Vibrant Growth for Retail


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, November 30, 2017 – The growth of the retail sector in our Southwest Florida region appears picking up pace, drawing momentum mainly from the remarkable growth of the local housing market both for new builds and existing Sarasota homes for sale.

As of the last count on September 30 2017, construction of 10 retail projects are underway in Sarasota and Manatee counties. These new developments, all told, will add to the market commercial space totaling 321,127 square feet.

Of this total new retail space, approximately 73 percent has already been pre-leased. The largest amongst the new projects is the fully leased commercial hub rising at 4900 University Parkway, in northern Sarasota County. Anchored on a Whole Foods market, this retail center is scheduled to open in early 2018 and should bring added pep to nearby Sarasota homes for sale such as those at the relatively new builds at Muirfield Village on Honore Avenue.

Ollie’s Spreads Reach


During this year’s third quarter, the largest new retail lease contracted is a 45,780-square-foot space in the Manatee Town Center at 53rd Avenue 33rd Street East, a short distance west of the homes for sale at Peridia Golf & Country Club. Formerly occupied by a Sweetbay Supermarket, the retail square footage was taken by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet which opened in early October.

Earlier this year, Ollie’s also took a vacant 42,162-square-foot space that Sports Authority formerly occupied at Centergate Plaza on Cattlemen Road. Located just east of Sarasota homes for sale at Center Gate Village, this new Bargain Outlet opened just this November 8.

New life is likewise anticipated at the Town and Country Plaza strip mall at the northwest corner of the Fruitville and Beneva intersection near Sarasota homes for sale at The Glen and Glen Oaks. Purchased by Benderson Development some two years back, this commercial hub has been largely empty since Sweetbay Supermarket pulled out of it in 2013. Erstwhile tenant Kmart also left early this year, and it’s only Bealls Stores now that remains as the sole anchor to this retail center.

Publix Expansion Set

Publix Expansion

Things could soon step up at Town and Country Plaza, however. Benderson has filed with Sarasota city authorities a development application for the demolition of the old Sweetbay grocery store to give way to the construction of a new 46,000-square-foot box which it later enlarged by another 2,000 square feet.

The buzz in the local retail industry circle is that Public Supermarket is moving its smaller existing store north in Sarasota Commons to the bigger space in Town and Country Plaza. Benderson’s plan also calls for constructing at the site one outparcel measuring 5,000 square feet.

Meanwhile in Osprey, Benderson announced sometime in October that a Publix Supermarket is coming soon in the old Southbay Shopping Center which it has renamed Shops at Casey Key. Located on the southern intersection of U.S. 41 and Blackburn Point Road, the new Publix would be a boon for the new homes for sale at the Palms at Casey Key just northeast of the retail hub and to the new residents northwest at the Bayside project of Taylor Morrison.

Expect the Southwest Florida retail industry to remain vibrant in the years ahead. Benderson alone has still several projects in the pipeline including those in Pelican Plaza and The Landings which are several miles apart along U.S. 41. North in Bradenton, plans are yet to be announced on the redevelopment of the DeSoto Square Mall now owned by a New York investor who bought it recently for $25.5 million earlier this year.