Located bayside in the northern section of Siesta Key, Hidden Harbor is a unique, high-end neighborhood. Encompassing just 36 luxury homes – the original plat was for 38, but two of the properties have double lots – it is a boater’s paradise in beautiful natural surroundings.
“Hidden Harbor is one of the most coveted neighborhoods on Siesta Key,” said Judie Berger, an agent with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, who knows the area well.
The name points to two unusual aspects of the neighborhood. Two narrow lagoons parallel to the coastline, a small bayou and a peninsula on the bay provide sheltered anchorage for every home. “Hidden Harbor has some of the deepest water near the beach,” said Berger. “Across the bayou is the backside of Roberts Bay Lane where charter yachts used to dock. Now it’s sailboats and motor yachts.”
The other special feature is the abundant, lush, tropical foliage, which gives the community a feeling of privacy and seclusion. When Hidden Harbor was developed in the mid-1950s, plans included a greenbelt of trees and shrubbery between the subdivision and Midnight Pass Road, the main thoroughfare on the key. In addition, by preserving much of the extant forest, each parcel has plenty of mature vegetation to conceal it from its next-door neighbors.
As a result, driving into Hidden Harbor is very much like entering an enchanted forest, with twisted tree trunks and a serene, twilight atmosphere. A few years ago, the homeowners had the three interior roadways covered with pavers, adding to the magical ambiance.
“If you’re a tree lover, it has some of the most beautiful ancient oaks in the area,” said Berger. It’s like old Florida – full of canopy trees and native plantings, and in between, these fabulous homes.”
You’ll find a wide variety of architectural styles in Hidden Harbor. There are one-story old Florida houses, modernist dwellings, two-story Mediterranean villas and Key West-style mansions.
Berger’s listing at 1280 Hidden Harbor Way is a four-bed, five-bath home in Italian style, with 5,649 square feet under air. Built in 2002, it was one of the last homes created by Michael Collingwood, a much sought-after luxury homebuilder (he died that year in a skiing accident).
Situated on the peninsula, the mansion has spectacular, panoramic views of the bay including the downtown Sarasota skyline. “During the day you can watch dolphins at play, and at night, the twinkling lights on the other shore and the boats passing by,” said Berger.
The interior features custom mahogany doors and beveled glass transoms. Attractive, hand painted ornamental leaves peek out from under the coffers in the high ceiling. The office/library has cherrywood paneling, an 18-foot ceiling, and a wrought iron spiral staircase to the upper bookshelves.
The kitchen is designed with an island counter, breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances and walk-in pantry. The master bedroom offers a luxury bath with dual vanities, walk-in closets and a bayfront sitting room. Two full guest suites occupy a separate, private wing. There is also an upstairs game room (the fourth bedroom) with a full bath.
The spacious lanai has a heated saltwater infinity pool and an outdoor kitchen. Additional amenities include a three-car, side-entry garage and a 50-foot private dock across the street with a 20,000-pound boat lift.
“It’s a substantial place – a genuine estate home,” said Berger. “But it’s also a very comfortable house. You feel like you want to live there. It will be one lucky family that can call it their home.”
The asking price is $7.5 million.
The demographics of Hidden Harbor include retirees, families with children and empty nesters. Many residents are professionals or business people still actively pursuing their careers. A good percentage live there year-round.
HOA dues in Hidden Harbor are $2,080 annually, and there is a one-time buyer initiation fee of $2,000. Rental regulations require a one-year minimum lease.
Families with children appreciate the close proximity of Out-of-Door Academy on the island, as well as Southside Elementary on South Osprey Street, close to the northern entrance to the barrier island.
The white sand beaches and Siesta Village are within walking and biking distance. Shopping and restaurant venues along the Tamiami Trail are easily accessible via the north and south bridges. Downtown Sarasota is within convenient driving distance, too.
“It’s a very special neighborhood,” said Berger.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Market Snapshot: Hidden Harbor a lush enclave on north end of Siesta