Dimmitt Automotive Group plans to open a luxury car dealership featuring Rolls-Royce and other high-end cars in downtown Sarasota later this year.
Dimmitt’s plan for the retail space in the new State Street Garage downtown comes after local developer Wayne Ruben acquired the garage’s ground floor for $1,768,000 late last week from the city.
Dimmitt’s new showroom will feature a dozen luxury cars ranging from McLaren to Aston Martin, Ruben and city officials say.
“They’re going to be the sexiest tenant in town,” Ruben says. “It’s a unique concept, a style center. It’s really more of an art gallery than a car dealership.”
Dimmitt hopes to open its dealership in October or November. Construction began Monday. Officials from Dimmitt could not be reached for comment.
In addition to auto sales, Dimmitt plans to hold community events in its portion of the 14,000-square-foot space, Ruben says. The developer’s Shoppes at State Street LLC is planning to fill the balance of the garage’s retail space with a café or restaurant.
The sale caps a year-long process for the city, which accepted sealed bids for the State Street garage retail last August. A half dozen bids were submitted for each of two spaces, and Ruben’s offerings were the highest, says City Attorney Bob Fournier.
“There seemed to be a lot of interest in the space because of its good location downtown,” Fournier added.
Ian Black Real Estate represented the city in the transaction and Coverstone Realty worked on behalf of Shoppes at State Street.
Ruben, who spent more than a dozen years at Manatee County-based Benderson Development Co., also developed the Staples office supply store and Bank of America branch downtown behind Main Plaza.
Dimmitt, which has operated for more than 90 years, has dealerships in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, according to its website. The company is owned by third-generation Richard Dimmitt.
In addition to Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin, the company also sells brands such as Bentley, Land Rover and Cadillac, according to its website.