11 new projects in the Rosemary District in Sarasota, FL
By John Hielscher via Herald Tribune
Eleven construction projects are planned or underway in the long-blighted Rosemary District north of downtown Sarasota.
Developers are investing millions of dollars to build rental apartments, condominiums, retail and office space and, possibly, a 200-room Marriott hotel.
The value of the seven construction projects that have revealed their price tags now tops $66 million, a figure that downtown economic development coordinator Norm Gollub believes will rise significantly when the other four report their costs.
While a number of residential and commercial real estate projects are sprouting throughout the city, much of the economic revitalization of the 128-year-old Rosemary District is aimed at creating rental apartments that will provide housing within a walkable distance to the amenities of downtown.
“We’re encouraged by all the interest, not only Rosemary but elsewhere,” Gollub said. “We just want to see sensible plans continue to come forward and meet the market demand.”
The latest project, announced this month, is Risdon on 5th, a $5 million development proposed to contain 22 residential condos and six offices at 1350 5th St. The developer, WLS 5th St. Lofts, appeared before the Development Review Committee on Aug. 19.
Construction has started on the first phase of CitySide, a 489-unit apartment project on Boulevard of the Arts between Cocoanut Street and Florida Avenue. Developer Rosalyn Holdings LLC plans a total of 228 units in the initial stage of the four-story complex.
Rates for the one- and two-bedroom units, which will range from 700 square feet to 1,200 square feet, are expected to range from $1,000 to $2,000 a month.
Ground was broken this month on Rosemary Square, a $20 million mixed-use project at 1440 Boulevard of the Arts. It will include 50 condominium units and 30,000 square feet of retail and office space in four buildings, city documents show.
Thirty of the residential units will be used by the Sarasota Opera to house its artists, a boutique theater and fine arts, according to contractor Gilbane Building Co. The project is being developed by Mark Kauffman and Partners.
“Rosemary Square’s convenient location to downtown Sarasota supports the economic growth of the area and local neighborhoods,” said Gilbane vice president Tim Hensey. “The timing is right for a project like this.”
While everything is not rosy in Rosemary — the Darwin’s on 4th restaurant closed in July, in part because of ongoing issues with the homeless population — developers are being enticed by the city’s willingness to boost the number of units allowed on certain parcels that makes them financially viable. The district is the area from the north side of Fruitville to 10th Street, bounded by Orange Avenue to the east and U.S. 41 to the west.
“The linchpin was the density increases,” Gollub said. “CitySide, which has 489 units, would have had substantially less. With land values and construction costs, they would have to offer a product that would be substantially higher than they are now able to offer due to the density bringing the cost down.”
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