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Sarasota Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 10 years ago

Parking garage builders present vision

by: Robin Roy City Editor

The contractor and architect hired to design and build the Palm Avenue parking garage have been making the rounds this week to build support for their vision.

Michael Beaumier, vice president of Suffolk Construction, and Chris Gallagher, architect with Jonathan Parks Architect, appeared before both the Downtown Improvement District and Downtown Sarasota Alliance this week ask both groups to back its idea for the garage.

Suffolk wants to build a cast-in-place garage as opposed to pre-cast. The difference, explained Beaumier, is that cast-in-place allows for local labor because the closest pre-cast facility is in Tampa and also more design flexibility.

Beaumier said in the current economy there are no savings, as there traditionally are, with pre-cast.

The builders want a new façade with vertical window openings instead of the horizontal ones the city initially suggested because it will make the garage more appealing visually, Gallagher said.

They also would like to plan for the possibility of three additional floors on top of the five-level garage.
Beaumier said if a hotel is eventually built in the vacant space next to the garage, the three additional floors could house a restaurant or convention space that could be connected to the hotel.

The garage plan will be presented to the Community Redevelopment Agency Dec. 17. Both the DID and the DSA voted to recommend the CRA accept the contractor’s recommendations.

Construction is expected to begin April 1, 2010, and be complete by December 2010.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].

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