Although Bird Key’s residential area measures about 300 acres, house hunters and property investors looking for upscale residences will find plenty of buying opportunities. Real estate agents who know the history of Bird Key marvel at the fact that it was once purchased for just $25 by a developer from Ohio in 1911. Ten years later, American circus legend John Ringling acquired the island, dredged it for expansion and connected it to Sarasota and other barrier islands by means of a network of causeways.
These days, Bird Key is one of the best examples of John Ringling’s vision to transform his beloved Sarasota into a region resembling the magnificent Italian city of Venice, the French Riviera and Mediterranean resort towns. Contrary to what many people believe, Bird Key is not a gated community. Many Sarasota residents and virtually all tourists are not aware of this barrier island even as they pass it on their way to the better known St Armands, Lido and Longboat Keys.
The architectural styles in Bird Key reflect the sensibilities of Sarasota developers over the last few decades. Home buyers can find Florida ranch-style homes next to oceanfront Mediterranean mansions as well as Key West homes and modernist residential designs. An exclusive marina, the Bird Key Yacht Club, greets visitors as they arrive from the John Ringling Causeway. Many residents are boating enthusiasts, and some even enjoy private dock space in the numerous canals that crisscross the island. Naturally, fishing is a major activity for Bird Key neighbors.
At any given time, home buyers and investors can find dozens of available listings in this exclusive housing market. As of late 2014, a three-bedroom and two-bathroom home recently remodeled in the Mediterranean revival style could be negotiated under $800,000. Older island-cottage homes come in the market from time to time, but they tend to be quickly snapped up by alert buyers. There are a few vacant lots for those who wish to build their dream homes, and there are also dream mansions with private docks and multiple views of Sarasota Bay. Some of the most opulent homes are valued at more than $8 million.
Bird Key is a pristine neighborhood that happens to be located in one of the most convenient spots in Southwest Florida. Driving to Downtown Sarasota is a five-minute affair, and the same goes for the beach at Lido Key and the upscale St Armands shopping and entertainment island.
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(all data current as of 1/27/2021)
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