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2310 Gulf Drive North, #206, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
2310 Gulf Drive North, #206, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
Beauty and the Beach!... Delightful, Direct Gulf Front, 2 bedroom/1 bathroom corner condo on beau...
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Key Royale Boat Dock, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
Key Royale Boat Dock, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
SOLD: Here is a great opportunity to own a rarely available 16' wide boat slip on a Key ...
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8027 Marina Isles Lane, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
8027 Marina Isles Lane, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
SOLD: Dolphin Watch . . . an exclusive and serenely private, luxury, bay front residence of ...
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907 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
907 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
SOLD: Old Florida charm opens to big, beautiful, bay views from this 3 bedroom / 3 bathroom ...
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6 Lakeview Place, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
6 Lakeview Place, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
Tucked away on a quiet cove off Lake La Vista in the village of Anna Maria is this magnificently ...
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You Never Know Who You Will Catch at The Rod & Reel Pier

Rod & Reel Pier

By RICHARD DYMONDrdymond@bradenton.com

Erica Webb, the bartender at the historic Rod & Reel Pier Restaurant on North Shore Drive in Anna Maria, says the best thing about the place is that you always meet someone interesting there.

A sampling of the Sunday crowd turned up, in this order, a treasure hunter with an eBay account, an opera singer who is also a paranormal investigator and a super serious fisherman from Lakeland. Not a bad haul and well below the legal limit.

But the 300-foot pier, said to be one of only several privately owned piers in Florida, seems to attract those accomplished in the much ignored art of doing little to relax from doing much.

It has always been not much more than it was when built in 1947 — a bunch of boards strung together out over Tampa Bay with quaint bar, bait shop and restaurant at the tip.

But there, with a fishing pole in her hand, was Brenda Delhotal, a soprano in the Elgin Opera in Illinois and a member of the Elgin Paranormal Investigators.

Wearing a neon pink top and a yellow hat, Delhotal said she trekked to Anna Maria from Illinois with her sister and friend Lydia Hanson all because of her husband, Augie.

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Litten Book Features Anna Maria Island Photography

Holmes Beach photographer Craig Litten has published a book of photos on Anna Maria Island subjects, including this banyan tree PHOTOS/CRAIG LITTEN

Holmes Beach photographer Craig Litten has published a book of photos on Anna Maria Island subjects, including this banyan tree PHOTOS/CRAIG LITTEN

Cindy Lane – Sun Staff Writer
July 7, 2010

HOLMES BEACH – Former photojournalist Craig Litten has published a book of photographs of Anna Maria Island focusing on the lesser-known angles of the much–photographed destination.

Artistic renderings of tree roots, power lines, clouds and beach toys add seasoning to familiar beach locales in the hardcover book, available from the author.

The book has been used by two bridal couples as a guest book for their Island weddings, said Litten, a Holmes Beach resident who has photos on display at The Back Alley on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach and at Ginny and Jane E’s in Anna Maria.

“I started shooting it because I was inspired by the Island,” said Litten, who relocated here with his wife from Daytona Beach, where he worked for the News-Journal.

A Florida newspaper photographer since 1988, Litten estimates he has had more than 10,000 pictures published worldwide in newspapers, magazines, books and on the Internet.

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Pending Sales of Existing Homes Rise 5.3%

By Shobhana Chandra – Bloomberg BusinessWeek – May 4, 2010

More Americans signed contracts in March to buy previously owned homes before the expiration of a tax credit that has helped support the housing market.

The housing market, which triggered the worst recession since the 1930s, has received a boost from a tax incentive of as much as $8,000 for buyers who signed the contracts by the end of April. Job gains are needed to help sustain demand and limit foreclosures in the absence of government aid, broadening the economic recovery.

increasing home sales (art)“More people came in to beat the rush,” Stephen Gallagher, chief U.S. economist at Societe Generale SA in New York, said before the report. “Sales are rising at a pretty healthy clip. There’s growing confidence that the job market has bottomed out and is crawling up again.”

Sales were projected to rise in March after an originally reported gain of 8.2 percent in February, according to the median of 39 forecasts in the Bloomberg survey. Estimates ranged from gains of 0.9 percent to 9 percent.

Orders placed with U.S. factories unexpectedly rose in March, propelled by demand for business equipment and petroleum, signaling the economic expansion gained speed at the end of the first quarter.

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By Shobhana Chandra
May 4 (Bloomberg) — More Americans signed contracts in March to buy previously owned homes before the expiration of a tax credit that has helped support the housing market.
The housing market, which triggered the worst recession since the 1930s, has received a boost from a tax incentive of as much as $8,000 for buyers who signed the contracts by the end of April. Job gains are needed to help sustain demand and limit foreclosures in the absence of government aid, broadening the economic recovery.
“More people came in to beat the rush,” Stephen Gallagher, chief U.S. economist at Societe Generale SA in New York, said before the report. “Sales are rising at a pretty healthy clip. There’s growing confidence that the job market has bottomed out and is crawling up again.”
Sales were projected to rise in March after an originally reported gain of 8.2 percent in February, according to the median of 39 forecasts in the Bloomberg survey. Estimates ranged from gains of 0.9 percent to 9 percent.
Orders placed with U.S. factories unexpectedly rose in March, propelled by demand for business equipment and petroleum, signaling the economic expansion gained speed at the end of the first quarter.

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Anna Maria Woman is Crisco’s National Pie Champ

By RICHARD DYMOND – rdymond@bradenton.com

MANATEE — A raisin and walnut pie brimming with milk chocolate and finished with a hint of cinnamon has helped an Anna Maria restaurant owner become a 2010 national pie champion.

Andrea Spring, co-owner with her husband, Ed, of Sign of the Mermaid

Andrea Spring

Andrea Spring

Restaurant on Gulf Drive, entered a chocolate raisin walnut pie that took Best in Show in the professional division of the 2010 Crisco American Pie Council Pie Challenge in Celebration, near Orlando, on Sunday.

“That raisin pie was to die for,” Ed Spring said. “When they announced she had won, she screamed.”

Spring captured first place in two of the contest’s eight categories for pies this year, winning the raisin category and the cream category for her Hula Hula Pineapple Pie with fried pie crust.

“I am a 2010 national pie champion,” said Andrea Spring on Sunday from Celebration, her voice a mixture of exhaustion and excitement.

When judges looked at all eight 2010 category winners, the chocolate raisin walnut creation was judged best of all eight.

There were 170 entries in the professional division, Andrea Spring said.

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MANATEE — A raisin and walnut pie brimming with milk chocolate and finished with a hint of cinnamon has helped an Anna Maria restaurant owner become a 2010 national pie champion.
Andrea Spring, co-owner with her husband, Ed, of Sign of the Mermaid Restaurant on Gulf Drive, entered a chocolate raisin walnut pie that took Best in Show in the professional division of the 2010 Crisco American Pie Council Pie Challenge in Celebration, near Orlando, on Sunday.
“That raisin pie was to die for,” Ed Spring said. “When they announced she had won, she screamed.”

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Miscellaneous Anna Maria/Longboat Key Photos


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Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key – A Unique Vibe

Once again, a national publication (The Washington Post) is extolling the virtues of Anna Maria Island.  This story contrasts the unique qualities of each island stretching from Anna Maria south to Venice and Manasota Key.
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Arial Photo of Longboat Key

Arial View of Longboat Key

By Andrea Sachs – The Washington Post
October 8, 2009

Anna Maria Island is Florida as a living diorama, with no chain hotels, a speed limit that never exceeds 35 mph and a building limit of three stories. It is also home to a genteel first lady.

“We are loath to go the route of Longboat Key, with condo high-rises,” said Rhea Chiles, the wife of former Florida governor Lawton Chiles, whose family has owned property here since 1958. “The look of the place has been passed down from one generation to another. It’s all of those words: quaint, neighborly, natural.”

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“We are loath to go the route of Longboat Key, with condo high-rises,” said Rhea Chiles, the wife of former Florida governor Lawton Chiles, whose family has owned property here since 1958. “The look of the place has been passed down from one generation to another. It’s all of those words: quaint, neighborly, natural.Anna Maria Island is Florida as a living diorama, with no chain hotels, a speed limit that never exceeds 35 mph and a building limit of three stories. It is also home to a genteel first lady.
“We are loath to go the route of Longboat Key, with condo high-rises,” said Rhea Chiles, the wife of former Florida governor Lawton Chiles, whose family has owned property here since 1958. “The look of the place has been passed down from one generation to another. It’s all of those words: quaint, neighborly, natural.”

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Pending Homes Sales Increase For Eighth Straight Month

Locally, Anna Maria Island year-to-date real estate sales continued a three month trend of outpacing those from a year ago with a total of 66  sold properties.  This is more than double the 32 sold during the same three months (August, September, October) in 2008.

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National Association of Realtors – Washington
November 3, 2009

Pending home sales rose again, marking eight consecutive monthly gains – the longest streak since measurement began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in September, rose 6.1 percent to 110.1 from a reading of 103.8 in August, and is 21.2 percent higher than September 2008 when it stood at 90.9. The gain from a year ago is the largest annual increase on record, and the index is at the highest level since December 2006 when it was 112.8.

Pending home sales rose again, marking eight consecutive monthly gains – the longest streak since measurement began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in September, rose 6.1 percent to 110.1 from a reading of 103.8 in August, and is 21.2 percent higher than September 2008 when it stood at 90.9. The gain from a year ago is the largest annual increase on record, and the index is at the highest level since December 2006 when it was 112.8Pending home sales rose again, marking eight consecutive monthly gains – the longest streak since measurement began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®Watch Video:

Watch Video: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid47023366001?bctid=47148051001

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the momentum is understandable. “What we’re witnessing is a rush of first-time buyers trying to beat the expiration of the tax credit at the end of this month,” he said. “Home values will stabilize sooner rather than over-correcting. That, in turn, will mean wealth stabilization for the vast number of middle-class families and lay the foundation for a durable economic recovery.”

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More Bang For The Buck on Anna Maria Island

If you’re interested in property on Anna Maria Island, for the next few months you can enjoy a mini-vacation at a discount while you look around. Some island hotels are offering free night stays during the fall and early winter.
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By GRACE GAGLIANO – gagostin@bradenton.com

Aside from white sandy beaches and warm weather, island hotels and resorts are promoting another commodity on tourists’ radar: value.

In an effort to increase tourism spending this fall and winter, which are relatively slow seasons in Manatee County, some hotels and resorts are providing the incentive of a free night’s stay to guests.

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In an effort to increase tourism spending this fall and winter, which are relatively slow seasons in Manatee County, some hotels and resorts are providing the incentive of a free night’s stay to guestsAside from white sandy beaches and warm weather, island hotels and resorts are promoting another commodity on tourists’ radar: value.
In an effort to increase tourism spending this fall and winter, which are relatively slow seasons in Manatee County, some hotels and resorts are providing the incentive of a free night’s stay to guests.

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