New owners Greenpointe Communities holds their first public workshop to discuss plans for a “new 15-acre district” downtown.
SARASOTA, Fla. – A new 15-acre district in Sarasota. That’s what Greenpointe Communities is calling their plans for Sarasota’s last undeveloped bayfront property.
“We’re excited to be in the city of Sarasota at this point in time,” says Greenpointe regional president Rick Harcrow. “You really get the sense that something’s happening here and that the city’s at a pivotal place.”
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Thursday, residents got a first glimpse at the new owner’s vision for the “Sarasota Bayside” project.
Based on the approved 2007 site plan of the previous owners, Greenpointe called a community workshop to discuss vacating an additional 3 rights-of-way along Boulevard of the Arts.
“If you think about it as cleaning the slate in order to plan a new project,” says Harcrow.
That new project, according to architects Baker Barrios, is a complete 180 from their predecessors, who envisioned more of a gated condo community.
“We’re not building basically a project,” says Chuck Bell with Baker Barrios. “We’re really trying to build an entire district adjacent to the downtown and Rosemary district.”
This district will have up to 695 condos, 175 hotel rooms, and over 200,000 square feet of retail and office space. However, architects say they will start with the road, to be modeled after Sarasota’s pedestrian-friendly Main Street.
“We want a place where the folks in Sarasota will want to come to, and bring their family and friends over and over again,” says Bell. “That, to us, is the hallmark of success.”
Some waterfront condo residents are voicing concerns these plans could add to traffic congestion along Boulevard of the Arts.
“When the Van Wezel lets out, the traffic there is really terrible and it’s very difficult to get out of our own street,” says Robert Winter, a resident of Condo on the Bay.
The city believes the three outlets from Greenpointe’s proposed corridor to U.S. 41 Will alleviate, not amplify, existing traffic.
Greenpointe will spend the remainder of the year submitting applications, and plan to hold their next public meeting with a more visual concept this spring. Their goal is to break ground by the start of 2017.
They hope to break ground by the start of 2017.