Across the water from Casey Key is Sorrento Shores, a neighborhood mostly situated on a peninsula surrounded by South Creek and Blackburn Bay. With plenty of waterfront property on the Intracoastal Waterway and a number of interior canals, the neighborhood is a boaters’ paradise. Generous sized lots, mature palm trees and lush, tropical vegetation throughout create a sense of openness, ease and serenity.
Sorrento Shores was the first of several communities created in Osprey and Nokomis bearing the name of a scenic Italian town on the Bay of Naples, famous for its lemons and limoncello.
The neighborhood was developed in the early 1960s by C.E. Pitts and his son, Lauden, who purchased the land and planned the layout. They took over the name from the original owner who was fond of Sorrento, Italy. He also loved painting and had started to name streets after various famous artists. Pitts liked the idea and continued the tradition.
Whenever a new street needed a name, his son went to his home encyclopedia. Under the “P” entry was a list of painters, and he’d pick one. As a result, Sorrento Shores has “Drives” named Renoir, Michelangelo, El Greco, Tintoretto, Titian, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Gaugin.
“Sorrento Shores is a boater’s haven. Most of the homes on the canals and bay have private docks,” said Julie Russell, an agent with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “There is a community dock with slips on a first-come, first-served basis for homeowners that don’t have waterfront properties.”
She added, “There is access to the Gulf via the Intracoastal Waterway with no fixed bridges. The canals are wide and deep all the way in, so residents can have sailboats.”
The northern part of Sorrento Shores has an Osprey address, while the southern part lies in Nokomis. There are 235 single-family residences. Some are the original ’60s cottages and ranch homes with two and three bedrooms, and floor plans between 1,200 and 2,100 square feet of living space. There are also Key West-style residences with metal roofs. Values range from the mid-$300,000s to $900,000.
As in other West-of-the-Trail communities, there have been teardowns, especially along the bay and some of the canals. The high-end, estate-sized homes that have sprung up instead have as many as five bedrooms. Ranging in size from 2,500 to 4,500 square feet, they command asking prices from $1.2 to S2.5 million.
Russell’s listing at 135 Tina Island Drive, for example, is a three-bed, four-bath house built in 2010, with 2,572 square feet under air. Situated on a canal at the end of a cul-de-sac, the two-story home has 14-foot ceilings, a wraparound balcony, hardwood and tile flooring, and a kitchen with custom wood cabinets and stone countertops.
Constructed by Bozena Homes, a local builder, it has two garages on the ground floor and exterior stairs that lead up to the double doors of the front entrance. The architectural style and umber colored walls are Tuscan inspired. “It is pretty spectacular with extensive water views and gorgeous sunsets,” said Russell. “Plus, it has all hurricane safety features.”
The asking price is $1,450,000.
The demographics of Sorrento Shores are a mix of retirees, empty nesters, and families with children. “Pine View School, just a mile and a half away, attracts families,” said Russell. The district schools are Laurel Nokomis Elementary and Middle, and Venice High.
Optional homeowners association fees are only $75 annually.
Residents love the convenient location, close to downtown Venice, and shopping, restaurants, and other recent commercial development along the Tamiami Trail. The State Road 681 connector to Interstate 75 is close by, too. Oscar Scherer State Park is literally across the street. Sarasota and the Nokomis and Siesta Key Gulf beaches are within easy driving distance.
According to Russell, prices have been rising steadily in the area – 11.3% in zip code 34229 over the last 12 months.
Currently, there are two homes on the market besides Russell’s, both waterfront properties, priced at $849,900 and $1,390,000.