City commissioners, in their role as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), are expected to vote at their Jan. 4 meeting on three recommendations to the Palm Avenue parking garage made by the CRA’s advisory board.
The board unanimously recommended to accept Suffolk Construction and Jonathan Parks Architect as the design/build team. Suffolk was awarded the project three weeks ago with a bid of $10.95 million.
Advisory board members also asked commissioners to consider alternatives to the design the city originally suggested.
The builders want a new façade with vertical-window openings instead of the horizontal ones in the city’s initial design, because it will make the garage more visually appealing, according to Chris Gallagher, designer with Jonathan Parks Architect.
Gallagher and Michael Beaumier, Suffolk vice president, offered to build the top floor of the five-level garage to allow for a roof cap to be placed on top, so an additional three stories could be built on the garage.
Beaumier said if a hotel is eventually built in the vacant space next to the garage, the three additional floors could house a restaurant or convention space that could be connected to the hotel.
The advisory board is recommending commissioners do not opt for the roof cap.
Gallagher and Beaumier also visited the boards of the Downtown Improvement District and Downtown Sarasota Alliance to garner more support for their ideas for the garage.
Construction is expected to begin in April 2010 and be completed by December 2010.
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