East Downtown Revitalization Moves Forward


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, April 26th, 2016 – Homeowners in communities east of Sarasota’s downtown center got some good cheers recently. Several new property developments have been lined up in their area long lagging behind in development.

Icon International is one of the developers coming into the neighborhood with projects that could also help bring more market focus to Sarasota homes for sale in this area east of Washington Blvd. The Largo-based developer in March of 2016 secured approval from the city’s planning board for a 37-unit townhouse project in a two-acre site on 41 N. School Avenue beside the Kane Plaza between Main Street and Fruitville Road.

Urban Townhouses on the Drawing Boards

East Downtown Revitalization Moves Forward

This development follows the city’s new urbanism focus which has been contributing much to buying interest on Sarasota homes for sale lately. It calls for the construction of three-story, walk-up townhomes having floor areas averaging 2,100 square feet each. Besides pedestrian access right up to the property’s sidewalks, rooftop decks are also planned for the units along Main Street and Fruitville Road.

In addition, Icon International was also reported planning another townhouse at 2150 1st Street, only some 100 meters west of its School Avenue project. These two developments are expected to wind up with a total of 75 townhouses.

New Commercial Spaces

Also just around this 1st Street block, the Schimberg Group is planning a new building in a 12,750-square-foot vacant lot it purchased last year at 2101 Main Street. This Sarasota-based architect-developer has unveiled renderings for a new two-story, 6,740-square-foot commercial building at this site.

The company plans to occupy part of the building and lease out the ground floor to a café or restaurant with outdoor seating. Several large trees on the site will be preserved and incorporated into the project, Schimberg’s plans show.

Increased activity is likewise being felt at the 10-story Kane Plaza office building at 1 School Avenue in east downtown. Acquired by TerraCap Partners II for $11.5 million in early 2014, this building was reported as moving toward 92 percent occupancy in March 2016 from a 72 percent rate prior to its sale to the Bonita Springs-based investment fund. Over $500,000 has been reported poured into improvements of the building under a $10 million renovation program covering its lobby, common areas, bathrooms, and signage. 

Affordable Housing

A short distance south at 2211 Fruitville Road, plans are moving forward on new affordable apartments at the proposed Vengroff Village. The city’s planning board has recently voted unanimously in favor of a comprehensive plan amendment associated with this project which calls for the construction of a six-story building with 393 apartment units.

Located in a site of nearly eight acres, this project is aimed at alleviating the lack of affordable downtown housing. Its units will have floor plans ranging from 350 to 842 square feet, with monthly rents estimated at between $650 and $950.

Turning to affordably priced Sarasota homes for sale which may further attract property investors to this locality, the Golf Course Heights off Fruitville Road just east of Washington Blvd. is one subdivision worth putting on the watch list. One investment possibility on a $300,000, three-bedroom residence with a floor area of 1,140 square feet and tag price was listed here in April 2016.