Longboat Key, Florida | August 28th, 2018 – Well-established yacht clubs and marinas surely are mainstays in the enjoyable lifestyle offered by coastal communities. Happily for residential property buyers perpetually in love with the sea, they will find several of such facilities in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, and many of these are iconic of the communities that host them.
One great example is the Bird Key Yacht Club (BKYC) which was established in 1959 as part of the development of the residential neighborhood in Bird Key just off south of the Ringling Bridge. BKYC is located on 301 Bird Key Drive, which incidentally is just a block to the north of a luxury residence at 411 Pheasant Drive that our Judy Kepecz-Hays team listed on the market very recently.
Icons of History
BKYC is very much a part of local real estate history. The site of its clubhouse was formerly occupied by the New Edzell Castle, the first mansion to be built in Sarasota. The prominent Worcester family had this mansion constructed in 1914 and named it after their ancestral residence in Scotland. The mansion was oriented facing the mainland, an orientation that BKYC has kept for its clubhouse.
Circus magnate John Ringling purchased the mansion and all of Bird Key in 1922. Ringling intended to make the mansion and the island as a winter retreat for his close friend, then U.S President Warren G. Harding. However, his plan to have the mansion as a winter White House did not materialize. Instead, John’s sister Ida and her family lived in it until 1950.
Prominent local developer Arvida eventually bought Bird Key in the 1950s, and soon after the Bird Key Yacht Club was established along with the construction of houses in the island. BKYC though isn’t for the exclusive use of Bird Key residents, as the club also accepts members outside the community including those from overseas.
Bird Key Yacht Club attracts boating enthusiasts, as its marina boasts of having the newest and most technologically advanced facilities in Sarasota Bay. This facility has a new 780-linear-foot sea wall, 48 boat slips, 18 boat lifts, a unique double kayak lift, and a dual fuel system for both gas and diesel. It likewise features 24 wet slips that can hold boats of between 20 and 50 feet. BKYC also provides visiting members of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs three guest slips that can accommodate 50-foot vessels
Social Club and More
Security systems, Wi-Fi, and cable TV are also in place at the BKYC which is a social club as well. It offers scenic waterfront dining and accommodates special events like receptions of weddings. The club’s activities go beyond yachting or boating, as it also features tennis facilities and a fitness center.
Additionally, BKYC members enjoy reciprocal privileges with yacht clubs nationwide which are affiliated with the Yachting Club of America and the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs. Similar member reciprocity privileges can likewise be availed off in two local golf and country clubs: Laurel Oak and Sara Bay Country Club.
Consult our Judy Kepecz-Hays team if you’re on the market for residential properties in coastal communities with well-established yacht clubs and marinas. We have been specializing in luxury and waterfront residences for several decades already. Our lengthy experience on tapping market opportunities in Sarasota and her islands covers not only Bird Key, but also Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Lido Key, and Casey Key.