State Street Hums as Parking Garage Opens


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, August 28th, 2015 – The short stretch of State Street between Pineapple and Orange Avenues just south of Main Street promises to become a new hub of downtown activity, following the opening in July 2015 of a new, multistory parking garage with commercial space.

Luxury car buffs are among the folks most likely to be added to pedestrian traffic in this area, which could likewise contribute to increased interest in the Sarasota real estate market. In the 2015 third quarter, Dimmitt Automotive Group is scheduled to open a luxury car dealership/showroom in the garage’s ground floor. Dimmitt, established in the early 1920s in Clearwater and now operates too in Tampa and St. Petersburg, will showcase at its State Street dealership a dozen high-end cars ranging from Aston Martin to McLaren. This ultra-luxury auto dealer is also selling Bentley, Cadillac, Land Rover, and Rolls-Royce luxury automobiles.

Style center

State Street Hums as Parking Garage Opens

Wayne Ruben, the local developer who acquired from the city the garage’s ground floor, said that with the upper-end car lineup from Dimmitt, the showroom will be more of an art gallery rather than a mere auto dealership. Construction of the showroom has started, featuring the unique concept of a style center that will turn Dimmitt as “the sexiest tenant in town,” Ruben told the Sarasota Observer. The auto dealer also plans to host community events in its showroom.

The developer, one of the major players in the Sarasota real estate market, earlier won in the bidding for the 14,000-square-foot ground floor space of the parking garage for nearly $1.8 million. Ruben’s Shoppes at State Street LLC plans to fill with a restaurant or café the balance of the garage’s retail space.

Cheers for enhanced streetscape

Existing businesses at State Street are just as delighted with the opening of the new parking garage whose construction temporarily closed the roadway. The State of the Arts Gallery here, for instance, saw the garage opening as an opportune time for the inauguration this mid-August of its second location also on State Street.

The streetscape enhancements and widened sidewalks which accompanied the parking garage construction likewise augur well for dining venues in this area just next north of Ringling Boulevard. With outdoor dining tables accommodated on the new and wider sidewalks, the local restaurant State Street Eating House thus followed the gallery’s lead and hosted its “Meet the Brewers” event for the benefit of the Humane Society of Sarasota County.

High-end residences

More growth stimuli appear brewing in State Street. In September 2015, commercial real estate firm Hembree and Associates, another prominent figure in the Sarasota real estate market, hopes to seal its deal for the parking garage’s Pad Lite project. This proposal is for a mixed-use, six-story liner building beside the garage for commercial and residential space. Its construction could begin around the start of 2016 if the Hembree’s transaction with the city is sealed.

Additionally, down a short distance south at Pineapple Avenue, a new luxury development—the 10-story boutique condominium Sansara— is now fast rising. Like the high-end cars which will soon grace Dimmitt’s showroom in State Street, this development is the domain of deluxe properties. Sansara condos for sale are composed of just 17 units with prices starting in the million-dollar level.