Monday, September 28, 2020

Singular Luxury a la 16th Century Venice

Villa Venezia makes for an eye catching site along Caxambas Court. Photo by Don Manley

Villa Venezia makes for an eye catching site along Caxambas Court. Photo by Don Manley

By Don Manley

Venice’s rich history, romance and singular beauty have long captivated those who’ve eyes have feasted upon the stately, canal-laced, bursting-with-history assemblage of islands along Italy’s Adriatic coast.

In fact, the suburban homes of Venice’s 16th Century sea captains so inspired a Naples resident that he designed and built a palatial, one-of-a-kind, 14,000-square-foot, Italian villa along Caxambas Court, also known as Marco Island’s “Millionaire’s Row.”

Appropriately named Villa Venezia, the award-winning, waterfront home, with its eight-and-one-half bedrooms, eight-and-one-half baths, 1,100-square-foot guesthouse, expansive lanai, formal dining room with keystone columns and much more, is on the market for $9.45 million, complete with furnishings, artworks and antiques.

The rear of the residence in the evening glow. Photo by Advanced Photography

The rear of the residence in the evening glow. Photo by Advanced Photography

The two-story home last sold in 2007 when it fetched $9 million, the highest sales price ever on Marco.

The property owner, R. Gary Stetson Nominee Trust, has accepted an offer, but the deal is pending, based on satisfactory completion of “contingencies,” such as inspections, said Jim Prange, a realtor for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, who is handling the listing, along with his daughter, Nikki Prange-Carroll. He said the purchase agreement won’t be cleared up until the end of September.

“Until the contingencies are released, we are continuing to show the property and we would accept a back-up offer,” Prange added.

Villa Venezia’s list of features is

The spacious, well-appointed lanai at night. Photo by Advanced Photography

The spacious, well-appointed lanai at night. Photo by Advanced Photography

both extensive and indicative of the meticulous and exhaustive attention to detail of its creator, Everett Van Hoesen, a retired IBM executive who designs and builds custom homes.

The list includes: 

A detached garden house that can be converted into a home theater, exercise room, two additional garage spaces or more.

Quick, deep-water access to the Gulf of Mexico from Roberts Bay.

• A 40-foot-high, hand-carved, 8-ton, floating, coquina shell staircase with extensive iron and woodwork featured on the cover of DuPont Registry.

• A 1,000-bottle wine cellar.

• Pine flooring milled from pilings that once supported Charleston Harbor’s Fort Sumter.

• A travertine marble driveway and travertine marble flooring throughout

The luxurious dining room boasts two crystal chandeliers. Photos by Advanced Photography

The luxurious dining room boasts two crystal chandeliers. Photos by Advanced Photography

the home.

• A massive living room with commissioned art work, large picture windows for lots of natural light and hand-painted frescos on the 26-foot-high ceiling.

• Two interior elevators and six guest suites, including the Venetian Room and its hand-painted murals depicting Venice.

• An elevated concrete gazebo extending into the bay.

• A second floor card room with heart-of-pine flooring dating back 500 years, antique Italian furniture and original art works.

• Murals by local artists J.J. Stinchcomb and Stephen Muldoon.

• An air conditioned, detached, four-car garage and an attached two-car garage.

• A disappearing-edge pool, with a Jacuzzi, inspired by the look of shallow Italian fountains and

Villa Venezia’s pool appears to empty right into the waters beyond. Photos by Don Manley

Villa Venezia’s pool appears to empty right into the waters beyond. Photos by Don Manley

the ambiance of Venice, with bridges and steps over the water.

“There’s nothing like this on the island,” said Jim Prange, “It’s amazing, the quality and the thought that went into this. The house has got a timeless design.”

Van Hoesen was a regular presence at the jobsite during Villa Venezia’s two-years of construction. But he never took up residence there, once it was completed in 2004. Instead, he placed it on the market, with a price tag of $15.9 million.

The home has captured six CBIA (Collier Building Industry Association) Sand Dollar Awards, including the Grand Award for perfect scores from all judges. It’s also received

The bar area offers a view of the magnificent staircase.

The bar area offers a view of the magnificent staircase.

three Grand Aurora Awards, the Southeast Builders Conference’s annual award that recognizes achievements in building design in a 12-state region that includes the eastern Caribbean.

Van Hoesen was nothing if not painstaking in his planning.

“He went to Italy, studied architecture and came back with the idea that he was a 16th Century Italian sea captain looking for his residence,” said Prange. “That is when a lot of the old Italian forts were built and the Villa Venezia’s turrets resemble the specifications for the gun turrets from those forts.”

Many of the home’s other architectural features mimic well-known Italian landmarks, such as the Winged Lions from St.

This figure of a lion commonly graced the exterior of 16th Century Venetian homes. An upward tail meant it was wartime, while the downward facing tail meantpeace ruled.

This figure of a lion commonly graced the exterior of 16th Century Venetian homes. An upward tail meant it was wartime, while the downward facing tail meantpeace ruled.

Mark’s Square, the scales of justice that grace Villa Venezia’s front, with a replica of a 16th well nearby and the mural of the Sistine Chapel that adds flair to the ceiling of one room.

Another of the home’s unique features is its lot size. Prange said most homes in the Estates have lots that are 125-feet wide and 175-feet deep, while Villa Venezia’s lot is 366-feet deep, making it more than one acre in total.

“It’s probably one of the deepest lots on the island so that allowed them to really stretch out the house,” said Prange.

Villa Venezia has been on the market for about

Jim Prange and his daughter, Nikki Prange Carroll, on the 40-foot high, hand-carved, 8-ton, floating, coquina-shell staircase.

Jim Prange and his daughter, Nikki Prange Carroll, on the 40-foot high, hand-carved, 8-ton, floating, coquina-shell staircase.

seven months it has been marketed locally and internationally on more than 500 websites, including the Luxury Homes Institute, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, which Prange said is one of the world’s top international real estate sites.

Prange said the home has been getting a lot of attention from prospective buyers because it’s priced to sell. “Someone’s going to get a good value here,” he added. “The value is incredible.”

An adjacent home sold for $6.5 million in December, 2014, which equals $920 per square foot, he explained, before adding that if that calculation was applied to Villa Venezia, the asking price would be $12.9 million.

To learn more about Villa Venezia, visit www.blog.premiersothebysrealty.com/?p=3193 or call 239-393-6705.

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