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Sarasota Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 2 years ago

Developer plans ‘iconic’ Sarasota condo

The Canadian firm behind one of the first new condominium buildings in the area in nearly a decade has doubled down on downtown.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Golden Gate Point residents already know the slice of land south of Gulfstream Avenue is a paradise-within-a-paradise. 

With three major residential construction projects underway on the 22-acre peninsula — and at least two more in the works — the real estate market is ramping up to reflect it.

Vandyk completed One88 last year.

Less than two months after the doors opened to the One88 luxury condominiums in Golden Gate Point, the developer behind the $16 million project has bought another tract of land a few hundred feet away from that property.

Vandyk, a Canadian firm with an office downtown, purchased a roughly half-acre vacant property fronting North Gulfstream Avenue for $3.5 million last week. The seller, Baton Rouge, La.-based Level Homes, had originally planned condos on the site after buying it for $3 million in 2014.

“It’s going to be a very, very unusual building in a very good way,” said Albert Luper, Vandyk USA's Florida division vice president.

Lakewood Ranch-based Fawley|Bryant architecture firm is designing the building at 688 Golden Gate Point, which will sit across the road from the 18-story Vue Sarasota Bay.

“We see that particular spot as significant for the architecture of the city of Sarasota because it’s going to be so prominent,” said Luper, who is overseeing the design aspect of the project for Vandyk. “We’re approaching the architecture in a bit of a different way — it has a very interesting theme.”

The design of the project meshes traditional residential construction with the “hard engineering” typically seen in infrastructure projects. For example, the theme of the nine-story 688 building is suspension, and will feature balconies suspended with cables from the building, among other similar attributes.

“It’s almost like you’re floating in a hot air balloon or gondola,” Luper said.

The architectural choices are still in flux, but the firm is also considering water storage that runs vertically along the building to collect runoff for irrigation use.

That project joins several new developments in the works on “a quaint and luxurious 22-acre peninsula reaching into shimmering Sarasota Bay and overlooking the spectacular cityscape.”

Allure luxury townhomes should break ground in April.

That description comes from the marketing materials for the Allure townhouse project, which is slated to break ground in April, according to Premier Sotheby’s International Realty Realtor Thomas Netzel. Allure includes eight four-story units currently priced at $2.2 million each.

“This is a unique project in that (each townhouse feels) much more like a single-family home,” Netzel said.

Premier Sotheby’s agents are also heading sales at the coming Aqua at 280 Golden Gate Point, which is another eight-unit luxury condominium project — though its nine stories bring it up to the skyline with other structures surrounding the peninsula.

The eight-unit Aqua is currently under construction.

"It is an upscale downtown neighborhood — so it really does have the feel of a neighborhood," said Premier Sotheby’s Realtor Cheryl Loeffler, who represents Aqua.  A $3.8 million city streetscape project that resulted in new bricks, lighting, tree plantings and underground utilities completed in 2009, amplifies that feeling.

“And it’s walking distance to Marina Jack and the park and all of downtown,” Loeffler said.

While developers built — or are planning to build — Aqua, Allure, the unnamed Vandyk project and One88 on vacant land, the opportunity for redevelopment of older properties in the middle of peninsula has generated interest.

Sarasota-based Nokomis Ventures this week applied for a community workshop to begin discussing plans to replace three buildings constructed in the 1950s and 1960s at 609 Golden Gate Point with a four-story residential structure over parking.

“There's no question,” Luper said. “The buildings that are down in the middle will almost certainly be replaced.”

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