The North Trail Redevelopment Partnership believes it has a plan in place to transform the North Trail into a thriving business district.
It has already convinced the County Commission of that, and now it will try to do the same before the City Commission.
Jay Patel, president of the NTRP, will urge city commissioners Aug. 15, to contribute $40,000 toward the hiring of a North Trail economic-development coordinator.
Two weeks ago, county commissioners approved a contribution of $40,000 for that purpose, contingent upon the City Commission and the NTRP also pitching in the same amount.
“Nothing like this has been approached before,” said Patel. “(The job) is very important for North Trail.”
Patel said the NTRP has more than half of its $40,000 committed, and he is actively seeking more contributions from other North Trail business owners.
The main goal of the new economic-development coordinator will be business recruitment. NTRP leaders hope the position will be filled by the end of the year.
“We want businesses to relocate on the Trail,” Patel said. “We have a lot of vacancies in terms of buildings and land.”
Former City Commission candidate Richard Dorfman has been pushing for North Trail redevelopment and supports hiring a coordinator who would concentrate solely to that purpose.
“For the first time, all stakeholders on the North Trail have the opportunity to be represented by a dedicated, economic development coordinator whose singular focus will be on commercial growth for the betterment of the entire North Sarasota community,” Dorfman said. “New business means job creation and economic opportunity.”
To help attract new businesses, the NTRP expects to conduct a full demographic study of the North Trail and develop sales materials based on the findings.
A website dedicated to the commercial opportunities in the area will also be created.
“If redevelopment is going to happen, the time is now,” said Patel.