Money Magazine Spotlights Arts Value to Real Estate

Todays News

Image courtesy Visit Sarasota: Florida Studio Theatre at sunset.

Money Magazine is the latest national outlet to spotlight Sarasota as a great place to live and buy a home. And of note, it’s not just beaches and good weather that landed the community on the list.

Sarasota made it onto the publication’s “50 Best Places to Live in the U.S.,” clocking in at No. 43. While the “sandy stretches of Siesta Key” earned high mention, a write-up in the magazine spends more time on cultural assets like The Ringling Museum’s Peter Paul Rubens collection and the Maria Selby Botanical Garden’s orchids and bromeliads.

“Art fans won’t feel out of place, either. Sarasota boasts the Ringling Museum, a museum built by circus operator John Ringling and his wife in the 1920s. Styled after the Uffizi in Florence, Italy, the museum is home to pieces from artists like Peter Paul Rubens as well as a massive courtyard filled with bronze cast statues — including a replica of Michelangelo’s David,” reads the write-up by Money Magazine’s Julia Glum.

That’s no shock to local real estate professionals, who say the metropolitan elements found in a small city are what sets Sarasota apart from other coastal communities around the nation. 

Marjorie Floyd, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Realty who also has worked in marketing for several cultural institutions, said the arts are increasingly a part of Sarasota’s national brand. She put together a presentation in September for Coldwell Banker professionals after the office surpassed a billion in sales, and that showed how the buyers interested in such amenities also prove to be high value customers.

“It’s easy and affordable to enjoy the arts here,” Floyd said. “If you have been in New York, Chicago, Boston or San Francisco, to enjoy a dinner and try to go to a show at the orchestra, ballet, opera or theater is an expensive endeavor. Here, it’s not a hassle. It’s not uber-formal. It’s easy to appreciate and enjoy the arts. You can almost become a donor for the price you just pay for the tickets up north.”

And you get a good show too. Floyd noted companies for the Asolo Repertory Theatre, The Ringling, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Orchestra and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall — the “big six” as she describes them — have developed a national reputation, and many of the arts professionals working within those institutions have gone on work in major markets, demonstrating the potency of the local talent pool. Groups also often perform under the Sarasota banner whether at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in New York or at venues in wealthy markets like Martha’s Vineyard.

Many visit the area to see the major organizations, but Floyd said there also are numerous ancillary organizations or small groups the feed the same appetite for culture, and pointed to the Perlman Music Program, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and other outfits for developing loyal followings. That actually means arts lovers in Sarasota can see cutting edge work sometimes before anyone else in the country.

“Sarasota is a small town filled with big people,” she said. “A lot of people who could choose to live anywhere choose to live here. It creates a really interest vibe here of wealthy, creative people, and also just creative people like students and teachers.”

 

Image courtesy Visit Sarasota: Florida Studio Theatre at sunset.

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