+ Main Street updates press on; businesses remain open
Traffic has reopened and a brick crosswalk has been installed at Main Street and Pine Place, but construction continues at the intersection — and elsewhere on Main Street — as streetscape improvements continue.
On the north side of Main Street from Mira Mar Court to Five Points, barricades and fencing will be installed this week in advance of curb and sidewalk demolition.
Improvements will also continue on the north side of the street from Gulfstream Avenue to Mira Mar.
Main Street businesses will remain open throughout construction.
+ Sarasota architecture firm named No. 1 in the state
A Sarasota architecture firm took home top honors at a statewide design awards program Aug. 10. Guy Peterson Office for Architecture received the Firm of the Year Award at the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architect’s annual design awards program in Orlando.
“This award represents the hard work of both past and present members of our team,” said Peterson, a fellow in the AIA and the firm’s founder and principal architect. “We also share this honor with the wonderful clients we’ve had the privilege to work with.”
The Firm of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement in design, community services, education and service to the profession and the AIA by an architecture firm.
Another key member of Guy Peterson OFA’s staff was awarded the highest honor given by AIA Florida to a non-architect. Cynthia Peterson, a certified archivist, earned the Bob Graham, Honorary AIA, Architectural Awareness Award in recognition of her efforts to bring the first graduate program in architecture to Sarasota.
“I’m honored by this award,” said Peterson, who was the first curator of the University of Florida Smather’s Libraries Architecture Archives. “More importantly, I’m so pleased that this award will draw even more attention to the importance of the efforts to preserve the architectural heritage of our community.”
In the Observer’s Back to School supplement, the Gulf Coast Gives website listed within the copy should have been stated as gulfcoastgives.org.
In the “Food fight commences at State Street” article in the Aug. 1 addition of the Sarasota Observer, Ian Black should have been attributed as a real-estate broker the city retained to sell the garage’s retail space.
+ Survey offers minimal business complaints
More than 89% of the roughly 600 small local companies Sarasota County recently polled didn’t have any complaints about business. But, the companies that did, had strong words for the county.
Concerns about signage issues were the most prominent complaints leveled during Sarasota County’s Office of Business and Economic Development questionnaire conducted from March 1 through June 30. The department is gathering data to recommend procedural changes to improve interactions between the county and small businesses.
Some examples of responses from small businesses include:
“Signage is a huge issue for businesses along the (U.S.) 41 corridor, along with a speed limit that greatly exceeds the needs of people coming and going from businesses.”
“Would like to see each municipality within Sarasota County have a common sign ordinance.”
“Construction on Venice Avenue has greatly affected business.”
“Very concerned with infrastructure issues and road conditions throughout Sarasota County.”
“The cost of doing business in Sarasota County is very high; not welcoming to small businesses.”
Meetings & agendas
Sarasota County Development Review Committee Meeting — 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Aug. 15, Conference Room 2, 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd.
Regular City Commission Meeting — 2:30 and 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, Commission Chambers, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota.
Development Review Committee — 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday Aug. 21, Room 112, City Hall, 1565 First St.