In an attempt to better shape the city’s urban core going forward, the city of Sarasota is hoping to hear what residents think about downtown.
Through Dec. 6, residents can respond to a 16-question survey regarding their views of the downtown area. One of the goals in the city’s 2014-16 strategic plan is identifying an optimal balance of businesses for downtown, and this survey is a step towards reaching that goal, according to Downtown Economic Development Coordinator Norman Gollub.
The survey is also designed to help answer questions about how to improve upon the downtown business environment and what changes need to be made to help the area compete with other regional shopping destinations, Gollub said.
“Understanding the shopping habits and preferences of the community is an important first step to downtown planning, especially as regional competition continues to grow,” Gollub said in an email.
Respondents are asked to provide information such as their most frequently used retail options, businesses they’d like to see move downtown and obstacles that impact their ability to shop downtown.
The survey is part of a larger market study that will cover St. Armands Circle and the Rosemary District in addition to downtown, Gollub said. Members of the Downtown Improvement District and St. Armands Circle Business Improvement District have recently expressed their interest in limiting the amount of space restaurants can occupy within those districts.
According to Gollub, the city will hire a consultant to help complete the study and make recommendations for implementing its findings. A report should be finalized in March or April, Gollub said.
Contact David Conway at [email protected].