Sarasota County Completing New Bay Island Park Siesta Seawall


The construction of a new seawall in the south side Bay Island Park on Siesta Key is expected to be completed December 2014, following resumption of the project in June. Already more than 40 years old, the structure suffers from erosion issues.

Work to replace the park’s seawall began in March 2013 but was halted in August that same year due to the default of the contractor for the project’s northern section which is under the jurisdiction of the city of Sarasota. The county owns the park’s southern end and is funding the seawall’s rehabilitation for this section.

Park portion reopens

Sarasota County Completing New Bay Island Park Siesta Seawall

Further delays ensued as the cost escalated by some $200,000 when the city rebid the project. Eventually, the city withdrew from an earlier agreement with the county for joint funding of the seawall rehab, a move which the latter approved. The county is now shouldering the full cost of the new seawall which would cost a total of nearly $1 million.

The entire project calls for the removal of the current seawall and replacing it with pre-cast concrete panels. Improvements on the park’s sidewalks and landscaping will be undertaken as well. Construction activity won’t affect much the vehicular traffic at the Siesta Drive gateway to Bay Island Park as the contractors are using barges to transport construction materials.

Popular attraction

After over a year of being closed, a portion of Bay Island Park was already open as of September. Easily accessible and a much-used park, Bay Island is popular for recreational fishing among visitors and locals. The park also attracts boaters who find it convenient for loading and offloading. Firefighters likewise use the park as a mooring site during operations on the nearby islands.

Located in the northern entry point of Siesta Key, the park too is one of the major draws for a nearby namesake community—the upscale waterfront neighborhood of Bay Island. This community is one of Sarasota’s older subdivisions, having been established sometime during the 1950s.

Luxury home buyers’ port

The Bay Island community is composed of 169 residences constructed in a mix of contemporary and vintage home designs. It is one of the favored destinations for prospective buyers of luxury Sarasota homes for sale.

Many of the sales-listed properties in Bay Island are priced in the million-dollar level. Typically, these luxury Sarasota homes for sale would have floor plans of between 3,300 square feet and 6,300 square feet featuring either three or four bedrooms. Their price points range from $1.35 million up to $5.30 million.

Boost to homes’ marketability

Sarasota homes for sale under the $1 million mark are also available at Bay Island. Just in October of 2014, a new listing for a three-bedroom home with a $995,000 asking price was added to the MLS of available Sarasota properties.

Besides its nearby park, shopping, dining and other lifestyle venues contribute to the marketability of Bay Island properties. For instance, the residents of the community only need to cross the Siesta Drive Bridge just off east of their homes to access the Publix Super Market in Paradise Plaza and the merchants in and around Southside Village, such as Morton’s Gourmet Market and Saks Fifth Avenue. The life and leisure destinations of Sarasota’s downtown and the health care facilities of Sarasota Memorial Hospital are also just a few minutes’ drive from Bay Island.