Within the next few days, construction is scheduled to begin on what will become the tallest building in downtown Sarasota, one of the first high-rise condominium projects to begin in the area post-recession.
The Jewel, an 18-story building located at Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue, received a building permit at the beginning of the month. The project’s developer, Tom Mannausa, said he has filed a notice of commencement and issued a notice to proceed to Suffolk Construction company, allowing work on the site to begin.
The project has been planned since December 2010, when Mannausa purchased a vacant lot at the corner of Gulfstream and Main for $870,000. Subsequent purchases of adjacent properties housing Sports Page Bar & Grille and Living Walls Furniture & Design cost just less than $3 million in spring 2012, allowing the site to be cleared for the building’s construction.
The building’s sales office opened in November 2012. Mannausa originally hoped to break ground on The Jewel in summer 2013, but said he wasn’t able settle all of the various moving parts — including design, sales and paperwork — until now.
“To do a new construction project such as a condo, there are about 30 different things that have to come together,” Mannausa said. “They've all come together, and now we can start.”
The Jewel includes 19 residential units priced between $1.25 million and $4.1 million, all of which have been sold, Mannausa said. He’s also currently negotiating with occupants for the four retail units on the ground floor. City Manager Tom Barwin expressed his excitement regarding the project in an email, citing the $19 million construction value as proof that The Jewel will help the downtown economy.
“This is further evidence that our local economy is rebounding and Sarasota remains a very desirable place to be,” Barwin wrote.
Mannausa said the targeted completion date for The Jewel is Sept. 1, 2015. After working for more than three years to get the project started, he’s excited to see work begin.
“I couldn't be happier,” Mannausa said.
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