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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010 7 years ago

Indian Beach park becomes reality

by: Robin Roy City Editor

The five-year quest to have the county purchase an Indian Beach/Sapphire Shores property for conversion into a park has finally reached a conclusion.

County commissioners approved a $3.3 million contract July 27 to buy the eight-acre piece of land at 4200 Bay Shore Road.

Neighborhood activists have been pushing for the purchase for years and are elated that it is finally complete.

“It’s a pretty big step,” said Matthew Reynolds, who has taken the lead in pursuing the park purchase. “The property has so much potential.”

Five years ago, Reynolds put together an offer of $5.5 million to buy the property from Coastal Island Group, which was developing a housing complex on it.

The developers balked and continued building the infrastructure. However, their home sites did not sell, so they decided to sell at a loss. Their mortgage is about double the price the county paid for the property.

The county has more due diligence to perform before the sale becomes final. If the County Commission approves the final purchase, the county will likely seek neighborhood input on the features for the park.
Reynolds has some ideas of what he’d like to see.

“I’d like to see a band shell or gazebo for jazz bands,” he said. “I’m sure the neighborhood association will have its own ideas.”

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