Sarasota Design District Rises


Forward momentum is on the side of the further redevelopment of the Rosemary District, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Sarasota. This locality just north of the downtown now prides itself with a growing creative, building arts-related business community, a fitting complement to several infill construction projects either in the pipeline or already contributing to the stock of new Sarasota homes for sale in the neighborhood.

Dubbed as the Sarasota Design District, this group consolidates into one creative alliance some 20 Rosemary District businesses engaged in such fields as architectural and interior design, home construction and remodeling, as well as structural engineering.

Launched in summer 2014, the Sarasota Design District is the brainchild of Michael Bush, Rosemary Neighborhood Association president and proprietor of the shop Home Resource. This contemporary and modern home furnishing store has been thriving on its Central Avenue location in Rosemary District since 1995.

Developments on queue

Sarasota Design District Rises

Notably, just southwest of this popular store is Vanguard Lofts, a new property development which broke ground in late 2014, promoting itself as “premier development focusing on the urban infill philosophy.” The residential-commercial Rosemary Square, a $20 million project, is also rising in the locality, along with close to a dozen other building projects reportedly set to start within the four blocks around Vanguard Lofts for the rest of 2015 and in 2016.

This vibrant construction pace, which surely helps excite market interest in Sarasota homes for sale, is reverberating within the ranks of Rosemary’s design community. Less than a year since the formation of the district’s building arts alliance, the locality saw the debut of Architectural Revival, a new home furnishings store also on Central Avenue.

This shop specializes in reclaimed and repurposed furniture, as well as new and vintage items. Available here are one-of-a-kind pieces, such as well crafted and refined teakwood furniture made out of repurposed wood from old Indonesian fishing boats. It also offers in-depth interior design services and assists clients with decoration and space planning.

Masters of “upcycling”

Another outfit in Rosemary District, Sarasota Architectural Salvage has expanded to a second location in the neighborhood. The locally owned company opened a new shop at the exhibition space of the historic former Ice House building on 10th Street to house and sell upcycled building materials and custom-made home décor pieces.

Light and airy, this boutique store, entices customers with its an eclectic mixture of objets d’arts, statement furniture, and other quaint home accessories either crafted by the shop’s own staff and contracted artisans or imported from overseas. The original warehouse space of Sarasota Architectural Salvage at 11th Street, west of Central Avenue, retains stocks of salvaged building raw materials and architectural elements.

Restoration and renovation experts

Besides the old Ice House building, the historic church of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) built in 1926 on Central Avenue inspired other creative souls to set up shop in Rosemary District. This building was renovated in 1986, with its hand-masoned concrete block exposed to serve as a striking statement for Hall Architects which undertook the renovation prior to moving its offices in the former AME church’s ground floor.

Hall Architects is specialized not only in residential design and commercial planning but also historic restoration and interior design. It is one of the founding members of the Sarasota Design District, attesting to the solid foundation of this building arts alliance and its potential as a major contributor towards advancing the fortunes of Rosemary District and the marketability of the neighborhood’s Sarasota homes for sale.