Modern beach house claims the spotlight on property transformed by tornadic waterspout

Marsha Fottler
 |  Correspondent

On January 17, 2016 a tornadic waterspout destroyed a section of Siesta Key (in particular, the Crystal Sands and Crescent Arms) and then raged across the Intracoastal Waterway to the mainland where it crushed a waterside home at 1604 Baywinds Lane. The homeowner subsequently cleared the lot and offered it for sale.

It was luck born from disaster for a family of four who had relocated to Florida from New Jersey in 2006 and was looking for a waterfront lot where they could design and build a home. The Baywinds lot was ideal. “We fell in love with the location right away,” said the husband, who is the founder and head of PacketStorm Communications, a company which develops advanced Internet Protocol test equipment and in 2018 was honored with a Technology and Engineering Emmy®.

The homeowners collaborated on an ideal design for an elevated two level — the modernistic style was suggested by the wife — and then they interviewed architects and home designers to find someone who could translate their vision into digital architectural drawings. They found their match in Brian Phipps who designed an elevated two-story, four bedroom, four bath (and three half baths) home of 5,110-square feet. Every room has a water view and scenic views of the 300-feet of shoreline on Little Sarasota Bay. The design fully maximizes water views, space and light. Outdoor living areas are integrated into the scheme making this a true indoor/outdoor residence.

The homeowners closed on the lot in June of 2016 and then faced complications with the site. “Apparently, years back this was a dredge-and-fill situation and current standards are different,” said the homeowner who is an electrical engineer.

“After soil testing, we were required to dig down six feet, take away all the existing dirt and replace it with construction grade dirt. So construction got delayed. But after some months Callis Construction began construction and in June of 2018, my wife and I and our two sons were able to move in.”

The house was exactly as they envisioned. “But the site has been a wonderful surprise,” said the homeowner. “It’s like a nature preserve and a bird sanctuary — really a whole eco-system out there. Our back lawn goes to a deep fringe of shoreline mangroves which attract all sorts of wildlife. We watch otters rolling on the lawn and see a great variety of shore birds and waterfowl. All this in addition to the changing views of the bay and sky. This location, so private and natural, but so close to downtown has been perfect for our family.”

The main floor has high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling impact sliders, a custom mahogany front door, and an open floor plan with engineered wood flooring. There is an elevator. This residence is a Smart Home meaning the window shades, outdoor screens, lights, video security system, pool controls, irrigation, garage doors and front gate can all be controlled remotely by phone.

The kitchen, which is open to dining areas, the long balcony and the family room, offers quartzite countertops, white cabinetry, stainless steel Bosch, Thermador and Wolf appliances, double wall ovens, a custom wet bar and a large walk-in pantry. The center island has comfortable seating for four. The flooring is wide-plank engineered hardwood. The kitchen and family room open to a wide balcony with a grilling station. The house has two laundry rooms, one up and one down. There is an office on the main floor where you could work remotely and enjoy delightful views of Little Sarasota Bay.

The owners’ bedroom suite, on the main living level, has two sets of sliders to the wrap-around balcony. The master bathroom is complete with high-end finishes, double vanities and spacious walk-in shower.

The staircase will take you to the floor above with a wide landing that is flexible space, along with a media or game room. All three bedrooms on this floor have views of the bay and are complete with high-end en-suite bathrooms. Two of the bedrooms also enjoy a large screened porch.

Outside at the back of the house on the ground level, nearly 3,500-square-feet of travertine surrounds a 46-foot long saltwater pool, with a sun shelf and an oversized infinity-edged hot tub. There is also an outdoor fireplace, double shower, gazebo, kayak launch, refurbished dock, boat lift and lots of covered storage space for beach and boat gear.

One of the homeowners’ favorite rooms is the second-level man cave. “I have three televisions in there and on Saturday afternoons my wife and I watch several college football games at a time. Just love the set-up in there and I’m definitely going to miss that space.” The family all agree they will miss the setting and the fact that they designed into this house exactly what they needed and wanted for a comfortable family life.

But family situations change. “Our two boys are older now, one in college and one graduated,” said the husband. ‘It is doubtful their careers will be here so really there isn’t much need for a home this big anymore. My wife and I plan to stay in Sarasota but are looking to downsize. Not sure yet if we want a house, condominium or maybe we’ll build something. We haven’t gotten that far yet, but we are comfortable with putting the house on the market and committing to a change in our lifestyle.”

The modern bayside home at 1604 Baywinds Lane is being offered for $6,490,000 through Robert Sherman of Sotheby’s International Realty. The home is being offered unfurnished but there is flexibility in the sale if a buyer is interested in a turnkey property. All the furnishings in the home were bought new when the house was completed with the consultation of a design professional. But, although the house may be sold turnkey, potential buyers should know that the owner’s Emmy® does not convey with the sale. That will be going to his next house.