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Sarasota Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 5 years ago

Eight firms vie for downtown parking garage project


A public parking garage on State Street is moving ahead.

The city has received applications from eight engineering/construction teams vying to build the project, and that list should be narrowed by the end of the month.

In addition to providing parking one block from mid-Main Street, the project could also add retail space or residential units. Other possible options discussed include: a top-deck pavilion roof with solar panels and a public park, and an open air-type farmers market on the first floor of the structure.

Whichever firm the city chooses will design and construct the project.

A selection committee, comprised of city staff, is scheduled to meet Nov. 27. At the meeting, the committee will likely narrow down the list of eight firms to three. Then, the committee will interview the shortlist of companies. The chosen firm will have a period of time to negotiate a contract with the city, and the details will be ironed out.

“That is where we will start to vet how many parking spaces, how many floors, how much mixed use or retail,” Sarasota City Planner Steve Stancel said.

Commissioners will have final approval of the project plans.

In 2010, the city reached an agreement with Pineapple Square, when it acquired the 43,700-square-foot lot on which the city is required to build at least a 300-space parking garage within four years. The city must have the garage built by February 2015. The city’s parking master plan in 2005 also identified the State Street lot as a priority designation for a garage. The site is currently home to a 139 parking-space lot.

The city has set aside $7.29 million in tax-increment financing for the project. 

Mayor Suzanne Atwell said the parking garage is an important element for the blocks near mid-Main.
Atwell said a residential component could fit in the project.

“Part of the equation is getting people to live downtown,” Atwell said.

Atwell is also interested in the concept of an open air merchants-or farmers market-type setting on the first floor and a top deck with a public park space.

“At one point, I would love to have an event on a green roof of a building downtown,” the mayor said.

Company | Location
Core Construction Company | Sarasota
Gilbane | Lakewood Ranch
Willis A. Smith | Sarasota
A.D. Morgan | Sarasota
Owen Ames Kimball | Fort Myers
NDC Construction | Bradenton
Halfacre | Sarasota
Manhattan Construction | Sarasota



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