What’s the Buzz in East Downtown Sarasota?


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 27th, 2016 – Development is fast catching up in east downtown Sarasota along the flanks of U.S. 301 (Washington Blvd). The historic Laurel Park west of this road corridor and Paver Park Estates along with Payne Park opposite east will soon be neighbors with several residential and commercial establishments now in the pipeline.

Just north of Payne Park at its School Avenue stretch, construction is slated to start this October for the contemporary townhomes of The Artisan on Main. It will have 37 units with floor plans of between 1,800 and 2,600 square-feet. Their pricing starts at the $400s, and the first units are expected to be ready for occupancy next year.

The Artisan is a project of Tampa-based Icon Residential which also has similar developments in Orlando and Atlanta. It has a nearby Sarasota project, the Valencia at Rosemary Place located at the Rosemary District north of downtown. It also features townhouses, with its 30 units designed from 1,900 to 2,500 square feet and priced starting from the $500s.

Retail Complex and Workforce Housing

What’s the Buzz in East Downtown Sarasota?

Besides the Artisan, two commercial real estate projects are lined up east of downtown. One of these is a plan of Oaktree Development to build a 7,500-square-foot retail complex at the southwest corner of East Avenue and Fruitville. Also in the planning stage is the Wawa gas station and convenience store proposed by JBCC Development at Lime and Fruitville Avenue. Separately, the Schimberg Group is putting up an office building with a restaurant in a 12,750-square-foot site at 2101 Main St.

A workforce housing project across at Fruitville Road further adds synergy to these east downtown developments. Originally planned as Vengroff Village, this project was recently renamed Sarasota Station. This after it was scaled down to 368 apartments from 393 units in four six-story buildings to be built just off west of Audubon Place. The city’s development review committee will deliberate this October the official site plan for this development of about eight-acres.

City planners are likewise currently finalizing a new zone designation for the idled Ringling Shopping Center just across east of Payne Park. Recent deliberations and traffic study lean towards a rezoning that would pave the way for a mixed-use development having 222 residential units plus 175,000 square feet of commercial or office space.

Significant too for east downtown Sarasota, the city implemented upgrades and maintenance of the 29-acre Payne Park in September. The signature attraction of the park is a circus-themed playground reputed to draw tens of thousands of kids yearly. Its other attractions include a skateboard park, tennis courts, and a half-mile exercise trail.

Resale Home Choices

What’s the Buzz in East Downtown Sarasota?

The spate of east downtown development should help bring market focus on pre-owned Sarasota homes for sale in and around this locality. Just east of the Ringling Shopping Center, available residences at Paver Park Estates are attractively priced at the $200s and the $300s, featuring two to three bedrooms within floor areas ranging between 975 and 1,800 square feet.

At the historic Laurel Park neighborhood just off south of Ringling Blvd., two charming home choices could be found on Morrill St. One is a vintage five-bedroom home built in the 1920s with a floor area approaching 2,900 square feet and priced in the $900s.

The other sales listing, offered at slightly under this price point, is right within the live‒work Towles Court Artist Colony. A two-story residence, it was built in 1998 designed with three bedrooms and two baths within a floor area of 2,134 square feet. Notably, Towles Court hosts art walks each third Friday of the month, an event that could also gain more patrons with the heightened developments set in east downtown Sarasota.