Entrepreneur Jesse Biter has purchased the property at 1401 Second St., moving the developer one step closer to building a planned apartment building downtown.
Biter purchased the roughly quarter-acre property, which currently houses the 5,484-square-foot Marcia Wood & Co. building, for $850,000. The land was the last of two downtown parcels Biter targeted for a planned 10-story, 180-unit apartment development. Biter purchased the adjacent 0.84-acre property, which houses the 13,881-square-foot United Way building, for $2.8 million in mid-2013.
In a 2013 interview with the Sarasota Observer, Biter said he was planning to develop what he calls “obtainable housing” on the site. The units were to range between 500 and 1,000 square feet, and the rental prices were supposed to begin below $1,000 per month.
Gary Hoyt, of Hoyt Architects, is currently developing the design for the project, according to Steve Horn of Ian Black Real Estate, who represented Biter in the purchase.
“Our hope is by maybe the third quarter to have activity on the site,” Horn says. “At this point, everything that needs to be done (on the governmental side) is really at the administrative level. Everything is allowed under code. We have an existing site plan approval. We anticipate the demolitions will start when we’re ready to develop the site.”
Biter’s project stands to benefit from a city approval in 2007 that granted previous developer Leonard Garner a density bonus, allowing up to 168 new residences at 1445 Second St. Twelve units can be built at 1401 Second St.
Horn is currently looking for tenants for the project's 23,000 square feet of ground floor retail, which he described as a shadow center to Whole Foods.
The planned development will feature structured and ground floor parking, a laundry chute, a rooftop restaurant and a share-a-car community rental program.
Reporting contributed by Sean Roth, correspondent.
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