Most people at community forum support affordable downtown apartments

Affordable Housing near downtown Sarasota

Posted on Aug 3, 2015

SARASOTA, Fla. —  Tucked away off Fruitville Road, just east of 301 are eight largely underutilized acres… There is a boxing gym, a train-car restaurant and a big shed, but for the most part, there’s not a lot going on back here.

But if a local developer has his way, it will soon have 404 apartments in five 6-story buildings, 1-3 bedrooms and rent for as little as $650.

It’s designed with the working class in mind…those who would live here and work nearby could get free bus rides to work.

The twenty million dollars needed for this complex would be funded entirely by Harvey Vengroff.

A multi-millionaire retiree who says he just wants to help others find affordable housing.

Dozens of people came out to hear more, see more and ask questions at the Sarasota City Hall Annex. Most were in favor, but one woman said she didn’t think $650-$900 was a bargain.

“Is that considered affordable? I may be out of touch, but it sounds like a lot of money to me,” she said.

The project faces a couple challenges. First off, this land is zoned for what’s called “industrial light.” It would need to be rezoned “downtown core.”

It would also need twice as many parking spaces as Vengroff is suggesting.

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