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Sarasota Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016 1 year ago

Rosemary District development steamrolls ahead

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Sarasota-based Halflants + Pichette has four residential projects in the works in the north-of-downtown neighborhood.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

The Rosemary District is in the midst of a full on building boom, and one local architecture firm is designing even more residential projects to feed demand.

“I think the city of Sarasota only has one way to expand, and it’s to the north,” said Halflants + Pichette architect Michael Halflants.

His firm, which has based in the once blighted neighborhood north of downtown for a decade, has started crafting plans for five-story, 62-unit development at the northeast corner of Fourth Street and Cocoanut Avenue. It will be the firm’s largest development in Rosemary.

The building will feature the firm’s signature modern style, along with a rooftop pool and 12 live-work spaces on the bottom floor, which will each have backyards.

“That, in turn, is a benefit for all the other units because the courtyard is filled with private yards,” Halflants said. “You’re looking at green space as opposed to looking at parking.”

That concept joins Vanguard Lofts, which will feature six condos, and the 28-unit Risdon on 5th as the company’s latest projects in the area. Vanguard will cost roughly $2.4 million to build and Risdon will cost $6 million, according to city building permits.

Risdon on 5th will feature residential units over retail.

The firm is also designing 10 luxury townhomes at 1542 Fourth St., which sits across the the road from a cluster of restaurants, including Blue Rooster and Servandos. Karel Dudych bought the property for $1.1 million in November.

And owning a unit in one of those coming buildings, specifically Risdon, could cost as little as $300,000, which will bring a new buyer to the downtown area.

“I would prefer that the neighborhood develop with a mixture of incomes,” Halflants said. “It just makes for a better neighborhood.”

The Rosemary Residential Overlay District, which allows developments within its borders as many as 75 units per acre, is a major catalyst for the explosion in new development, Halfants said. As is the city’s plans to make Fruitville Road more attractive for pedestrian activity.

“I think thats really a game changer in terms of stitching the Rosemary District together with downtown,” Halflants said.

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