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Ringling Shopping Center
Sarasota Monday, Apr. 3, 2017 5 years ago

Developer proposes 222 apartments for Ringling Shopping Center site

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A West Palm Beach company is moving ahead with plans to redevelop the Ringling Shopping Center site, focusing on a primarily residential project.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The long-awaited redevelopment of the Ringling Shopping Center took a step forward last week when a West Palm Beach developer submitted plans to build a 222-unit apartment building on the property.

The Richman Group of Florida, listed as the contract purchaser for the property on a city development application, hopes to construct a four-story multifamily building on the 9.7-acre site at 2260 Ringling Blvd. The plans also include a 36,849-square-foot commercial segment, though specifics on that aspect of the project are not included.

The proposal comes after a year-long conversation between the city and the current property owner, the Doyle Family Trust, regarding the future of the property. In October, the property owner and the City Commission agreed to rezone the property, hoping to produce a mixed-use project to replace the 1950s shopping center.

The rezone resolved a legal dispute between the city and the Doyle Family Trust, which arose when the city rejected plans to build a Walmart on the property in 2013.

The new redevelopment proposal calls for the maximum number of residential units allowed on the property under the existing density regulations. The 222 units would be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, the application states.

The residential segment of the site plan is 387,035 square feet, which means the redevelopment project is primarily residential.

“There aren’t too many new apartments in that area,” said Jesse Woeppel, a development associate with the Richman Group. “Mostly, it’s downtown.”

The proposal also includes a clubhouse for the residential portion of the site. Listed amenities include a fitness area, business center and swimming pool. The application says vehicular access to the residential portion will be gated within the site. The plans include a pedestrian walkway connecting Lime Avenue to Payne Park.

The commercial portion of the project lines the street along Ringling Boulevard. Woeppel said the scale of the commercial segment could be adjusted based on the needs of a future tenant, but details have not been finalized.

The full site plan can be found on the city website.

As the proposal advances through the city’s development review process, Woeppel said the Richman Group would try to keep neighboring residents informed. Although residents have expressed concern about their ability to influence a future project on the shopping center site, Woeppel was optimistic the neighbors will be receptive to the redevelopment plans.

“We think that we have done everything the city and residents have requested, based on the proffers and rezoning and all the feedback in the past,” he said.

This article has been updated to clarify the planned location of the gated portion of the property.

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