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Sarasota Wednesday, May. 25, 2016 1 year ago

Sofrito Mama’s slated for new downtown Sarasota building

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The Schimberg Group aims to revitalize the east end of Main Street with the popular Puerto Rican restaurant.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

A local architecture firm’s catalyst project for the sleepier end of downtown Sarasota is another step closer to breaking ground.

The Schimberg Group plans to start construction on a new two-story building at 2101 Main St., which is east of U.S. 301, by August. The developer has already secured popular Puerto Rican restaurant Sofrito Mama’s as a ground-floor tenant. 

“The goal is to get them in as quick as possible, we then come second,” said architect Barron Schimberg, who with his wife Patty — an interior designer — purchased the 12,750-square-foot property for $332,500 last year. Sofrito Mama’s is slated to open around the beginning of 2017, after which the Schimberg Group would occupy office space above the restaurant.

The deal came about after  Ed Chiles, who has employed Schimberg in renovations of his Anna Maria Island restaurants, ate at Sofrito Mama’s.

“He happened to just go there for dinner one night, and he  called me and said ‘You need a tenant? You’ve got to go there’,” Schimberg said.

The restaurant is currently located in the Sarasota Commons plaza, but will shut down that storefront once it relocates to downtown. Schimberg said they will have roughly 50 seats in total, with outdoor seating available.

Nearby, Largo-based Icon Residential last month bought two acres one block east of that new development for $2.75 million, advancing plans for new townhomes. 

Icon is currently working through the city’s permitting process for the 37-unit, three-story development, which will sit next to the 10-story Kane Plaza.

In the two years after Bonita Springs-based investment fund TerraCap Partners II bought the Kane tower for $11.5 million, tenants in the building have poured more than $500,000 into improvements, according to city building records. Another $300,000 in renovations are currently pending approval from the city.

“We will be the first building east of 301 on Main Street to be built within the last 9 years and the first developer to bring a restaurant to that part of town on Main Street,” Schimberg said.

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