Longboat Key luxury awaits you! New Listing

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Longboat Key luxury awaits you! Don’t miss the opportunity to make this your dream home in one of the most sought after neighborhoods on  Longboat Key! Southern exposure fills this 3 bedroom 2 car garage residence with generous amounts of light. Just off the intra-coastal waterways, no bridges to Sarasota Bay within minutes to the Gulf of Mexico! The Barrel Tiled roof and circular driveway makes for a grand entrance. But beware! As soon as you move in, all of your relatives  will soon be making a visit! You will fall in love with the large open entryway as well as the front doors in the dining room leading out to the covered porch area.  Updated tile and shower doors as well as double sinks in the master bathroom with an over sized closet.  This is the perfect place for entertaining! Just fire up the grill around the over sized screened pool and patio area.  This home also boasts a walk around dock right in your backyard with a fishing station for a fun filled day fishing. Country Club Shores also has Deeded Beach access as well as a short distance to the fine dining and shopping area of St Armand’s Circle

 

 

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For more information or to schedule a showing call the C & G International Realty Team today! 941-556-5030 

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7 Housing Trends for 2013

 

As 2013 comes to a close and real estate experts predict where the housing market is headed in 2014, a look back reveals several trends.

“In 2012 we saw the housing market recover and, going into 2013, we expected continuing recovery,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®. “Instead, the recovery accelerated a lot faster than we anticipated, which was great for sellers and for the 75 million homeowners who saw their home values appreciate.”

1. Housing Prices Rose Faster Than Expected

The national median listing price was $179,900 in January 2012 and rose to $180,000 by December 2012, according to realtor.com® research. The pace of price appreciation accelerated quickly over the year to reach a median list price of $199,500 by September 2013.

2. Mortgage Rates Rose but Remained Low

“We expected mortgage rates to rise in 2013, and they started to increase in the late spring, but they’re still very affordable when you look at rates on a historical basis,” Yun said. “They just aren’t at the super-low point we saw earlier.” According to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed-rate loans were as low as 3.45 percent in December 2012 and rose to 4.49 in September 2013. Barry Habib, co-owner and chief market strategist for Residential Finance Corp., said mortgage rates are likely to stay low and perhaps even drop between now and March 2014.

Housing Trends - Mortgage Rates

3. Bidding Wars Returned

The combination of rising prices, low mortgage rates and low inventory led to a sense of urgency among buyers and the return of bidding wars, said Don Frommeyer, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. According to realtor.com® research, inventory in 2012 reached a high of 2,083,710 homes on the market, then steadily declined to a low of 1,583,497 homes in February 2013. At the end of September 2013, 2,210,000 homes were for sale, approximately a five-month supply.

Housing Trends - All Cash Buyers

4. Housing Affordability Remained High

“Housing affordability has come down a little this year because of double-digit home value appreciation and the fact that income isn’t rising in comparable amounts,” Yun said. “Rising mortgage rates, even though they’re still low, also have an impact. While affordability right now is at a five-year low, it’s still the fifth highest for the past 30 years.”

5. All-Cash Buyers Continued to Be a Strong Market Segment

Yun said a continuing surprise is that about one-third of all home purchases were made with cash, a market share that has been consistent for the past three years. While some of these cash buyers are from overseas and some are institutional investors, others are “mom and pop” investors who have had trouble getting financing. “Even some owner-occupant buyers are cash buyers because of the excessively tight underwriting standards for loans,” Yun said. “Some people are getting help from relatives to buy, and then they plan to take out a home equity loan later to repay them.”

6. Mobile Apps Accelerated Connections Between Buyers, Sellers and REALTORS®

Nearly every REALTOR® and brokerage in the country introduced a mobile app this year to make it easier for buyers and sellers to access information from their smartphones and tablets, including realtor.com®. “Everyone realizes that it’s inconvenient to be tied to a desktop when you’re looking for housing-market information and homes,” Yun said. A recent study by Google and the National Association of REALTORS® found that 68 percent of homebuyers used a mobile app during their home search and 89 percent used a mobile search engine at the onset of the home-buying process and throughout their research

7. Rising Rents and Pent-Up Demand Pulled More First-Time Buyers Into the Market

“Right now we’re seeing replenishment of renters who want to buy homes,” Habib said. “At the peak in 2002, nearly 70 percent of people owned homes and 30 percent were renters; now 65 percent of people are homeowners and 35 percent rent. Not only are rents rising faster than home prices in many markets, but there’s pent-up demand from people who don’t want to live at home with their parents and who want to buy a home.”

Southgate Mall renovations begin!

sarasota real estate

Westfield Group’s Southgate Mall has begun renovations that will transform the indoor mall into an outdoor shopping and nightlife destination.

The Australian-based mall developer announced the mall’s plans for redevelopment  in May at the International Council of Shopping Centers Recon Convention in Las Vegas. The mall will add 46,000 square feet of new space to the existing property. Construction was supposed to begin by the end of the year, though plans have been pushed back.

Westfield’s plans for Southgate Mall comes after an announcement by its premiere anchor Saks Fifth Avenue — and possibly others — to leave the Sarasota mall in favor of a new, $315 million enclosed retail hub being developed at Interstate 75 and University Parkway by a joint venture between Taubman Centers Inc. and Manatee County’s Benderson Development Co.

Last year, a New York-based real estate firm O’Connor Capital Partners bought 49.9 percent interest in six of Westfield’s Florida malls in March, a deal that included both Sarasota properties.

The first phase of the multimillion dollar investment at Southgate Mall includes the installation of new travertine tile, upgraded furnishings, fixtures, outdoor landscaping and color scheme, according to a statement by Westfield Group.

This initial phase will also feature refurbished shopper amenities, a new interior trellis system, fountains and new lighting.

“It’s Westfield’s philospohy to continually invest and reinvest in our properties,” said Sam Davidson, district marketing director of Florida for Westfield. “The plan for Westfield Southgate is the perfect model of that commitment. We’re taking a very strong shopping center and adding new elements and energy to enhance its appeal for gulf coast residents, the many domestic and international vistiors as well as for our retail partners that cater to these shoppers.”

The mall’s name will also change, from Southgate Mall to Westfield Siesta Key. Westfield officials claim that “retailer interest in the project remains very high.” The next phases of renovation will include bringing in new chain stores and rebranding the shopping center. Those additions will be announced next year.

Article courtesy of: heraldtribune.com

5 new restaurants planned at new Sarasota mall

 

The developers of the Mall at University Town Center made five new restaurant openings official on Monday for the $315 million project scheduled to open in October 2014.

Though the chain brands had been previously reported on by the Herald-Tribune, Manatee County’s Benderson Development Co. and Taubman Centers Inc. announced the following restaurants for the 880,000-square-foot mall rapidly being built on University Parkway near Interstate 75:

• Brio Tuscan Grille, “northern Italian cuisine made from the finest and freshest ingredients in a Tuscan villa atmosphere.”

• The Capital Grille, “dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, award-winning wine list and personalized, professional service.”

• The Cheesecake Factory, “full-service restaurant known for its extensive menu, generous portions and legendary desserts.”

• Kona Grill, “modern American favorites, award-winning sushi and seasonally inspired menus in a casually elegant atmosphere.”

• Seasons 52, “a fresh grill and wine bar, featuring natural cooking techniques, the freshest ingredients at the peak of ripeness and an award-winning international wine list.”

All five chains are new to Sarasota and Manatee counties. That polished, upscale chains are coming here bodes well for the region, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a food consultant firm in Chicago.

“This year has been harder than most restaurant operators expected so even successful brands are cautious to expand,” Tristano said. “This mix of brands shows that Sarasota is a market that can support it. Restaurants have struggled to find good expansion locations, but they are smarter about where they do open.”

For example, the Cheesecake Factory, known for its expansive menu offerings and decadent cheesecake desserts, typically builds elaborate 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot restaurants. But in recent years, the chain has scaled back its restaurant footprints — to 8,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet — as it entered more suburban markets and connected “dots” geographically between restaurants.

“This grouping of restaurants, with retail and entertainment in the mix, creates a destination which consumers feel is worth driving to,” Tristano said. “The developers that take the ‘create it and they will come’ attitude have been successful in the past, if they find the right mix of retail, restaurants and entertainment to compliment one another.”

High-end stores

According to a recent site plan obtained by the Herald-Tribune, the mall also will play host to a bevy of new high-end stores, including Gucci, Tiffany’s & Co., Armani and several dozen others that have tentatively committed to the property.

Other new stores scheduled to debut at the mall, according to the site plan, include Anthropologie, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Sony and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Those are names that often find homes in high-end centers like the Mall at Millenia in Orlando and International Plaza in Tampa, two other Taubman properties in Florida. All five chains have restaurants at other Taubman Center malls across the country.

H&M — which stands for Hennes & Mauritz — also is slated to open its first store in the Sarasota-Bradenton market at the Mall at University Town Center. The Swedish retailer sells trendy, fashionable apparel and accessories for young men and women.

The mall’s three confirmed anchors are Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Dillard’s.

When plans to build the mall stalled during the height of the Great Recession, high-end anchors Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus dropped from the roster.

But with brands like Tiffany’s and designer fashions from Salvatore Ferragamo, the mall will compare favorably with other luxury properties across the state.

It also will be the only upscale mall between International Plaza in Tampa and Waterside Shops in Naples, and the only enclosed one between Tampa and Miami.

The Mall at University Town Center is only the second new mall in any phase of construction in the U.S. since 2012. The other, City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, opened in March 2012.

EARLIER: The developers of the Mall at University Town Center made five new restaurant openings official on Monday for the $315 million project scheduled to open in October 2014.

Though most of the names already had leaked out, Manatee County’s Benderson Development Co. and Taubman Centers Inc. announced the following restaurants for the 880,000-square-foot mall rapidly being built on University Parkway near Interstate 75:

• Brio Tuscan Grille, “serving authentic, northern Italian cuisine made from the finest and freshest ingredients in a Tuscan villa atmosphere.”

• The Capital Grille, “a fine-dining establishment renowned for its dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, award-winning wine list and personalized, professional service.”

• The Cheesecake Factory, “a popular full-service restaurant known for its extensive menu, generous portions and legendary desserts.”

• Kona Grill, “offering modern American favorites, award-winning sushi and seasonally inspired menus in a casually elegant atmosphere.”

• Seasons 52, “a fresh grill and wine bar, featuring natural cooking techniques, the freshest ingredients at the peak of ripeness and an award-winning international wine list.”

All five chains are new to Sarasota and Manatee counties.

According to a recent site plan obtained by the Herald-Tribune, the mall also will play host to a bevy of new high-end stores, including Gucci, Tiffany’s & Co., Armani and several dozen others that have tentatively committed to the property.

Other new stores scheduled to debut at the mall, according to the site plan, include Anthropologie, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Sony and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Those are names that often find homes in high-end centers like the Mall at Millenia in Orlando and International Plaza in Tampa, two other Taubman properties in Florida.

H&M — which stands for Hennes & Mauritz — also is slated to open its first store in the Sarasota-Bradenton market at the Mall at University Town Center. The Swedish retailer sells trendy, fashionable apparel and accessories for young men and women.

The mall’s three confirmed anchors are Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Dillard’s.

When plans to build the mall stalled during the height of the Great Recession, high-end anchors Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus dropped from the roster.

But with brands like Tiffany’s and designer fashions from Salvatore Ferragamo, the mall will compare favorably with other luxury properties across the state.

It also will be the only upscale mall between International Plaza in Tampa and Waterside Shops in Naples, and the only enclosed one between Tampa and Miami.

The Mall at University Town Center is only the second new mall in any phase of construction in the U.S. since 2012. The other, City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, opened in March 2012.

 

Article Courtesy of: www.heraldtribune.com

 

The C & G International Team is one of the top Real Estate Teams at Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch. Call us now for any of your real estate needs! 941-556-5030 or 941-266-3872.

 

Angela Cegnar ~ Marty Garcia ~ Nancy Curtis ~ Theresa Shelley

Lakewood Ranch ready to double residents and businesses!

 

The number of residents and businesses in the master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch are expected to almost double over the next decade.

To that end, the community straddling Sarasota and Manatee counties is moving forward with expansions in both its northern and southern districts — the most ambitious push by Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. since the market spiraled into recession some six years ago.

Growth already is taking shape north of State Road 70 — where nearly 700 acres of empty cattle pastures could soon give way to several thousand homes, new hotels and a retail hub that would rival anything now offered in the ranch.

If it comes to fruition, the proposed Lakewood Centre also will add elements of new urbanism to the community — with homes conveniently located within walking distance of work and entertainment.

The project dovetails with the new Mall at University Town Center now under construction and housing subdivisions sprouting along the Interstate 75 corridor, developments that have pushed the majority of the region’s new projects to mostly rural areas to the East.

“It’s not all going to come out of the ground tomorrow,” said Todd Pokrywa, SMR’s vice president of planning. “But we envision this as a place where business could be the foundation. I think we’re positioned well.”

The proposed Lakewood Centre will be north of State Road 70 and south of Malachite Drive, between Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Pope Road.

 

Plans call for 4,683 new residences, more than 3 million square feet of commercial and retail space, and 300 hotel rooms. The project has an estimated completion date of 2026.

Coupled with 4,500 additional residential units also planned as part of a northwest expansion in Lakewood Ranch — and a push by SMR to build near its southern borders in Sarasota County — Lakewood Centre could more than double the community’s population of about 16,000.

Manatee County commissioners approved a change to their master comprehensive plan in 1999 that allows SMR to move forward with the mixed-use development. Company planners have spent the years since scouting other town centers, in areas like Palm Beach and Colorado, for ideas.

Now, they are ready to build.

WORK ALREADY STARTED

The first phase of Lakewood Centre already is underway, with the completion of the Lost Creek Apartments on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. Just north of State Road 70, the 272-unit complex debuted in January 2012 and was fully leased within seven months, according to SMR.

Thanks to that response, the Winter Park developer that built Lost Creek shelled out another $3.2 million in September to buy 17 more acres next door. There, the company plans to build another 256-unit apartment complex, records show.

Creekside Ranch Apartments LLC took out a $24.3 million loan from Synovus Bank to finance that September land deal and the subsequent development of apartments on the site, court records show.

SMR sold 24 acres of land in late November to a multi-family housing developer that plans to build another 280-unit apartment complex there.

DD Sarasota II LLC, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Davis Development, bought the site for $3.8 million. Representatives from SMR confirmed Davis Development intends to build the complex at Pope Road near State Road 70.

Pokrywa said residential development will continue to be the focus of Lakewood Centre throughout 2014; commercial and retail projects will follow later, when enough residential building has taken place and sold to support it.

“The (housing) begins to create the critical mass that allows the office and commercial to follow,” Pokrywa said. “Lakewood Centre will help reduce some of the trip lengths by putting more jobs for households within Lakewood Ranch. That helps the idea of live, work, play.”

PLANNING, AND BEING FLEXIBLE

Because Lakewood Centre could take more than a decade to complete, the flexibility of the current zoning approvals are key, Pokrywa said.

That is because it is hard to foresee if the market will continue humming for that long without another economic hiccup.

But even when Southwest Florida’s housing market came crashing down in 2007, Lakewood Ranch did not feel quite as much pain as other parts of the region did. And now that the market is recovering, Lakewood Ranch appears to be leading the way.

The new urbanism design — and higher density — of Lakewood Centre also is poised to bode well for baby boomers who are expected to migrate to Florida over the next several years. These empty nesters are among the roughly 76 million soon-to-be retirees born between 1946 and 1964 who are leading the state’s robust housing recovery.

For that reason, industry observers are confident demand will support the northern expansion over the long run.

As of Oct. 31, builders had sold 518 new homes in Lakewood Ranch this year, an 8.1 percent increase from the same time in 2012 and a 55.6 percent jump from 2011. At the same time, only about 145 resales are listed on the active market, and 321 homes are under various stages of construction.

 

3 MILLION SQUARE FEET

Like its residential component, the 3 million square feet of commercial space in Lakewood Centre will be rolled out in phases, with commercial nodes in different areas of the community.

Lakewood Ranch planners say it is still too early to gauge the nature of the anticipated retail. Much will depend on need, market conditions and what other projects — including the Mall at University Town Center — are built.

But current trends bode well for future Lakewood Ranch commercial development.

Already, the 2.3 million square feet of total commercial space in Lakewood Ranch has the lowest vacancy rate in the region, at 8.3 percent, according to figures compiled by the two counties’ economic development offices.

That compares with 13.1 percent in downtown Sarasota; 26.1 percent in unincorporated Sarasota County; 22.2 percent in Manatee County; and 29.4 percent in downtown Bradenton, records show.

SMR envisions more ground-floor retail in Lakewood Centre, with small offices and condominiums on upper levels — similar to the design of Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street.

The master plan also calls for trails that will connect the different uses in Lakewood Centre with other villages of Lakewood Ranch to improve walkability.

Article courtesy of: http://www.heraldtribune.com

 

Interested in buying or selling in Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota or Bradenton Florida? Call the C & G International Realty Today! 941-556-5030 or 941-266-3872. We would be delighted to help you in your real estate needs!

 

The C & G International Realty Team

Angela Cegnar~ Marty Garcia ~ Nancy Curtis ~ Theresa Shelley – Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota FL 

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Villages of Lakewood Ranch South project finally moves forward after 3 years of inactivity!

 

After more than three years of inactivity since it was first approved, the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South project is beginning to move forward.

The massive housing and business development south of University Parkway and east of Interstate 75 overcame a significant barrier Wednesday, with the Sarasota County Commission’s unanimous approval of an amendment to its contract with project developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc.

“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Todd Pokrywa, vice president of planning for SMR.

The amendment to the 2010 agreement allows the developer to begin residential construction on the 5,500-acre project before some roadway improvements are completed.

SMR has committed to extend Lakewood Ranch Boulevard as a four-lane roadway from its terminus at Communications Parkway to Fruitville Road, extend Lorraine Road as a two-lane road from University Parkway to Fruitville Road and build an east-west connecting road from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to Lorraine Road. It will pay the full cost of all three projects.

SMR has also pledged up to $7.5 million for another proportionate share road project with the county. The amendment approved Wednesday gives them the option of putting that money toward a possible east-west connector overpass from the Villages project over Interstate 75 and Cattlemen Road. Officials say that project could be an alternative to improvements to the interchange of University Parkway and Interstate 75 proposed by the Florida Department of Transportation.

The other option is for SMR’s $7.5 million to go toward construction of a four-lane Iona Road between Fruitville Road and Palmer Boulevard.

The Villages project has at least one more hurdle to clear: an amendment to the Development of Regional Impact plan SMR plans to file within a few months, Pokrywa said.

Lourdes Ramirez, president of the Sarasota Council of Neighborhood Associations, urged the commissioners to make infill development a first priority before allowing more growth eastward.

“The fact is, a lot of people travel here, but regional sprawl coming from Manatee is also the same as regional sprawl from eastern and rural areas of Sarasota County. They both will wind up clogging our roads,” Ramirez said.

Commissioner Joe Barbetta said the past three and a half years since the project was initially approved have been a “protracted process” and that he’s eager to see work begin.

“I’m very troubled that we’re not going to see a stick in the road for a long, long time,” Barbetta said. “We need to move things forward.”

Pokrywa said if the forthcoming amendment is approved, SMR could be ready to begin design and construction of required infrastructure for the Villages and thousands of new homes in late 2014 or 2015.

Article Courtesy of Bradenton.com

 

For more Information on buying or selling in the Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton and Sarasota Areas Call one of our experts now! 941-556-5030 or 941-266-3872