A dream retreat on Jewfish Key provides blissful family weekends.
Original article on SarasotaMagazine.com
MICKEY AND NED DAVIS have the area’s coolest commute: a three-minute boat ride from the Mar Vista Restaurant dock on north Longboat Key to their brand-new weekend getaway on tiny Jewfish Key.
Theirs is just the sixth home built on the 38-acre private island plopped in the middle of the Intracoastal Waterway across from Longboat Pass since development began there in the late 1980s.
Fifteen of those acres are devoted to a conservation easement, ensuring that they’ll stay in their natural jungle-like state forever, and seven acre-plus-size lots are still undeveloped. (At press time, two of those vacant lots were listed by Kim Freiwald of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty for $1.2 million and $1.275 million.) The only “road” is La Lenaire Drive, a grassy 50-foot-wide footpath that runs the length of the island.
She tasked Ellis with designing a home big and casual enough to accommodate the couple and their two teenage sons, as well as her husband’s grown children and two young grandchildren. At the same time, the home had to be able to handle the fund-raising parties the Davises host for the Gulf Coast Conservation Foundation and Forty Carrots Family Center. “I see it as an investment in our family and our community,” she says.
Mission accomplished: The handsome, three-story, cypress-clad home and adjacent guesthouse have five refrigerators and freezers and can sleep 18. Outdoor showers and a half basketball court, plus plenty of room to store kayaks and fishing rods, make it fun for the youngsters. A closet is filled with family board games. And—in a feat of engineering that took a year—it boasts the only swimming pool on Jewfish Key. (How do you barge a concrete mixer across the Intracoastal Waterway? Very carefully, they found out.)
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