Large home with yard in coveted McClellan Park on the market for $3,495,000
It’s in a coveted school district, this family home at 2231 Oriole Drive in Sarasota’s McClellan Park neighborhood, but that’s only the beginning of amenities that are kid friendly. There’s a heated salt-water swimming pool and a walled back yard with play equipment and room to run around. Inside are big bedrooms for children with en-suite baths and several playrooms. Current homeowners, doctors Ashok Sastry and Shree Shah, were looking for a big family nest when they bought this 8,000-square-foot home 10 years ago and they were exacting about what was on their wish list.
They wanted West of the Trail, the Southside Elementary School district, an established and pretty neighborhood, and they wanted to be near Sarasota Memorial Hospital as well as downtown. And they wanted a big house with a yard so that the children could entertain their friends and experience things like a zip line which the parents installed. Their first child was nearly two when the couple bought their Oriole Drive home and their second child was born soon after they moved in. The children have grandparents and lots of other relatives who come to visit often. And the homeowners love to entertain. “We can have parties for 100 with no problem,” said Dr. Sastry. “We light up the trees in the garden, put on some music, open up the French doors and use both the house and the courtyards.
Sometimes we do dinner parties where we have appetizers in the kitchen, dinner in the courtyard and dessert in the dining room.”
Ashok Sastry and Shree Shah were the second owners and some aspects of the home weren’t quite finished so they had the advantage of adding features that suited their needs and their design personality.
“There is a gorgeous sweeping staircase in the foyer that is custom made of tiger wood and black wrought iron,” said mom Shree Shah, a radiologist. “It’s stunning but the stairs worried me right away from a safety standpoint. But, I was able to contact the artisans who crafted the staircase and they came back and made three baby safety gates in the same wrought iron design as the original. We put one at the bottom of the stairs, one at the top and one at the landing level. Problem solved until the boys were old enough to safely use the stairs. We’ve kept the gates for the next owners.”
They also put a safety fence around the perimeter of the heated saltwater swimming pool. And they installed a security system with full perimeter camera and Web access as well as an elevator in the house, hurricane code windows and doors and a full-house generator.
But the homeowners were also focused on comfort and style. Since she cooks and he grills, the couple added a fully equipped outdoor kitchen right off the breakfast area. Open the French doors to a linear walled patio and the couple can chat while they each prepare part of dinner. The inside kitchen, which has views to the back yard, has quartz countertops and a Rossa DeMarco slab marble counter on the center island. Stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf six-burner gas range, double ovens and warming drawer were their additions. The solid wood cabinetry is by Neff and there’s extra storage space in a walk-in pantry and butler’s pantry.
Built in 2008, the home has five bedrooms, six full bathrooms and a powder room. There are extensive outdoor covered areas for entertaining and for relaxation. The master bedroom suite has its own private patio. This home is located in a highly desirable neighborhood and is on the market for $3,495,000 through Joel Schemmel of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.
The reason for the sale is that the children are older now and attend a school south of Sarasota. And Dr. Ashok Sastry’s practice (he’s a nephrology specialist) has expanded to the south part of the county and he’d like an easier commute. The family is looking for a more convenient location for their current school, work and other activities. But there are definitely things they will miss about the home they have fine-tuned and enjoyed for a decade, including all the fruit trees they’ve planted on the property and the herb garden they cultivate for cooking.
“I’ll probably never have a walk-in closet/ dressing room like the one I have in our master suite,” said Shree Shah. “It’s enormous and custom designed down to the tiniest details. A place for everything and the glass front cabinets are lit from within. Big three-way mirror, ironing station, beautiful wood cabinetry with everything looking like built-in contemporary furniture. I actually had a party in that room. It was after book club and my friends wanted to see it, so we took our wine and hung out in the closet for a while.”
Technically the Sastry-Shah house is a two story dwelling. But there are five stops on the elevator because within the two floors are mezzanines and the ground floor three-car garage level has living space — a bedroom, en-suite bathroom, modern compact kitchen and private entrance out to the walled garden. Currently the space is being used as an exercise/TV room, but it could function as a guest suite, a nanny apartment, a game room, or private suite for a live-in relative.
The master suite, huge and completely set apart, is on one of these mezzanine levels. Dr. Shah’s home office is located on this mezzanine level, but when her boys were infants, it was a nursery because of its proximity to the master bedroom. The whole house is full of flexible space with playrooms that can be converted to formal bedrooms and lounges that could be a library, office space, craft room, or den. Because of all the levels and private spaces, the house is ideal for multi-generational comfort.
The current owners improved the lighting scheme in the home and over the years added show-stopping light fixtures such as the one over the table in the formal dining space. Since the couple collect art, they wanted their lighting to be artistic too.
The house and exterior living areas are highly detailed with top quality fixtures and accessories. The interior doors are solid wood with Rocky Mountain hardware. The driveway and front walkway are brick paver and the exterior walkways, staircases, balustrades and trim are limestone. The architectural style of the home is a contemporary rendition of Mediterranean Revival with tile roof, arched windows, corbels, columns and wrought iron balconies.
But, inside the design is more contemporary and relaxed. A handsome stacked-stone fireplace is the focal point in the open-floorplan with the kitchen, dining area, and great room merging and then opening up to the outside living areas. The gardens and back yard are landscaped with path lighting and there’s a perimeter wall for privacy. There are copper gutters and downspouts and a whole-house water filtration system.
The floors through most of the house are tiger wood, an exotic Brazilian hardwood. Coffered ceilings, Venetian plaster walls, deep crown molding, marble window sills, and back-lit barrel vaulted ceilings on the upper level are other distinguishing features of this lavish home.
The neighborhood is another attraction. McClellan Park was developed by two sisters, Katherine and Daisietta McClellan from Northampton, Massachusetts, who had visited Sarasota as early as 1910. When they came back in 1913 it was to build a 56-acre, high-end residential community at the southern end of Orange Avenue between Osprey Avenue and Sarasota Bay.
Katherine (a professional photographer) envisioned a vast garden and yacht basin with homes nestled into the landscape. Their work was finished in 1916. The centerpiece of the neighborhood was a clubhouse that was built on an Indian mound. Because of the connection to the Native American early presence, the sisters gave some of the streets names such as Seminole, Mietaw, and Sioux. Initial lots started at $800. The 3,000-foot clubhouse hosted weekend dance parties and teas. In 1930 the clubhouse building became a highly acclaimed private middle school.
Today McClellan Park contains homes that are an eclectic mix of architectural styles that appeal to buyers who want to avoid cookie cutter developments. Tree-lined, winding streets showcase rambling Florida cottages, newer Mediterranean-influenced two-story homes and some mid-century and contemporary ranches. It’s still an up-scale neighborhood and people who buy in McClellan Park tend to stay.
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