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SRQ DAILY Jul 17, 2021

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"We have a mental health emergency in our community that was exacerbated by the pandemic. We know that a dedicated and sustainable source of public funding that if spent wisely will help our families and children get the assistance they so badly need. "

- Mark Pritchett, President and CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Gulf Coast]  Marking a Mental Health Milestone
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

A special and warm-hearted thank you to Sarasota County Commissioners Mike Moran, Nancy Detert, and Al Maio for your courage and leadership on mental health in our community.

By voting last week to approve a dedicated millage for a mental-health district in the county’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, these elected leaders have responded constructively to a crisis in our community, listened carefully to their constituents, and taken responsibility for helping to solve a problem they didn’t create.

As sometimes happens when such a consequential question is finally called, the vote itself on Wednesday was rather prosaic— quiet and quick. That’s because so much important research, debate and collaboration has already been invested in assessing and prioritizing this issue and optimizing an action plan to address it.

We have a mental health emergency in our community that was exacerbated by the pandemic. We know that a dedicated and sustainable source of public funding that if spent wisely will help our families and children get the assistance they so badly need. Community business and philanthropic leaders have identified and supported this millage as the best option to make progress while maintaining transparency and accountability. But I assure you, it was not easy for Chairman Maio, Commissioner Detert and Commissioner Moran. All three exhibited great leadership in the face of highly partisan rhetoric. They acted courageously, judiciously and selflessly in casting their “aye” votes.

For three years, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation have been working cooperatively with a group of human-service organizations to build a safety net of mental health care for children and families in Sarasota County. Brave parents and children who use those services have spoken up about their deeply personal challenges in order to help craft a client-centered, unified system of care. By advancing a mental health district and selecting a dedicated funding source, Commissioners Moran, Detert and Maio have moved our community substantially closer to that essential goal.

Commissioners, thank you for your vision and your brave actions. We stand resolutely with you as you continue to lead us forward.

Mark Pritchett is the president and CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

Image from Pixabay

[Real Estate]  Surge in Luxury Market Demand
Michael Moulton

Sarasota Real Estate Market activity continued its growth in May, with sales, prices and pending sales increasing at a consistent pace. Existing single-family and condominium inventory for sale remains slight and demand does not appear to be easing, contrary to the traditionally late spring slowing seen in previous cycles.

While all price tiers are seeing similar activity, this month I narrowed my focus on the Sarasota Luxury Real Estate Market – the million-dollar and above category, where most of my transactions occur. Past years have shown that this segment of the market has much greater list-to-sale periods and wider gaps in list-to-sale prices, though trends have altered as is shown in the attached charts.

Over this last year, the number of days on market for properties listed over $1 million has fallen more than 40%. And because the number of days a property is listed has narrowed so much, most listings don’t experience periodic price reductions, resulting in a measurably improved sold to original list price ratio.

This tier of the market typically sees sale prices hovering in the range of 85% of original list price, however over these last few months this has grown to 97% at its highest in March, and 96% in April and May.

New listings of luxury properties have grown over prior year, however the pace is nearly equal to new pending sales and also closings each month, so as long as the demand remains stable, the seller’s market conditions will persist.

Also contributing to the supply and demand issue is the slowdown of construction of new luxury homes and condominiums in 2020. Add with current rising costs and delays in delivery of materials, it does not appear that new product will help to ease the inventory concerns in the near future.

What seems to be driving this supply decline? The data that I analyze reveals that it is not just the affluent buying additional properties, it appears more likely that seniors, baby-boomers and empty nesters decided to stay in place this last year rather than executing plans to relocate, upsize or downsize during the pandemic.

Also contributing to the soaring demand is the rise in wealth of the affluent buyers. The strength of the stock market, increased values of primary residences and reduction in personal spending on indulgences such as travel and luxury goods are enabling buyers to purchase higher priced properties.

Sarasota’s median sale price for properties over $1 million was $1,600,000 in May. By comparison, our nearest geographic competitor for affluent buyers is Naples, which had a median sale price of $3,725,000, and on the east coast the Palm Beach area saw median sales hit $4,699,000.

Cash transactions are key in today’s market. Sellers are less interested in mortgage contingencies when offers are coming in. To be competitive in the luxury market, buyers for the most part are extremely savvy and prepared to move their resources swiftly. All cash transactions in the $1 million+ tier were 50% of those closed in May. In May 2020, all cash sales were 35%.

As you consider your real estate goals for the year ahead, whether buying or selling, having a professional with a critical and analytical approach, an understanding of the realities, and able to set expectations based on pragmatic and practiced conclusions will ensure your goals are achieved.

With decades of experience managing hundreds of transactions, and experiencing the Sarasota Real Estate Market’s variability, my knowledge throughout the region can help. Whether looking to relocate to a new neighborhood, considering upsizing or downsizing, or adding to your real estate portfolio, I would be happy to discuss your next steps with you.

Michael Moulton is a certified residential specialist broker-associate with Michael Saunders and Company. 

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Manatee Performing Arts Center: Roald Dahl's Matilda Jr. the Musical , July 16 – July 17, 7pm and 11am

Rebellion is nigh in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical Jr., a gleefully witty ode to the anarchy of childhood and the power of imagination that will be showing on July 16 at 7pm and 17 at 11am. This story of a girl who dreams of a better life and the children she inspires will have audiences rooting for the “revolting children” who are out to teach the grown-ups a lesson. Matilda has astonishing wit, intelligence… and special powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace. Packed with high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs, Matilda JR. is a joyous girl power romp. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Hermitage Artist Retreat: 2021 STAR Showcase , July 17, 11am

Five Florida public school arts teachers will spend part of their summer on Manasota Key while working on their own artistic endeavors. They are the winners of the 2021 State Teachers Artist Residency program (STARs), presented by the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE). This year's recipients include three visual arts educators, a creative writing teacher, and one music instructor. The five receive a residency at the nationally renowned Hermitage Artist Retreat, where they can focus on their own work and craft as creative artists. These five teaching artists will present a hands-on, family-friendly showcase of their work on Saturday, July 17 at 11am at the Hermitage’s Manasota Key campus, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. Additional details to be announced soon. To register for this program, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Arts Advocates to Open New Art Gallery in Siesta Mall , July 17, 2-5pm

Arts Advocates is pleased to announce the opening of the Arts Advocates Gallery in the Siesta Mall. The gallery will be open every Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. For the first time since its founding in 1969, Arts Advocates has its own gallery to display works from its collection of Florida artists and to host community events. The opening exhibit features Sarasota Art Colony pieces from the collection, including Jon Corbino’s Palette, on view for the first time since it was stolen from the collection in 1991 when it was on display at the Van Wezel. In 2019, the piece was recovered from a local estate sale by a treasure hunter and returned to Arts Advocates. Written information about all the pieces on display will be available for self-guided tours. Docent-guided tours are also available at 11:00 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month starting Wednesday, July 7, before the gallery opens to the public. Tours are $10 per person. 

Art Advocates , Suite 119, 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Summer Spoken Word Series , July 17 – August 13

WSLR + Fogartyville is pleased to host a Summer Spoken Word series for individuals that want to explore the art form or those experienced with spoken word that want to work in a collaborative environment to develop new pieces. Spoken word poetry is a broad designation for poetry intended for performance. Though some spoken word poetry may also be published on the page, the genre has its roots in oral traditions and performance. Spoken word can encompass or contain elements of rap, hip-hop, storytelling, theater, and jazz, rock, blues, and folk music. Characterized by rhyme, repetition, improvisation, and word play, spoken word poems frequently refer to issues of social justice, politics, race, and community. Related to slam poetry, spoken word may draw on music, sound, dance, or other kinds of performance to connect with audiences.

The series will start with four workshops and end with a live performance on Friday, August 13th at 7pm. Each workshop will be two hours in length and participants are asked to make a commitment to all four sessions. The cost to attend all four workshops is $20 per person and scholarships are available if the cost is a barrier to participation.

Participants will learn about the spoken word art form---including (but not limited to) what it is, its history, writing techniques, and performance practices. In doing so, participants will also gain self-knowledge as they create different narratives and performances. All participants will walk away with a portfolio of poems at various stages, as well as two polished performance pieces. They will perform these poems at a culminating event, open to the public. The workshop series will spark creativity, nourish vulnerability, strengthen community and uncover marginalized histories and art (spoken word poetry is inextricably linked to the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and hip hop). The workshop will be limited to 20 participants. Pre-registration is required. You can register online at WSLR.org.

WSLR, Fogartyville , 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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