A water main and city of Sarasota parking requirements have forced entrepreneur Harvey Vengroff to scale back plans for an affordable housing project near downtown Sarasota, but his team is still charging ahead with the development.
The newly-named Sarasota Station will have 368 apartments in four six-story buildings, as opposed to the 393 units originally planned for Vengroff Village, according to the project’s representative Joe Barnette. The city’s development review committee will consider an official site plan for the roughly eight-acre property next month.
“We had to come up with ways to fit everything on it without losing the boxing club and Bob’s Train,” said Vengroff, referring to the two businesses currently operating on the property.
Barnette said the plan was also modified to accommodate a water main engineers discovered running across the site, and to increase the number of parking spaces from 242 to 268, which inches the project closer to the city’s require two-spaces-per-unit policy. The project will still need city approval for its parking plan.
“What we’ve said all along is most of our people don’t have cars because they cant afford them,” Vengroff said.
Sarasota Station will no longer include three-bedroom apartments as originally envisioned, but Vengroff said he’s not ruling out adding them in the future.
The project is one of the largest pieces of new development in the area east of downtown, which also includes a plan for a Wawa, a new retail center and 37 luxury townhomes.
After meeting with members of the development review committee, Barnette will go before the Planning Board and subsequently the Sarasota City Commission for approval. He and Vengroff said they aren’t concerned about the two former meetings.
“We have the same hurdles at the City Commission we have always had,” Vengroff said. “They’ll probably give us the same (nonsense).”