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Troubled South Trail building sees new life

A new owner is planning to demolish the partially-built structure at 4420 S. Tamiami Trail, following a $685,000 purchase.

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  • | 12:36 p.m. September 2, 2015
  • Sarasota
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Demolition of a structure that has languished, unfinished, for at least six years may bring relief to the neighbors who’ve complained about overgrown vegetation.

The parcel at 4420 Tamiami Trail, just across the street from Giggles and couched between a medical center and Demetrio's, was purchased on Aug. 19, by 4420 Tamiami LLC, with plans to clear the property and develop it as a retail space have been set in motion.

Larry Starr of Sperry Van Ness, who is representing the owner of the property, said plans for the parcel are as yet incomplete, but that they intend to use it for standalone retail. They know, however, that the bare concrete floors and walls, and exposed rebar that mar the property will have to go.

“We’re going to remove the existing structure,” said Starr.

A demolition permit was submitted to the county on Sept. 1, and is currently under review.

The Sarasota County Development Review Committee will hear a site and development pre-submittal for the tentatively named Shelly's Shack from Architect Mark Sultana Sept. 3.

Shiraz Investments, the site's previous owner, intended to build “Shiraz Oriental Rug Gallery,” according to a permit search on the property, but construction and activity permits ceased by July 2009, during the recession.

That’s when the complaints began.

Between July 2009, and Aug. 2015, there were 25 complaints, inquiries or code enforcement actions related to the property. Most of the complaints referred to overgrown vegetation.

Barry Seidel, president and founder of American Property Group, said the corridor along Tamiami Trail is fertile ground for retail. Though he wasn’t involved in the most recent sale, he has sold the property four times in the past and said it was a gas station before being converted, and was subsequently a sub shop before Shiraz bought it in 2008.

Shiraz purchased the property for $495,000 from Sarasota Ices, who bought it in 2005 for $1.3 million.

Seidel said that although University Parkway has grown since development took hold there, south Sarasota’s main thoroughfare is still Tamiami Trail.

“Tamiami Trail is still the motherlode,” said Seidel.