Downtown Sarasota Grooms Walkability Advantage


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, December 31, 2018 – A few years back, two neighborhoods in downtown Sarasota were listed amongst the most walkable in Florida. Delightful for local residents and prospective buyers of Sarasota homes for sale, some developments set in the city are geared to further enhance this walkability advantage.

One multi-million dollar downtown improvement project expected to begin in 2019 is a makeover of South Lemon Avenue between 1st Street and Pineapple Avenue. As planned, this initiative would be most beneficial to two upscale condos in this neighborhood: The Mark and 1500 State Street.

More Charming Corridor

Costing over $3.5 million, this project is scheduled to start in May 2019 and finish by November. During this projected seven-month timetable, the asphalt pavement of the Lemon Avenue stretch would be replaced by red brick pavers. The curbs will also be removed, thus creating a more open and pedestrian-friendly public space. Likewise included in the plan is transforming the surroundings of the Paul Thorpe Junior Park into a more comfortable and welcoming public area.

Notably, Main Street intersecting Lemon Avenue west to east was one of the two Sarasota downtown neighborhoods amongst Florida’s top 10 in walkability, as per one industry reading. Ranked at No. 4, Main Street’s gained favor as a walkable neighborhood in its inviting row of antique shops and restaurants.

Rosemary Weaves New Magic

The Rosemary District was No. 10 in this ranking, cited for its undergoing renewal wherein the new construction projects underway heavily factor in walkability in their blueprints. The new condominium Auteur set on the Boulevard of the Arts near Hyatt Regency Sarasota, for instance, is geared towards creating a more pedestrian-friendly setting.

Its proponent, Bota Developer LLC, said the condominium’s plan has been revised so that its building’s main tower would now be oriented on an angle to create street setbacks of up to 80 feet. Its frontage would have a lower-level structure off the Boulevard of the Arts.

Auteur’s density has also been trimmed from 90 to 55 units. To help stimulate pedestrian traffic, the Auteur complex would feature enhanced landscaping, an outdoor café, and public art amongst its amenities.

Synergy in the Works

Additionally, the development of this condominium is being coordinated with the work already initiated at the mixed-use Quay south of Auteur’s site. Bota Developer said it is discussing with Greenpointe Holdings, the Quay developer, on possibilities for improving and expanding access in this Rosemary District area.

A public plaza, shops, and restaurants, in addition to hotel rooms and residential condos, are amongst the Quay’s components. Under an agreement between the city and Greenpointe, the latter is tasked with extending two multi-use recreational trails around the Quay.

Similar opportunities on synergy for a more pedestrian-friendly downtown setting are being explored in the master plan for the development of The Bay as a new public destination in a city-owned 53-acre site to the north of Auteur. Other developments in Rosemary District which could contribute in a more walkable downtown include the new condominium BLVD, also at the Boulevard of the Arts, and Risdon on Fifth which both feature commercial spaces aside from residential square footages further market choices on Sarasota condos for sale.