Real Estate

Washington Nationals' Ian Desmond buys in to Panther Ridge for $2.09M

In this file photo, Atlanta Braves' Chris Johnson catches a pop foul by Washington Nationals' Ian Desmond at the Nationals dugout Sept. 15, 2014, at Turner Field in Atlanta.Desmond bought a house in Manatee County's Panther Ridge community in October. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT)
In this file photo, Atlanta Braves' Chris Johnson catches a pop foul by Washington Nationals' Ian Desmond at the Nationals dugout Sept. 15, 2014, at Turner Field in Atlanta.Desmond bought a house in Manatee County's Panther Ridge community in October. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT) MCT

MLB's Desmond buys in to Panther Ridge for $2.09M

EAST MANATEE -- Washington Nationals infielder Ian Desmond is coming home to Panther Ridge.

Desmond, 30, who grew up in Sarasota and played ball for Sarasota High School, recently purchased a 9,000-square-foot home in the semi-rural neighborhood along with his wife, Chelsey, for $2.09 million. The sale closed on Oct. 26, according to Manatee County property records.

The transaction was one of several in Panther Ridge during the last weeks of October. Other home sales included two in the $700,000 range and a $538,000 home purchased by the couple that sold the 16-acre property to the Desmonds.

The spate of sales is the sort of movement market experts are getting used to seeing in Panther Ridge. Leslie Emery, a Realtor with Michael Saunders and Co. and the listing agent for the Desmonds' new home, said the 20-year-old community tends to attract buyers for life.

"Most people, unless they're moving out of the state, tend to move around to other houses in Panther Ridge," she said.

Panther Ridge is comprised of about 800 homes on 3,200 acres on both sides of State Road 70 just east of Lorraine Road. It is billed as "equestrian friendly." Many of the homes that sit on its spacious lots include stables.

Panther Ridge boasts nine neighborhoods: The Highlands, Grand Oaks, The Preserve, The Trails, Bridle Creek, The Forest, The Ranches, Foxwood and The Pointe. They are connected by a 15-mile trail system.

The Desmonds purchased a double lot in the community. For the purchase price, they get a six-bedroom, 10-bathroom home, a garage/stable that includes a mother-in-law suite and room for 10 vehicles, and a pool. Eight acres of the property is fenced and gated, according to the property's sale listing. The Desmonds have also owned a home in Bradenton near G.T. Bray Park since 2010.

The sellers, Walter and Magdaline Bayer, built the Panther Ridge house in 2000. They purchased an 18-year-old home at 20506 69th Ave. E. a day after selling to the Desmonds.

Desmond is one of several professional athletes who live in Panther Ridge. Among the others is baseball legend Carlton Fisk, formerly of the Boston Red Sox. Fisk bought into the community in 1998, according to records.

Once considered to be rural subdivision, Panther Ridge is seeing development creep near its edges. The exclusive gated golf community The Concession bumps against its western edge on the south side of SR-70. Commercial development at the highway's intersection with nearby Lorraine Road, including a planned Wawa convenience store, is bringing services closer to the community.

"Everything is coming out to us," said Emery, who is also a Panther Ridge homeowner.

The original list price for the Desmonds' home was $2.19 million. The couple financed the purchase, in part, through a $1.39 million mortgage through Suntrust Mortgage, according to county records.

Emery listed the property in tandem with fellow agent Chris Baylis. Paula Keegan-Bock, another MS&C Realtor, represented the buyers in the transaction.

Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter@MattAtBradenton.

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