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Sarasota Thursday, May 2, 2019 6 months ago

Sarasota Crew plans boathouse, still stuck in permit phase

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The organization first bought parcels of land in order to expand in 2014.
by: Brynn Mechem Staff Writer

More than five years after Sarasota Crew purchased land to expand its Osprey facility, the organization is still waiting to begin.

Sarasota Crew bought three parcels, comprising 3.2 acres, for $975,000 in November 2014. The parcels, located on Bayview Lane in Osprey, are less than a mile from the organization’s current home in Bay Preserve.

Crew President Casey Galvanek said the plan is to build a boathouse open not only to Sarasota Crew members, but also to the public.

Originally planned to be completed in September 2017, permitting issues have delayed the boathouse project, which has yet to begin construction.

Throughout the years-long process, Galvanek said the organization has had to go back to the drawing board several times. The parcels originally were zoned for residential use and had to be rezoned. Additional issues have arisen due to the parcels’ proximity to the water, Galvanek said.

So far, the project has amassed $11,265 in permitting fees, according to county documents. Funds for the project have come from the organization’s $2.7 million fundraising campaign.

While Galvanek said he is unsure how close the organization is to groundbreaking, its members are ready when the time comes.

“It’d be great if we could start tomorrow but that’s not going to happen, so we’ll just anxiously await the permits,” he said.

The boathouse primarily will be used to store rowing shells, but there is  planned space for stand-up paddle boards, canoes and kayaks. Additionally, the boathouse will feature docks, one of which will be open to the public.

“It’s going to be open to the public so that we can increase the amount of people who will experience the water, and secure water access for sport, instead of just water access for those that can afford it,” Galvanek said.

According to a development submittal for the property, the building will be 25,930 square feet and include both parking and drainage improvements.

The square footage will allow the organization to offer study halls, a place to keep equipment out of the elements and give the organization a sense of permanency, Galvanek said.

The crew has launched from Bay Preserve in Osprey since 2008.

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