Despite concerns about the cost of planning affordable housing near downtown Sarasota, Harvey Vengroff is pushing forward with his 400-apartment project on Fruitville Road.
The local entrepreneur, who maintains a portfolio of more than 1,500 residential units in the region, officially asked for the city to conduct a traffic study as part of the planning process, according to Dec. 23 contract. The city requires the roughly $10,000 planning study for a comprehensive plan amendment, which is necessary for the development to proceed.
“We’ve put about $100,000 into the project so far,” Vengroff said.
The project includes 404 apartments, priced between $600 and $950 per month, spread throughout five separate six-story buildings at 2211 Fruitville Road — northeast of downtown. Vengroff needs the site reclassified as Downtown Core to allow the density and height, and he has also asked for relaxed parking requirements.
While he continues to invest in the currently-titled VW Village, Vengroff remains skeptical about support from the city. He said he has reached out to each city commissioner with a request for a meeting, but has not received an answer.
“I guess the project couldn’t be too popular with them," Vengroff said.