Like the Serenissisma and Villa Del Sogno houses, I thought the one at 1312 Casey Key Road, called Tweenwater, was just another example of bestowing the honor of a name on a very grand and expensive address. . It’s still very big – nearly 12,000 square feet – and expensive, listed for $20 million, but owners Todd and Marenda Stitzer, named theirs for more humble reasons.
The Stitzers, who have dual nationality, have spent much of their lives in Surrey, in the English countryside, where houses with names are as common as afternoon tea. In fact, you could write the name of a house on an envelope instead of the numbered address, and delivery would be assured, recalls Marenda.
So, for the Stitzer’s home in Florida, Marenda named the estate Tweenwater for its position between Sarasota’s Blackburn Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Originally a lawyer, Todd was CEO of Cadbury from 2003 to 2010 but had worked for the British multinational confectionery company for a total of 27 years. He resigned soon after Kraft Foods Inc. bought it in a hostile takeover.
In 2011, the Stitzers purchased empty land in Sarasota that had a beach boardwalk, dock, two large banyan trees, and 136 Sabal Palms for $2.25 million. They modeled their British West Indies-style home after a yellow clapboard home they saw in St. George’s, Bermuda, on their 1977 honeymoon.
Designed by Naples-based Herscoe Hajjar Architects and built by The Aerial Companies, the six-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bath estate evokes the styles of 18th- and 19th-century Caribbean homes built by British planters, Todd says. It has a custom staircase inspired by the Harvard Club in New York and was designed in an H-shape to allow breezes to ventilate the rooms and bring the outdoors in when the weather permits.
The entire back wall of the family room opens onto the porch where “we have wonderful dinners with family and guests,” he says. “The house was basically designed as a place for family and friends. It can accommodate 12 people, has 12 bikes and 12 kayaks.”
It also has an infinity pool, exercise room, sauna, tiki hut on the beach, and lifts for boats and kayaks. Despite its traditional facade, it also has an integrated solar panel system, a whole house generator, an eight car garage and a separate boat garage.
The project took three years and cost about $14 million. With 100 feet of private beach, the Stitzers say what they’ll miss most are the water views.
They have remodeled and built seven more homes over the years, from restoring an 1850 brownstone in Cobble Hill Brooklyn to a 1930s Tudor home and prairie-style cottages in Pennsylvania. This year marks their 45th wedding anniversary, and “we believe we still have one more real estate adventure to come,” says Todd. While they haven’t decided where this adventure might take place yet, they’ll take the opportunity to downsize Tweenwater, which is just under an acre.
And how about that Cadbury heritage? We had to ask. Most people associate the brand with the Cadbury Creme Egg, an egg-shaped milk chocolate shell with a white and yellow filling inside. But Cadbury Crunchies are the Stitzers’ favourite. The only problem? They can only find them in specialty stores since they are only made in Canada, England and Australia.
Interested? Contact Lisa Napolitano at (941) 993-0025, or Valerie Dall’Acqua at (941) 445-7295, both of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.