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Sand Castles on Siesta Key

Quiet and Tropical at the Hamilton Club
By Roger Drouin

Hamilton Club is an enclave of 18 maintenance-free homes located behind gates and nestled amid a tropical, park-like setting on the north end of Siesta Key. 

Designed to recall the graceful architecture of Bermuda, with pastel colors, and white trim, the homes are nestled around a picturesque lagoon with fountain and majestic Oaks. In addition, all the homes’ roofs were replaced with new metal roofs in 2016.

Built from 1989-1997, all homes feature three bedrooms with three and a half baths on two levels. Residences feature soaring ceilings in the main living areas, an abundance of windows and glass doors, open floor plans, living-room fireplaces, upscale flooring and high-end finishes. Four different floor plans range from 2,554 to 2,884 interior square feet plus multiple balconies/porches.

The 18 high-end residences are located on the north end of the key behind entry gates on Higel Avenue, to the west, and Coconut Bayou, on the east. A boater’s paradise, every unit has a dock and it takes only minutes to reach the ICW, Bay, and Gulf by boat. 

Six of the 18 homes front the bayou and boat basin. Within the community, there is plenty of green space, and in many cases, mangroves are used in place of seawalls, leading to a much more natural atmosphere on the waterfront. 

“It is quiet and serene and private,” says realtor Brandon Surline, who has a recently-renovated unit listed for sale in the community and whose family owns two units at Hamilton Club. “It is a maintenance-free community run like a condo, but with the feel of a home.” Hamilton Club is a condominium community of detached single family homes, duplexes and villas, all with above 2,500 square interior feet. 

The 2,691-square foot unit listed by Brandon and his wife, Camille, looks out at the lush green space surrounding the lagoon and fountain. It includes a 10,000-pound weight capacity boat lift.

The home is one of the first fully-renovated homes to come on the real-estate market in the community, Surline says. Its screened-in balcony has a view of the lagoon with a spiral staircase for quick, easy access to the heated pool, tennis court and quaint pathways through the lush landscaping and the deeded dock. The home includes a private elevator.

The community is unique because it is gated, and “there are not that many communities that are gated on the north end of the Key,” notes Surline, of Key Solutions Real Estate. 

Surline notes that the unit he has listed for sale is surrounded by mature landscaping. “You feel like you are nestled in ultimate privacy,” he says. The home is flooded with natural light—as are other units in Hamilton Club. The windows are a good size in the great room. There are about five of them, making it very beautiful. The light just pours in, and all you see is the sky and trees and all this sunlight that comes in. It is so nice.”

The homes also have garages and there is a “tremendous amount of storage,” Surline notes, including a 15×30-foot climate-controlled storage area off the garage and ample closets inside. 

Quite a few of the units have private elevators. And all the roofs were all recently replaced with new metal roofs, Surline says. The large pool is heated, and the tennis courts were just resurfaced. 

In addition to the lush landscaping, the boat docks, large pool and tennis, along with the community’s convenient location near the beach, the Village and downtown Sarasota make it unique, adds Bob Ruiz, a realtor with Key Solutions. 

“For condominium communities the units are certainly on the more spacious side,” Ruiz says. “The fact that they were built more recently than the largest majority of properties on Siesta lends to more modern architecture and upscale finishes.”

Surline notes that some of the ideal potential owners within Hamilton Club include boating families who wish to use the unit as their primary or secondary home, or residents who have large families who would plan to visit.

The elevators are a nice feature for older people who plan to migrate away from stairs, he added. 

 “It’s a diverse mix of residents,” Surline says. And it is very safe (with one private drive in the community). “Kids can ride their bikes,” he adds.

With a six-month minimum rental period the community is more designated mainly for full-time/seasonal residents as opposed to investors wishing to purchase a rental property.

Remodeling is becoming a trend in the community. Surline says the homes in Hamilton Club feature solid finishes and durable construction, but some of the aesthetic factors in the homes (which were built in the early 90s) are becoming outdated, and thus several of the units have been renovated recently.

One unit, he recalls, was purchased in 2017 and the new owners put $200,000 into a remodel project to make it like new. Another unit that was purchased recently underwent a renovation that cost $250,000 to $300,000, Surline says.

Listings and sales

•A 2,798-square foot home sold in March 2018 for $990,000, or $354 a square foot. The home features expansive boat bayou views, including sweeping views of mangroves and waterfront. It is one of the six homes fronting the bayou. According to the MLS listing, the townhouse is spacious with high, open ceilings, lots of windows and wonderful light. In addition to the 3 bedrooms, there is a cozy den with water view, a loft area and a ground floor enclosed space. The attached garage is large with extra storage space. There is a screened balcony as well as a ground floor lanai.

Two units are currently listed for sale:

•The unit listed by Brandon and Camille Surline has 2,691 square feet, and is one of the first fully-renovated homes to come on the market in the community. This beautifully renovated home showcases three bedrooms all en-suite, soaring ceilings, warm wood floors throughout, granite and quartz countertops, wood burning fireplace, elevator, southern exposure and abundant natural light. At 2,691 square feet, the listing comes out to $369 a square foot.

•Another current listing, with 2,544 square feet, is on the market for $949,000. It has an open plan with high ceilings & tastefully appointed. According to the MLS listing, the home’s gourmet kitchen has maple cabinetry, black granite counters, appliance garages, wine refrigeration, TV shelf, Sub-Zero refrigerator, Thermador stainless steel oven, Dacor glass cooktop, stainless microwave & deep drawers. Laundry center conveniently off kitchen with Whirlpool washer/dryer, laundry tub & upper cabinets. First-floor great room with wood-burning fireplace & adjacent Media room including projector, screen & equipment.