Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Choice Spot on a Stunning Island

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Choice Spot on a Stunning Island

Article excerpt

When Capt. Louis Roberts and his wife, Ocean Hansen Roberts, made their home on Siesta Key (then known as "Sarasota Key"), the island was known for its mosquito swarms, snakes, wild cats and ornery wild boars. There was no bridge to the mainland, and everything had to be ferried out by boat.

The Robertses left more than their civilizing influence on the place. In 1906, they turned their large boarding house into a hotel that would become a magnet for the Eastern winter elite. Later, Hollywood royalty, including Cecil B. DeMille, Bette Davis and Charlton Heston, stayed and dined there.

The following year, the captain and two partners formed the Siesta Land Co., platted Siesta Village and gave the island the name it has had ever since.

Today, the names of the captain and his wife can be found on a number of geographical landmarks -- Ocean Boulevard, Hansen Bayou and Roberts Bay.

And it is fitting, perhaps, that Roberts Point, a bayside peninsula on the northern end of the key, between Cocoanut Bay and Hansen Bayou, has some of the choicest real estate on this prized island.

Palatial estate homes enjoy spectacular views of Roberts Bay, the mainland and Cocoanut Bay. Many of the waterfront mansions replaced teardowns in the early 2000s, but plenty of older homes remain on interior lots, including charming smaller cottages. Most of them have been renovated and updated with contemporary luxury amenities.

A single thoroughfare, Roberts Point Road, runs down the center of the little peninsula and ends in a traffic loop. The whole neighborhood is lush with tropical vegetation and has a relaxed, laid-back, Old Florida feel.

"With Roberts Point being close to the bridge to the mainland, it has all the advantages of the Siesta Key lifestyle with easy access to all of Sarasota's amenities," said Roger Pettingell, waterfront luxury specialist for Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. Pettingell has sold several properties there and has a current listing on Roberts Point Road.

The area has private and public schools -- Out of Door Academy, Southside Elementary and Phillippi Shores Elementary. Sarasota Memorial Hospital, a Publix, Southside Village and Morton's Market are all on the mainland nearby. …

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