Chris Angermann
Special to the Herald-Tribune
Published: 5:59 a.m. ET June 15, 2022 Updated: 2:02 p.m. ET June 15, 2022
THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE
Although the name may conjure up visions of an expansive community with large acreage and a long shoreline, Bayview Estates is actually a tiny neighborhood. Only 28 single-family homes line its single street, Bayview Drive, which runs just one block from Gulf of Mexico Drive to Bishop’s Bayou at the northern end of Longboat Key.

But what the enclave may lack in size, it more than makes up for in location, ambiance and convenience. Because it is a subdivision of Sleepy Lagoon, a larger community occupying both sides of Longboat Key’s main thoroughfare, Bayview Estates has neighborhood access to the white sands of the Gulf. The beach is only a five-minute walk – or one-minute golf cart ride – away.

Because it is a subdivision of Sleepy Lagoon, a larger community occupying both sides of Longboat Key’s main thoroughfare, Bayview Estates has neighborhood access to the white sands of the Gulf.
Because it is a subdivision of Sleepy Lagoon, a larger community occupying both sides of Longboat Key’s main thoroughfare, Bayview Estates has neighborhood access to the white sands of the Gulf.  THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE

With canals running behind of the properties on both sides of the street, every home has a dock and convenient passage to the Gulf of Mexico via the Intracoastal waterway and Longboat Pass. Palms, fruit trees and other lush, tropical greenery throughout the neighborhood offer plenty of old Florida charm.

Many homes in Bayview Estates are 2- and 3-bedroom Florida ranches, built as far back as 1962. But there are also larger dwellings of more recent vintage. Architectural styles include Key West and modernist designs. Nearly half of the houses have private swimming pools.

Many homes in Bayview Estates are 2- and 3-bedroom Florida ranches, built as far back as 1962. But there are also larger dwellings of more recent vintage.
Many homes in Bayview Estates are 2- and 3-bedroom Florida ranches, built as far back as 1962. But there are also larger dwellings of more recent vintage. THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE

“It’s a great little neighborhood,” said Janet Walter, a Realtor with Michael Saunders and Company. “We love the close access to the beach, to Jewfish Key, to the Gulf, and to restaurants – Whitney’s, Mara Vista, Shore.”

She and her husband Steve, also a Realtor, have lived in Bayview Estates for 21 years. “We raised our kids here,” she said. “We’ve had to drive them to school, but we always said ‘It’s worth it to live in paradise.’”

Bayview Estates is a small neighborhood. Only 28 single-family houses line Bayview Drive, which extends one block from Gulf of Mexico Drive to Bishop's Bayou at Longboat Key's northern end. It's location, ambience, and convenience offers a quick access to the beautiful Longboat Key beaches.
Bayview Estates is a small neighborhood. Only 28 single-family houses line Bayview Drive, which extends one block from Gulf of Mexico Drive to Bishop's Bayou at Longboat Key's northern end. It's location, ambience, and convenience offers a quick access to the beautiful Longboat Key beaches.  THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE

The district schools in Bradenton – Anna Maria Elementary, Martha B. King Middle and Bayshore High – are all more than 5 miles away.

Many of the homes in Bayview Estates have been well-maintained and upgraded. But there have also been tear-downs, replaced by larger, two- and three-story houses. “We’ve sold most of the properties that are under construction – three brand-new towards the bay on the east end, and one rebuilt three years ago,” said Walter. “Several others are currently under renovation.”

A modern home takes shape in Bayview Estates on Longboat Key.
A modern home takes shape in Bayview Estates on Longboat Key.  THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE

Their active listing – they also have a pending sale – is a three-bed, three-bath Key West-style home at 597 Bayview Drive. Built in 1994, it has three stories and wrap-around porches, large enough to sit and enjoy the maritime surroundings. Thoroughly renovated, it features wide plank, luxury vinyl flooring, recessed lighting in high ceilings, expansive windows, and an improved kitchen layout and built-in appliances, replete with an induction cooktop and double ovens.

The two bedrooms on the second and third floor each have an en suite bath as well as direct access to the outdoors. The open-air pool and spa extend to a paver patio that leads, via a boardwalk, to the boat dock and lift on the canal.

Rentals in Bayview Estates require a one-month minimum lease, ensuring stability in the neighborhood.
Rentals in Bayview Estates require a one-month minimum lease, ensuring stability in the neighborhood.  THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE

According to Walter, residents in Bayview Estates include working professionals, retirees, empty nesters and families with children. “The north end of Longboat is not so well known yet,” she explained. “It’s nice and private, and most people live here year-round, in contrast to the southern part, which has more snowbirds.” She added with a smile: “The population has gotten younger. We used to be the only ‘kids’ on the block.”

Walter also appreciates the friendliness of her neighbors. “We see them at the beach, at the bayfront park ... and pickleball courts, and at social gatherings,” she said. “It’s a very nice group of people.“

According to Realtor Janet Walter, also a resident of the community, Bayview Estates is a mix of working professionals, retirees, empty-nesters and families with children.
According to Realtor Janet Walter, also a resident of the community, Bayview Estates is a mix of working professionals, retirees, empty-nesters and families with children.  THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE

All of Sleepy Lagoon, including Bayview Estates, has a voluntary homeowner’s association fee of $25 a year. “Usually people respect that and are happy to pay it,” said Walter.

Rentals require a one-month minimum lease, ensuring stability in the neighborhood.

Currently, there are two homes on the market in Bayview Estates – the Walters’ listing for $2.75 million, and a three-bed, two-bath, 1,740-square-foot home at 518 Bayview Drive, priced at $1.895 million.

This home at 518 Bayview Drive has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Asking price for the 1,740-square-foot home is $1.895 million.This home at 518 Bayview Drive has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Asking price for the 1,740-square-foot home is $1.895 million.
THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE
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