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SRQ DAILY Jan 14, 2023

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

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[Under The Hood]  Fate Smiles on Siesta Key Visionaries
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Sometimes what you need to move a policy forward is just a different set of ears.

A year ago, residents of Siesta Key saw a push to incorporate as a city basically killed by a philosophical split in the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation. But a local bill this week passed on a 3-1 vote, the first major step in putting the matter to a vote in November 2024.

So what changed? More than anything, a seemingly unrelated redistricting of Florida’s 160 state legislative districts. The most ardent opponents to incorporation — state Reps. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton, and Tommy Gregory, R-Lakewood Ranch — used to represent portions of Sarasota County. Both easily secured new terms in the state House, but a new map means both of them exclusively serve citizens of Manatee County now.

State Rep. James Buchanan, R-Venice, also voted against an incorporation bill last year, and he voted against it again this year. Of note, he didn’t seem so emphatic against the very existence of cities, where Robinson and Gregory seemed to call into question whether any incorporation effort should be viewed as a de facto tax hike. Still, Buchanan in the delegation said there were fundamental problems with the plan he could not get past, most notably the possibility of incorporating a city that shares an on-island border with the existing Sarasota municipal limits.

But the bill was always championed by the representatives who actually were elected to the Legislature by Siesta Key residents. State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, and state Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota, always maintained that if residents want to vote on incorporation, the state should let them.

Indeed, McFarland worked through the process of showing prepping for incorporation as the Save Siesta Key group charged from step to step. It’s no shock a year later the group was ready to appear in front of the delegation, now with a new make-up.

Of note, among the most enthusiastic supporters of incorporation last year at last year’s delegation vote was state Rep. Michelle Rayner-Goolsby, D-St. Petersburg. She was also cut from the delegation as her sprawling district was contained to Tampa Bay.

But supporters picked up support from state Rep. Mike Grant, R-Port Charlotte and part of Republican leadership in the House. He did ask the group to put a guarantee in legislation that a vote would take place in a high-turnout General Election, and the group complied. Incidentally, the polling done by Save Siesta Key suggests the measure will have no problem passing regardless of when voters cast ballots.

None of this should be read as taking responsibility away from the civic group that toiled fast and furious to get a local bill together, and then did again the following year. Certainly, fate smiled on Siesta Key when new lines created new opportunity.

The question now, though, will be if resistance to incorporation creates any delays in the Legislature. The matter still needs to make it to a floor vote in both the House and Senate, meaning it will come again before lawmakers who cast no votes last year. Still, to paraphrase the Hunger Games, the odds appear to be in favor of the incorporation plan. That means we could be less than two years from the region adding another city to its ranks.

Jacob Ogles is contributing senior editor for SRQ MEDIA. 

Photo courtesy Save Siesta Key

[Dialogue]  About the SRQ DAILY | Perspectives Edition

SRQ Daily: The Perspectives Edition features analysis, commentary and insight on current events in Sarasota and Manatee counties from regular columnists, local leaders and guest contributors. Readers are invited to submit letters that respectfully share their perspective on a local community topic or issue to: letters@srqme.com. Submissions received before Thursday of each week will be considered for the immediate Saturday edition. Editors reserve the right to fact-check and edit. SRQ MEDIA does not house an editorial board and as such does not publish editorials or endorsements of candidates. The opinions and analysis of columns and letters shared in this edition are those of the writer who submitted them. The Perspectives Edition serves as a respectful and thoughtful space for readers to share their voices on topics that are important to them. 

[Real Estate]  Market Begins Realignment and Balance
Michael Moulton

Sales have slowed, the meteoric price appreciation has eased, interest rates are beginning to lower, inventory continues to creep higher… all signs the Sarasota Real Estate Market is realigning from the unconventional and intense activity, which began in late 2020 and lasted through late spring 2022. As markets of all kinds tend to be cyclical, it is not unexpected to see moderation after the pandemic-induced frenzy.

The changes are increasing days on market between listing and sale, competitive multiple offer conditions are becoming rare, and infrequent offers above asking price, all helping to relieve the long-held “seller’s market” that has been in control for the last few years. Though we are still far from the target of six months of inventory available for sale, especially in the lower and mid-tier price points, improved conditions bring the canyon that separated active buyers and sellers closer into alignment.

As you can see in the graph that shows the 10-year track of days from list to sale and inventory levels, 2022 is well positioned compared to years prior to the pandemic.

Inventory conditions are improving, which in turn is helping to slow price appreciation. As sellers are better understanding buyer expectations, pricing of properties has closed the gap and is helping to shorten list-to-sale periods in the luxury price points.

Across the country, affordability is a key issue influencing the sales decline. The cause lies squarely on the increase in interest rates and inflation, affecting most buyers in the lower to mid-price markets. There is a clear hesitancy for both buyers and sellers as questions about whether now is the time to enter the market cause confusion and concern. Real estate experts and economists are projecting a somewhat humdrum year ahead, with a stronger uptick expected in 2024 after interest rates and inflation stabilize.

Market analysts recently wrote that return on investment on homes rose an incredible 20% between ’21 and ’22, almost three times the 20-year average. Their projections are for it to fall to under 5% in 2023 before rising to a more typical 7-10% in 2024.

As is often said, real estate is local, and our region has entered this quieter environment in a healthy state with continued strong demand. There is great potential to sell well located and move-in ready homes and condos, as well as properties in prized locations that are a perfect site for a custom home.

The luxury price tier had significant price escalation mid-2021 through mid-2022, The slight decline in median and average sold prices through November 30, 2022 is not something that worries me. There are often unique events that affect prices, such as a large volume of luxury condominiums selling in a short period as new buildings come online, as did occur in late ’21 and early ’22.

Wealthy clients seeking primary, secondary and investment properties will be relatively unaffected by the interest rate changes expected in 2023, as they see real estate as a key component in their asset portfolio. The affluent who are seeking to buy in this region are eager to find their home, yet patient to wait for “the one” that checks all their boxes. I believe the potential for sales of properties in the upper price points will remain steady in the months ahead.

If we continue to see new listings stay on this slow but steady pace, average prices should also continue to grow, though at a cooler rate than recent past. In my opinion, there are no signs of distress in the luxury market – a cooling yes, but nothing alarming. With several new luxury condo projects under construction and expected to be completed before year-end, this will also help the upper tier move forward in the New Year.

Sarasota’s attractive business climate, no state income and low payroll taxes, great weather and beaches, wonderful culinary and arts community, along with our region being considered “undervalued” compared to other resort communities will keep us as a top location for entrepreneurs to target a move to. 

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

Sarasota's Finest Properties



[SOON]  : The Ringling - A Decade of Collecting , October 22 – January 22, Varied

A Decade of Collecting brings together a survey of artworks acquired for the permanent collection over the past eleven years. As the State Art Museum of Florida and a division of Florida State University, The Ringling’s collections are constantly expanding to provide our state and local community with access to current contemporary works in all media and thoughtful additions to our historic collections. Though the core of the collection has always been the works acquired by John and Mable Ringling, the museum’s holdings have been expanding ever since the State of Florida took full possession of the bequest in 1946. In the early years, these additions were mainly in pre-1800 European art and circus-related material, but over the second half of the 20th century, directors and curators also began acquiring works by modern and contemporary artists. A Decade of Collecting presents a unique snapshot of how The Ringling’s collection continues to evolve, allowing us to tell new stories of the past, present, and future. Visit ringling.org to plan your visit.

Museum of Art Searing Galleries

[SOON]  GALLERY: Contemporary Realism First Friday Gallery Walk at the Dabbert Gallery , January 6 – January 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Contemporary Realism First Friday Gallery Walk at the Dabbert Gallery. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, the Dabbert Gallery will host the First Friday Gallery Walk through its new contemporary realism exhibit. The exhibit runs through Jan. 31. For more information, visit dabbertgallery.com. Dabbet Gallery, 46 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre: Proof , January 12 – January 22, Varied

Proof by David Auburn. Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, Proof tells the story of Catherine, a troubled young woman, who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death and on the eve of her 25th birthday, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit? January 12-22, 2023 For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

The Players Centre For Performing Arts, Performance Venue & Box Office The Crossings at Siesta Key 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130 Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Ranch Nite Wednesdays at Waterside Place , January 18, 6 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy a night of fun at Waterside Place during Ranch Nite Wednesdays. The event features food trucks, live music, a night market, a vintage mobile bar and cornhole. Click the above link to learn more. 1561 Lakefront Drive.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: 10 x 10: Ten Slides, Ten Speakers at the Sarasota Art Museum , January 26, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

After a two-year hiatus, the 10 x 10 series will return to the Sarasota Art Museum. 10 speakers will be invited to present 10 images of their work, interest or inspiration. Slides advance automatically every 30 seconds with brief introductions between the speakers. The informal and fast-paced event is intended to showcase and introduce a diverse group of leaders and creative minds from our community. Tickets are $15 for AIA members, $15 for Ringling faculty and staff, $25 for non-members and free for students. Sarasota Art Museum, McGuire Hall, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit 10slides10speakers.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: Madama Butterfly , February 18 – March 24, Varied

Madama Butterfly is an Opera in three acts. Music by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. A young geisha known affectionately as Madama Butterfly is swept off her feet by an American Naval Officer. Left with a promise that he would return one day, Butterfly waits faithfully for three years, but is met with heartbreak in one of opera’s most enduring tragedies. Sung in Italian with Translations in English. February 18th-March 24 For tickets visit sarasotaopera.org or Ph. +1 941 328 1300

Sarasota Opera , 61 N Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association announces Free Music Matinees , January 4 – April 19, 12:00 PM

The Sarasota Concert Association announces its 2023 Music Matinees concert series. These four free noon-time concerts showcase exceptional regional musicians performing a variety of musical styles, including classical and folk music. Scheduled this season: Passerine; Wednesday, January 4 at noon. With inventive vocal harmonies and song-writing skills, supported by the sounds of acoustic strings, Passerine offers a fresh take on traditional folk and bluegrass music, as well as a repertoire of original songs that range from ballads to contemporary Americana. Duo Pianists Michael Baron and Priscila Navarro; Wednesday, February 22 at noon; The Baron-Navarro Piano Duo performs a wide range of music, from classical to popular, for two pianos and piano four–hands with electric energy and melting lyricism. Their New York City debut as a piano duo at Carnegie Hall in March of 2022 was sold out and met with critical acclaim. Soprano Hein Jung and pianist Gregorios Zamparas; Friday, March 17 at noon Soprano Hein Jung has performed in recitals and with opera companies in major cities throughout the U.S, Italy and South Korea. She will be accompanied by pianist Gregorios Zamparas who has been praised for his versatility as a recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and Europe. Cellist Natalie Helm and Pianist Jesse Martins; Wednesday, April 19 at noon Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Natalie Helm is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and educator. For this performance she will collaborate with pianist Jesse Martins, who also serves as conductor and vocal coach with the Sarasota Opera. The concerts are free but pre-registration is required and available 30 days before each concert at SCAsarasota.org. Performances take place at David Cohen Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Visit www.SCAsarasota.org or call the box office at 941-966-6161.

[SOON]  FOOD: Broadway Brunch at Bijou Cafe , January 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bijou Garden Café will host its January Bijou Broadway Brunch event. There will be piano and singing performances as well as a menu freshly baked quiche, eggs Benedict, salads and lunch fare. The restaurant is currently accepting reservations for this month’s Broadway Brunch. To make a reservation, visit BijouGardenCafe.com or call 941-366-8111.

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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