In the last century, Bird Key has proven to be one of the most incredible metamorphoses in Sarasota. In the early 1900's, Thomas Martin Worcester purchased the 12 acre island for $25 as a gift to his wife, Davie Lindsay Worcester, after she visited and fell in love with it. It took three years for him to build their dream home, New Edzell Castle, but, sadly, Mrs. Worcester died before it was finished.
In the 1920's, the island was purchased by John Ringling, who connected it to the mainland. Ringling had visions of it becoming President Harding's dream home, and even named the streets of nearby Lido Key after a number of his other favorite presidents. Unfortunately, President Harding passed away before ever making his home there.
In the late 1950's, things really started to change for the island. Purchased by Arvida Realty, the island was transformed through an immense dredging project, turning the 12 acre isle into the 250 acre piece of paradise we know today. That initial home on Bird Key was razed, but since then 511 luxury homes have been built, and now the small island is one of the most coveted neighborhoods in Sarasota.
The Bird Key Yacht Club is now on the site where the New Edzell Castle once stood. The club offers a wide array of amenities for members and is one of the incredible perks of being a Bird Key resident. Bird Key also is hard to beat for convenience. Downtown Sarasota is Just a few minutes away over the John Ringling Causeway, and St. Armand's Circle, a local mecca for dining and shopping, is an equally short drive towards the Gulf. And if you want to feel sand beneath your feet, beautiful Lido Beach is a short walk from St. Armand's Circle.
With under a thousand residents, Bird Key is quite exclusive and the homes in high demand. Although some love the idea of having neighbors like Jerry Springer, AC/DC's Brian Johnson, and Martina Navratilova, the island and its pristine homes sell themselves. For boaters, Bird Key stands out with about 300 of the properties either directly on the bay or on one of the canals. But landlubbers will find what they are looking for too: off the waterways there are multi-million dollar homes that mesmerize passersby and more modest garden homes, starting at $500,000, that offer a more affordable option to making a life on beautiful Bird Key.
From history to luxury to convenience, this Florida island gem has a bit of everything.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist