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A new Costco under construction at Westfield Sarasota Square Mall is expected to open this summer.
Sarasota Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 8 years ago

Palmer Ranch adding homes, jobs, businesses

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by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Call it a new boom on the South Trail.

Palmer Ranch Holdings LLC Vice President Justin Powell confirmed for the Sarasota Observer this week that Palmer Ranch is under contract with Taylor Morrison, which wants to purchase approximately 100 acres off Palmer Ranch Parkway, near where the property comes to a dead end on the east side of Honore Avenue.

Taylor Morrison plans to build approximately 260 homes behind The Glenridge community there, including a clubhouse with amenities for residents.

Plans also are in the works for another nationally known home construction firm to purchase 110 acres of Palmer Ranch property between The Isles of Palmer Ranch and The Village Walk, to construct approximately 350 homes.

Representatives from two other national home builders and apartment companies have toured Palmer Ranch recently, according to reports, and are also in discussions to purchase property for additional housing sites.

“There has been a lot of activity right now at Palmer Ranch,” Powell said. “We expect the sale of homes and land to continue at a high rate.”

Palmer Ranch, located near Gulf Gate and Osprey, already has about 9,000 dwelling units.

Homebuilding isn’t the only activity planned for that part of Sarasota. The opening of new businesses has been adding jobs to the economy, and more are expected in the coming months.

More than four years after it was proposed, a Palmer Ranch Lowe’s home-improvement store is ramping up for a grand opening celebration this weekend on Central Sarasota Parkway, between the Bella Villino condos and the former Albertsons supermarket.

The 94,000-square-foot store on the 20-acre site brings with it 120 jobs and, more important for the community, a welcome bit of buzz.

“It’s great for the Palmer Ranch community,” said Margaret Brading, president of the Palmer Ranch Communities Coalition.

Yet another store, Kohl’s, opened last fall in the space of a former Albertsons, anchoring the east end of the Oak Plaza shopping center at Central Sarasota Parkway and U.S. 41.

Additionally, a Costco is under construction where Dillard’s stood at Westfield Sarasota Square Mall. Dillard’s closed on that site in 2009.

Costco, the country’s fifth-largest retailer is expected to draw people from all around Sarasota and Osprey when it opens this summer, according to business reports. The closest store is 41 miles away, in Brandon. Calls to obtain information about the number of jobs it will offer were not returned prior to deadline Wednesday.

And as a sign Sarasota Square business may be turning around, an Express store replaced The Gap last summer.

Plans also call for the demolition of Pelican Plaza on South Tamiami Trail. That plaza was known for its Linens ’N’ Things store. The shopping center is to be rebuilt, to attract better stores, but no tenants have been announced yet.

Meanwhile, the renewal of retail activity from Clark Road to Central Sarasota Parkway helps pave the way for the anticipated additional homeowners.

“It’s a great time to be a Palmer Ranch resident,” said Powell, noting the community has a mix of retirees, families with children and empty-nesters.

Brading agreed.

“This is a big plus for us to keep everyone in the community here and off University Boulevard,” Brading said.

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