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Bath & Racquet Club renovation
Sarasota Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 6 months ago

Bath & Racquet Club plans residential expansion

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The owners of the Bath & Racquet Club want to add up to 180 residential units in mid-rise buildings around the property.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The website for the Bath & Racquet Club details the health center’s evolution from a humble tennis facility at its inception in 1969 into a robust fitness complex today.

Now, the owners of the Bath & Racquet Club want to take another significant step to reshape the center, located near U.S. 41 and Bee Ridge Road. On Nov. 9, the business filed plans to build up to 180 residential units around the facility, hoping to create a residential community focused on health and wellness.

The plans call for the construction of three-to-five-story residential buildings around the club’s 12.5-acre property at 2170 Robinhood St. The multifamily residential units would include a mix of units for sale and for rent.

The construction would also include renovations to the existing Bath & Racquet Club building and pool area. The center hopes to preserve 18-20 of the 29 existing clay and hard-surface tennis courts.

The club is asking the city for a comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning to accommodate the height and density of the project. The current zoning regulations have a maximum height limit between 28 and 45 feet. The proposed designation would allow a maximum building height of 95 feet.

Bill Waddill, a senior vice president with planning firm Kimley-Horn, said the mid-rise buildings were proposed to preserve portions of the property, including 12 grand trees.

“When you commit land area to saving big trees, of course, you have to go up rather than spread out,” Waddill said.

On Monday, Nov. 20, the City Commission will hear a request to process the proposed comprehensive plan amendment ahead of the city’s annual schedule, which considers those proposals in May. If the city approves an accelerated timeline, the plan amendment could be adopted as early as October 2018.

Before gaining approval, the Bath & Racquet Club would have to hold a community workshop regarding the project and appear at public hearings in front of the Planning Board and City Commission. Waddill said the club was willing to listen to its neighbors and officials about the scope of the project.

“We’re early in the conversation with the community and city staff and the stakeholders on what’s appropriate,” Waddill said.

Waddill said the Bath & Racquet Club is considering incorporating affordable housing units and some public parking spaces into the project.

He and the owners of the Bath & Racquet Club believe there will be significant demand for a fitness-focused residential complex in Sarasota.

“We are excited about the opportunity to provide this health and wellness lifestyle in a community,” Waddill said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to preserve and enhance the Bath & Racquet Club.”

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