Talks Sizzle on Reenergized Ringling Shopping Complex


Discussions are intensifying on the revitalization of the Ringling Shopping Center, a move which can potentially impact upon Sarasota homes for sale, particularly those east of downtown.

The property’s owner, Nebraska native Louis Doyle, has launched a new campaign for the property after the city denied a planned Walmart in their shopping hub in 2013. Established around the mid-1950s, the Ringling Shopping Center was formerly anchored on a Publix Super Market, but this retailer transferred in 2010, leading to the dormancy of Doyle’s 9.7-acre complex in recent years.

The city’s planning board actually recommended approval for the Walmart site plan at the Ringling shopping hub in November 2012. However, the city commissioners overturned the board’s recommendation following an appeal by six residents against it in 2013.

Community viewpoints

Talks Sizzle on Reenergized Ringling Shopping Complex

In a fresh initiative announced in June of 215 to resolve the suits Doyle filed on the stymied Walmart plan, the City Commission proposed rezoning the property to Downtown Edge and Downtown Neighborhood Edge. This would allow the same use of the property as originally intended in the Walmart plan but would exclude the development of a big retailer.

Doyle, however, reportedly has reservations on this rezoning proposal which would entail public hearings. Wary of a repeat of the Walmart debacle, he instead suggested formal mediation between him and the city, noting the “divisive dialogues” in previous hearings on the property.

Notably, a Facebook page titled “Urban Village for Ringling” was created recently in continuing opposition to Doyle’s Walmart-centered plan. This social-media-based effort advocates for an “urban village that emphasizes the public realm, walk-ability, mixed-uses, community, diversity, and quality over quantity.”

Revitalization supporters

This move is an apparent counter to another Facebook (FB) page bannered as “Revitalize Ringling Shopping Center” that a PR firm hired by Doyle has created to muster community support. A survey is now running on this FB page to seek local sentiment on the property’s direction for the future which could also affect valuations of Sarasota homes for sale in surrounding neighborhoods.

Significantly, Doyle’s page has generated close to 600 “likes” from individuals and entities ostensibly agreeing with its objective which can have positive impact on Sarasota homes for sale. These apparent supporters include not only community and business organizations but also local media groups.

A beloved neighborhood

A healthy exchange of opinions from various stakeholders will surely help shape how this center’s development will eventually fit in with the downtown code and New Urbanist principles Sarasota is pursuing. Expect lively discussions as the property’s site has always been very much part of the fabric of life in Sarasota’s downtown. Not only did it once host the very first shopping center in Sarasota but the site also stands on a parcel of the land that was once the city’s first golf course.

Less than one mile from the city’s core, this locality is also the domain of communities like the Golfview subdivision with attractively priced Sarasota homes for sale below the $300s. And owing perhaps to recent developments which could lend more dynamism to available residences near the Ringling Shopping Center, one sharp buyer bought a home in this community only a day after the property’s listing.