Punta Gorda Prims Up City Downtown


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 28th, 2013 – The city government of Punta Gorda, a local nonprofit, and area developers are pursuing plans mothballed by the Great Recession to revitalize the city’s downtown, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports.  A drive to draw more tenants to the largely empty Herald Court Centre is part of this initiative which could boost the attractions of Punta Gorda homes for sale, the full service realty firm says.

The colorful Centre is located just west of US 41 and shares the location with a facility of the Florida Gulf Coast University. Pies & Plates, a popular Punta Gorda eatery and retail shop, plans to open an outlet at Herald Court, hopeful that its presence will help boost customer traffic in the area.

Riverside focal point

City Marketplace is another centerpiece to the planned Punta Gorda downtown redevelopment. Leveled down by Hurricane Charley in 2004, this 7.5-acre downtown property is ideally located. The Retta Esplanade runs through it from east to west, and the area where Peace River meets Charlotte Harbor is also near this parcel.

The stakeholders pushing for the City Marketplace redevelopment include its owner, PGI Marketplace LLC and the local government. This project and other downtown revitalization efforts are also in the to-do list of the nonprofit TEAM Punta Gorda that was formed as a community rebuilding group following the 2004 hurricane.

Mote Aquarium planned

A version of the Mote Aquarium that has grown to be one of the prime attractions of Sarasota is being eyed as a major feature for City Marketplace. Mote Marine Laboratories, the marine research nonprofit behind the Sarasota facility, has already discussed the aquarium idea with the prime movers of Punta Gorda’s downtown redevelopment.

A feasibility study for the aquarium project is now being conducted. But regardless of whether such a facility is feasible in the city’s downtown or not, the study’s results will form as one of the bases to pursue revitalization of the Punta Gorda city center. What could eventually emerge is a mixed-use development blending shops and workplaces with residences, a thrust which mirrors the New Urban theme that the city has in mind for its downtown.

Prime choices

There are some available properties in the West Retta Esplanade area which can reap benefits from Punta Gorda’s downtown redevelopment initiatives, Sarasota Bay Real Estate notes. One is a historic home priced just a shade under the $400s, featuring four bedrooms within its floor area of close to 1,800 square feet. A short distance north at Peace River Drive, there is a new listing at Harbour Heights, a spacious pool home with a floor plan of 2,600 square feet for its three-bedroom, two-bathroom design.

Closer to the Herald Court Centre, an affordable choice is likewise currently listed in the MLS with an asking price of $162,000, a market offering for a home with two bedrooms in its total floor area of 1,200-plus square feet. West of this property, there’s another sales-listed home having a floor plan of 2,300 square feet with four bedrooms and a quoted price just below the $400s.