Two Knockdowns, But More Longboat Key Projects Pipelined


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, December 1st, 2016 – In the November elections, voters rejected two projects which would have added new home builds in Longboat Key. Nonetheless, there are several other developments already on the wings that could add some more lift to the property market in this island-town.

Soundly defeated in a referendum piggybacked with the last election were: a plan to raze part of Whitney Plaza on Gulf of Mexico Drive to build some 18 homes; and a mixed residential-business use proposed for the 4,200-square-foot penthouse office space of Harbour Square. Notably, these decisions came on the heels of an August decision of Longboat Key residents to reject the North End Hotel and Beach Club project of Floridays Development Co.

Filling Up Empty Slots

Two Knockdowns, But More Longboat Key Projects Pipelined

A much larger project, however, looms in the $100 million project of Ocean Properties Ltd. to build a 259-room hotel, 10‒12 meeting rooms, plus 93 condo/villas on developable slots at the southern end of Longboat Key. A referendum amongst local residents approved this project in 2015, and Delray Beach-based Ocean Properties is set to finalize its blueprint.

The mood appears upbeat too at the Longboat Key’s town center on the Bay Isles area. JP Morgan Chase got permission from the town’s Planning and Zoning Board in September to build a 3,113-square-foot office building in the Shoppes of Bay Isles center at 545 Bay Isles Parkway.

Besides this new bank tenant, the south Longboat shopping hub has also been reported negotiating a deal for a new restaurant locator. Anchored on a Publix Super Market, the shopping plaza is now almost fully occupied, and current tenants are delighted with their growing sales.

Active Restaurateurs

Foodies drawn to the culinary delights in Longboat Key’s waterfront setting also have reasons to cheer. A new 200-seat restaurant is slated to replace the old Pattigeorge’s Waterfront Restaurant, which is set for demolition. The Columbia Restaurant Group is redeveloping the 7,241-square-foot site and appears to already have the initial blessings of the town’s planning and zoning board. Its members want to ensure that a restaurant will always occupy this site at 4120 Gulf of Mexico Drive just across La Firenza condominium and adjacent north of the Bayfront recreation center.

In Longbeach Village at Longboat Key’s north end, a new restaurant is under construction at the former site of the iconic Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, which was demolished in May. Now rising in this place at 800 Broadway is the Shore on Longboat Key. Sitting on one of the most scenic locations in the Village, this new 185-seat restaurant follows the concept of a sister venture, the Shore on St. Armands.

Mar Vista Expands

Next door to the Shore on Longboat Key, a major expansion is underway at another local culinary landmark, Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub. This redevelopment project costs a total of $2 million and is being implemented in two phases expected to be completed in 2017.

Restaurant seating will remain at 169, but the new facilities will offer various upgrades while retaining the Old Florida charm of Mar Vista. When the project is finished, this popular restaurant will have a new 4,800-square-foot state-of-the-art kitchen, fireplace, and covered walkway. Its interiors will also be upgraded to include a fireplace, a new bar and dining room. A second-story office and storage area will also be added.