City staff supports affordable housing plan
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor via The Observer
A local entrepreneur’s plan to build hundreds of affordable apartments in the city of Sarasota has received planning staff members’ blessing, according to a Feb. 29 report.
The Planning Board this week will consider an amendment to the Sarasota City Plan to allow up to 393 apartments on about eight acres of land northeast of downtown. Harvey Vengroff’s currently-named VW Village, slated for the intersection of Fruitville Road and Audubon Place, will also include a car-sharing system similar to Zipcar, maintain the Sarasota Boxing Gym as a clubhouse and continue operations of Bob’s Train restaurant.
“I think (the city) has almost run out options,” said Vengroff, who acquired the property for $1.9 million in 2002. “Every day you pick up the paper and it says there’s no affordable housing.”
The size of those apartments would be between 350 square feet and 800 square feet, with rents between $600 and $950.
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