New Urban Downtown Core Shaping Up in East Sarasota


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, January 24th 2017 – Residents of existing communities in east Sarasota shall have their first glimpse this 2017 of a new urban downtown core to be developed in the mammoth Waterside project of Schroeder Manatee Ranch (SMR). Road extensions included in this project will link this development to nearby communities like Tatum Ridge off Fruitville Road which lies just south of Waterside.

The north‒south road connector SMR plans would be the first east of Interstate 75 and open a new route from University Parkway to Fruitville Road. Many other communities just south of Fruitville, like Palmer Glen and Palmer Reserve and the Enclave, all located along Palmer Boulevard, could likewise benefit from the various amenities that would rise in Waterside.

Plans for Waterside Place Bared

New Urban Downtown Core Shaping Up in East Sarasota

Considered as the Sarasota extension of the popular Lakewood Ranch master development, this project calls for the establishment of a town center aptly named Waterside Place. SMR itself will develop this new urban downtown core which will include apartment housing in over 20 buildings. Retail spaces will be allotted in the ground floor of approximately half of these buildings.

SMR will finalize plans and complete engineering works for the Waterside town center this year. Its initial blueprint show that the roadways to Waterside Place are designed to harness to full advantage the views of the mile-long, 250-acre lake near the town center.

SMR said it will remain hands-on at Waterside Place and own and manage it. It envisions the town center to have a permanent place for a farmers market as well as maintain a culinary incubator building for up to 24 startup bakeries and restaurants. Other planned town center features include a public park, a dog park, boat dock, and outparcels reserved for waterfront restaurants. SMR expects to complete the Waterside town center in two years.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts is also notably moving to Waterside Place from its historic haunts in downtown Sarasota. The cultural dimension that the organization will impart to the Waterside downtown include a main stage auditorium, a black-box theater and a cabaret theater. The main campus of its education arm, The Arnold Simonsen Players Studio, will also hold fort at the Waterside town center.

Builders Set Home Models’ Opening

The residential communities of Waterside are also fast shaping up. One of its authorized builders, Homes by Towne, expects to start building this late spring and open the first models at its neighborhood in the fall. Designs for its amenity center is also underway.

Pulte, the other early builder at Waterside, is essentially on the same pace and hopes to start construction and pre-sale in April for its Shoreline at Waterside community. Starting prices of Pulte’s homes here are expected around the $500s.

Neighboring Construction Hits the Market

This flurry of developments appears egging on other builders south outside of Waterside. At Palmer Reserve, the CalAtlantic merger of Ryland Homes and Standard Pacific recently listed three new construction amongst Sarasota homes for sale.

Priced in the $300s‒$400s range, these residences feature floor areas of approximately 3,000 square feet designed with four to five bedrooms. Though Palmer Reserve was developed with modest features—two ponds, a gazebo and tot lot—it could get a substantial boost from the new urban downtown core shaping up just north at the Waterside development.