Anna Maria, The Community Fig Newtons Built

Anna Maria – As you wander down the beach, watching the waves dance to a brief kiss on the sand, imagine the fierce spirit it took to develop this tropical paradise from then to now. It helps to eat a Fig Newton while you are pondering, because….

In 1891 a Philadelphia baker, Charles Roser invented and then patented the machine which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. Kennedy Biscuit Company purchased the Roser recipe and started mass production in 1891. The product was named Newton after the small town of Newton, Massachusetts. When Kennedy merged with the New York Biscuit Company to form NABISCO, they trademarked Fig Newtons.

Around that same time, George Emerson Bean had homesteaded the northern 160 acres of Anna Maria Island in 1892.

With his financial windfall from the sale of his recipe and patent on the machine to make Fig Newtons, Charles and his wife moved to St. Petersburg, where he started a real estate development company. Charles had a sharp business mind and realized the opportunities that this little oasis provided. He partnered with Beans’ son, George Wilhelm Bean, after he inherited his fathers homestead in 1898 and the Anna Maria Beach Company was born.

They laid out the street maps, built sidewalks and a water system and began selling lots. At this time the only access to the island was by boat, so Roser built a 678 foot long pier to accommodate the ferries that would bring residents and day trippers to the Anna Maria Beach Company. Next he built the Roser Memorial Church in homage to his beloved mother. It was the first church on the island and has continued to grow and flourish over the 101 years it has been in existence! Roser also had a real estate business office built right at the end of Pine Avenue to catch the eye of everyone stepping off the pier to enjoy the island. It was a dream to own a piece of this paradise back then and it still is.

Bean Point
Anna Maria Island north end at Bean Point.

Historic Green Village – The model of going Green on Anna Maria Island

If you’re on Anna Maria Island you have to check out the Historic Green Village (HGV). This unique combination of commercial and residential buildings combines today’s modern energy efficient technology in a historic setting.

Historic Green Village

Owners Mike and Lizze thrasher had a vision for Pine Ave when they vacationed here in 2007. The couple bought 4 adjacent lots on Pine Ave which only had two usable properties and a few abandoned garages. In 2009, when the renovations began, they purchased two different historic abandoned houses from around the island; the Sears Cottage, and the Anglers Lodge.

Building the Green Village

The Anglers Lodge is a huge two story house which required 300,000lbs of concrete reinforcement and required a temporary bridge built across one of the canals to move. It took three “heart slipping” hours to move the Anglers Lodge across the canal but was successfully delivered to the lots on Pine Ave.

During Renovations Architect Gene Aubry assisted the thrashers in choosing high quality building materials that reduce energy consumption. They also added in a fifth building, brand new, that was built to match the historic look of the other buildings. Mike and Lizzie Thrashers vision was to establish a group of buildings with a high level of sustainability. With the guidance of environmental consultant, Raymond Kaiser, the HGV was able to become only 1 of 100 places worldwide to earn the Platinum LEED certification and achieve Net Zero Energy during its first 18 months of operation.

Net Zero Energy

Net Zero Energy (NZE) building is one that relies on renewable sources to produce as much energy as it consumes. There are several main areas where buildings are evaluated to determine LEED certification. All the buildings are insulated with a special soy based formula that completely seals and insulates attics, keeping them at the same temperature as the rooms. The HGV also uses special energy efficient windows. These allow in maximum light and filter out the heat carrying infrared spectrum.

On top of the HGV buildings lay 400 photovoltaic solar panels which generate about 100kw, or 14,000$ in electricity annually. The photovoltaic solor panels collect energy from the minute the sun rises until the sunsets. The surplus energy created by HGV is sent to Florida Power and Light. The surplus comes back to the HGV when needed during rain storms and at night. Also, the buildings collect rain water to flush the high efficiency toilets and water the landscaping. Another way the HGV is saving energy, is the 450ft deep well pull that brings up 80° water from deep below the surface to help cool the AC, increasing efficiency by 30-50%!

A model of Green

The Historic Green Village is an inspiration to the local community. The Thrashers are hoping to influence others by proving that this is possible not only for commercial but residential. Despite the serious impact of this quaint historic village, don’t forget to check out the shopping venue while you’re here. The Relish Marketplace features Vintage clothing and accessories, reclaimed designer fashions and much more. Lastly, make sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with a delicious cupcake at Hometown Desserts and then browse the Bob Brown art gallery.

Silhouettes at Sunset April 27, 2014 The Green Flash

Anna Maria Island Sunset
Anna Maria Island Sunset

Once again I witnessed another bold sunset and had the pleasure of sharing it with some lovely ladies who had just arrived that day for another adventure on Anna Maria Island! They have stayed with Island Real Estate over the years and commented on how great our rental department had treated them in the past. They also bragged on our maintenance department claiming how helpful they had always been if they needed anything. They are part of a group and other family members will be joining them to make some wonderful memories and enjoy the fragrances of the Island! After our exchange it was time to get serious about the sunset before us. It was quickly dropping into the Gulf of Mexico and the skies were so blue and not a cloud to be found! Just as soon as the top of the sun dropped out of sight there was a splash of deep aqua green that seemed to spray up from the sunset…The Green Flash! We all started asking “did you see that”? You could hear people clapping up and down the beach! It was a perfect sunset and the green flash was the exclamation point at the end of the sunset! Perhaps it is time to put your toes in the sand and capture one of our sunsets that make you go aw-w-w-w-w! Enjoy the sunset! 

Guests of Island Real Estate!
Guests of Island Real Estate!

    By Melinda Bordes 941-705-0146 or melinda@annamariasunset.com…Whether buying or selling on Anna Maria Island or the surrounding areas let me assist you in the process of owning the perfect piece of real estate where you can fill your sand bucket full of sunsets!