal HOA fee of $300 a year.
Collins’ listing is only the second resale in the neighborhood in the past two years, and the only home currently on the market. As for brand-new construction, the three remaining empty lots are in development or under contract. “We don’t have any properties left,” said Greig.