Sarasota Downtown Building Bonanza: Plenty of Fizz Left


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, December 22nd, 2016 – There’s plenty of gas left in the building boom which now reverberates in and around the Sarasota downtown. Two more projects are likely to be added soon to the 30 or so proposed or ongoing developments in this area among which is the massive Sarasota Quay project now all set to begin next year.

Development of the bayside Quay property located in north downtown got final city approval early this December. This move sets into motion plans for a mixed-use project estimated to cost $1 billion. It calls for the construction of residential, commercial and office buildings in a long-vacant 15-acre site at U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road.

The general development agreement for the Quay allows up to 695 condo units and 175 hotel rooms. Also included are retail space of 89,050 square feet and close to 39,000 square feet of office space in buildings of up to 18 stories. A two-lane roundabout at U.S. 41‒Fruitville will likewise be constructed as the main gateway to the bayfront project.

Alinari’s Theatre Neighbor for Sale

Sarasota Downtown Building Bonanza: Plenty of Fizz Left

A potential game-changer, meanwhile, is brewing a few blocks north of the Quay property. The Sarasota community theater, which recently renamed itself as the Players Centre for Performing Arts, is now selling its prime 1.77-acre site at 838 N. Tamiami Trail.

A $12.5 million tag price has been placed on this property which houses the iconic Players Theatre and sits next to the Alinari condominium, one popular destination for searchers of Sarasota condos for sale. The 86-year-old performing arts group earlier announced that it is moving to the new Waterside development of Lakewood Ranch.

The Players Theatre site sure looks quite attractive to real estate developers given its proximity to the downtown and Sarasota Bay. At its neighboring Alinari, close to a dozen units were sold this year and about the same number were sales-listed in 2016. These condos are priced in the MLS of Sarasota condos for sale from the $300s up to the $1 million range. Their living areas measure between 1,000 and 2,800 square feet designed with one to three bedrooms.

Versailles Eyed for Redevelopment

South of the Sarasota downtown core, a shakeup looms at the Versailles on 605 S. Gulfstream Avenue. A local developer, Seaward Development, was reported this December as under contract to buy out all the 14 the unit owners in this bayfront complex.

Located between Essex House and Royal St. Andrews condominiums, Versailles was built in 1974. Seaward Development plans to knock it down and build a new condominium of up to 18 floors with as many as 25 residences.

Seaward and other developers are being driven by an apparent pent-up demand for downtown Sarasota condos for sale, particularly around the Gulfstream and Palm Avenue corridors. At Essex House, there are currently just five active listings and seven noted as sold this year in the MLS of Sarasota condos for sale. The asking prices are quoted from the $300s up to the $700s for these condos which feature one to three bedrooms within floor plans in the 1,000‒ 1,720-square-foot range.