Gary & Sandy Elliott
Thirty four condo buildings were constructed along Marco Island’s beaches between 1967 and 2006. The first one built on the beach is the aptly named and well maintained, 48 residence Emerald Beach and the newest is the luxurious 101 residence called Madeira. Of the 4,091 beachfront apartments only 168 condos are for sale this week. The lowest priced listing is a $210,000, 534 square foot condo at Sunset North and the highest priced listing is a $9,500,000, 13,528 square foot penthouse at Belize in Cape Marco. On a dollar per square foot basis, the island’s beachfront condos are listed from a low of just over $300/sf at Sunset North to over $1,300/sf at Madeira with most beachfront condos listed between $400 and $700 per square foot.
Those apartments with front facing balconies providing full unobstructed views of the beach, gulf waters and always changing weather patterns during the day and vivid sunsets in the evening are themost desired and the most expensive in any building. Many people prefer a south facing apartment if they are here just for the season while others prefer the north side of a building to have shade on the balcony while getting their sun at the pool or on the beach. A few beachfront condos have an inland view from their balconies. Some owners prefer the first few floors of the building with tropical beach views through palm trees and the soothing sounds of waves breaking on the sand, others like the middle floors with more expansive views of the beach and cooling breezes and some desire higher floors with panoramic views of the Gulf and starry night skies.
Many beachfront condos have inviting entrances and lobby areas with interior elevators to the upper floors. Some have elevators that serve outdoor covered walkways on each floor. All of them have pools and outdoor BBQ areas and many have social rooms withkitchen facilities for family reunions and other functions. Theater rooms, libraries, card rooms, sports facilities and guest suites for family and friends are amenities found in several of the beachfront condos.
Pets are allowed in about half of the beachfront condos. Most have weight or height restrictions but some like Madeira allow larger dogs and even provides an outdoor designated dog area.
To help offset the cost of condo fees, taxes, insurance and utilities many owners rent their condos for a couple of months a year. Most condos on the beach have a 30 day minimum rental period and some have 90 day minimums. Condo associations also stipulate how many times a year a condo can be rented. Only a few condos on the beach allow weekly rentals and they cost about $1,500 to $2,500 per week in season. Condos on the beach, when available, rent for $6,000 to $10,000 per month in season and summer rentals are about half the peak season rates.