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Bayfront growth continues with Quay and Ritz projects

The long-awaited buildout of the Sarasota Quay property took another step forward this week. Just to the south, developers announced plans for a new 18-story condo overlooking the water.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. April 21, 2016
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City tweaks Quay review process

Within a year, Greenpointe Communities Regional President Rick Harcrow hopes construction will finally be underway at the 14.7-acre Sarasota Quay property along the downtown bayfront.

But even if everything proceeds according to schedule, that construction will represent just a small segment of Greenpointe’s vision for the project known as Sarasota Bayside. The developer is planning to build an entire waterfront district on the land, one that will include more than 700 condos and nearly 190,000 square feet of retail space.

“That will happen incrementally — one block at a time, over five to seven years,” Harcrow said. “Not everything is going to be going vertical upon approval.”

The developers of the Sarasota Quay property are submitting a conceptual site plan that will be fleshed out over the next several years.
The developers of the Sarasota Quay property are submitting a conceptual site plan that will be fleshed out over the next several years.

On Wednesday, representatives for Greenpointe met with the city’s Development Review Committee, an early step toward getting approval for the mixed-use project. One hurdle they must overcome: The city’s site plan review process requires detailed information regarding each proposed building. Currently, Greenpointe just has a framework for the Quay site, broken down into nine “blocks” without specific plans for each segment.

City staff is working with Greenpointe on revising the regulations to better suit the project. It’s a process the city wants to be careful with, according to Gretchen Schneider, general manager of planning and development. During the last attempt to build out the Quay, the city gave the developers significant flexibility to change the look of the project.

“What we saw in the prior Quay development agreement was a submission that wasn’t really what was going to be built,” Schneider said. “They just submitted something that was going to be a placeholder and then put a lot of language into the development agreement that allowed for administrative adjustments.”

This time around, the city wants a process with more oversight. Greenpointe doesn’t need all of its floor plans right now — but when it does have more detailed information, it will be required to go to the planning board to gain approval for each block.

For the city, the deal is designed to create a thorough review for a major downtown site. For the developer, the agreement would establish certain core facts about the project, allowing it to proceed with the planning process.

 “They know for the next 10 years, this is the code they’re operating under,” Schneider said. “Then, they can market their project with certain understandings, knowing something’s not going to change.”

Vue developer plots 18-story Ritz condo

With work continuing on the high-rise condominium and hotel buildings at Gulfstream Avenue and Tamiami Trail, this week, the developer of Vue Sarasota Bay announced plans to undertake another 18-story bayfront residential project.

The Kolter Group hopes to break ground on a luxury tower next to the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota next spring. Called The Grande at the Ritz-Carlton Residences, the 86-unit condo project would be built just east of the hotel along Ritz Carlton Drive.

If plans proceed as scheduled, Kolter would acquire the air rights on the property from the Ritz-Carlton owners. The finished project would include service from Ritz-Carlton residential staff.

The three- and four-bedroom condos would range from 2,500 to 3,700 square feet, according to Kolter Development Executive John Harper. Michael Saunders & Co. will oversee sales of the units, which range from $2 million to more than $5 million.

“Our market studies showed that there’s just a strong demand for this type of product — for the higher end product.” — John Harper

In addition to Vue Sarasota Bay, which includes 141 condos and 255 hotel rooms, Kolter is also building 157 condos on State Street as part of The Mark. Even considering the West Palm Beach-based developer’s significant commitments in Sarasota, the Kolter Group sees even more room for growth.

“Our market studies showed that there’s just a strong demand for this type of product — for the higher end product,” Harper said.

Although a sales office for The Grande has already opened, Kolter is still in the process of designing the project. Harper said the developer hopes to submit plans to the city by the fall. He believes the interest the project has received so far affirms his company’s assessment of the continued demand for high-end residential units.

“We’re excited about Sarasota,” Harper said. “Sarasota is a very upscale and luxury market.”


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