+ Burns Square parking lot reopens to the public
The city allowed a lease agreement for a parking lot at Orange Avenue and Laurel Street to expire in July, but outcry from Burns Square stakeholders led to the City Commission approving a new lease on the lot at a meeting Monday.
The city will pay $1,800 per month to lease the lot from the Saunders Family Limited Partnership. A portion of that money will come from the city’s employee parking permit plan, and the rest will come from the city’s parking fund, Parking Manager Mark Lyons said. The parking permit program is scheduled to begin in December.
The city was focused on reopening the lot before the Sarasota Chalk Festival, which will be held Nov. 13 to Nov. 18, in Burns Square and various other locations downtown. The lot is currently open to the public with no time restrictions.
+ Woman’s Exchange begins demolition and expansion
Construction crews demolished a historic building abutting Laurel Park this month for the proposed expansion of a philanthropic consignment shop.
The Woman’s Exchange purchased a 4,500-square-foot residential property next to its Burns Square location for $275,000 in 2012, in anticipation of an expansion. The property at 526 Rawls Ave. could be used for additional storage or retail space to complement the 10,500-square-foot building on Orange Avenue.
“Our organization is growing, and we are looking to move forward,” Woman’s Exchange Executive Director and CEO Karen Koblenz told the Sarasota Observer in April.
+ City discusses future of GWIZ property
Following the closure of the Gulfcoast Wonder and Imagination Zone, the city is focusing on what’s next for the property at 1001 Blvd. of the Arts.
Commissioners Suzanne Atwell and Paul Caragiulo said they were interested in fielding a wider variety of proposals, due to the wide interest in developing something there.
Commissioner Susan Chapman said she was interested in a project that would fit in with the city’s local identity. She mentioned an art, maritime or children’s museum as potential projects that would fit the description.
On Monday, the City Commission authorized the city’s purchasing division to create an invitation to negotiate so that proposals for the property can be considered.
An Oct. 17 article about the H-1540 sculpture listed the dollar amount of a sale offer made to the city. The price listed was an offer exclusive to the city, accounting for the absence of a commission. The sale price of the sculpture is $40,000.
Meetings & agendas
Special City Commission Meeting — 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, Commission Chambers, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota.
County Commission Workshop — 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, Third Floor Think Tank, Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
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29 Light Up Siesta Village and Holiday Parade
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
30 Advent Procession
3 Rachel's Challenge Anti-Bullying Event hosted by The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
4 Ringling Holiday Splendor
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The gift of music
Riverview High School received a donation of $5,000 during a break in the Kiltie Band Fall concert on Nov. 20.
Coming together for the community
All Faiths Food Bank called on volunteers to help distribute 7,000 Thanksgiving dinners Saturday.
Observer on the hunt for displays
We’re making our list of the best holiday lights displays in Sarasota and checking it twice.