Sarasota County commissioners during a Nov. 26 workshop, leaned toward developing an industrial project instead of a sports complex on 42 acres of public land on Fruitville Road.
County staff will negotiate with Benderson Development for the sale of 42 acres of county-owned land east of Interstate 75. Benderson plans to create light industrial facilities as part of an office park, with an initial bid of $2.5 million.
County commissioners expect the parcel, which has been appraised at a range of $4.1 million to $4.6 million, to serve as a catalyst project for the development of more than 300 acres as part of the Fruitville Initiative.
The Benderson proposal was competing with Goodsports Enterprises Global's plans to build a sports complex around the intial construction of a hotel and field house.
"It's just not something I had ever envisioned for the Fruitville area," said Commissioner Nora Patterson.
Benderson Development Vice President Larry Fineberg said his project would be unique to Sarasota County, and serve to attract companies such as Nestle Waters. The firm, known for its retail projects locally, has a portfolio with more than 10 million square feet of industrial space.
"When guys like us get excited it's over the big industrial building," Fineberg said. "It's not necessarily over the strip centers or the malls."