A developer has filed preliminary plans for a project that would add another 18-story condominium building near the bayfront in downtown Sarasota.
Core Development Inc. submitted information Jan. 27 to the city regarding a project called The Boulevard Sarasota. The proposed development is located on just more than 1 acre at 500 and 540 N. Tamiami Trail, 1224 Boulevard of the Arts and 1235 Fifth St.
The plans include 51 residential units, 8,000 square feet of restaurant space and 8,300 square feet of retail-office space.
The developer plans to build an 18-story building along U.S. 41, spanning from Fifth Street to Boulevard of the Arts. The first phase of construction would involve 49 of the 51 units. A second phase would add two more residential units on Fifth Street.
Kevin Daves, president of Core Development Inc., said the company was excited to build near the bayfront and on the edge of the rapidly redeveloping Rosemary District. Although more than 3,200 residential units are planned in the downtown area, he still sees condominium development as an underserved market.
“There’s a lot of construction going on in downtown Sarasota, but a majority of it is hotels and apartments,” Daves said.
Core purchased three of the parcels along U.S. 41 for $5.4 million in November. Daves believes the ongoing development of the Quay and the opportunity to offer a view of the bay will make this an enticing project for prospective residents.
The proposal continues a trend of developers targeting U.S. 41 for high-rises. Last year, Core worked with Toronto-based Palsar Development Inc. on a plan to build an 18-story, 80-unit condo at 332 N. Tamiami Trail, though that project has not moved ahead.
An 18-story, 200-room Embassy Suites at 202 N. Tamiami Trail is under construction. Just west of U.S. 41, on Ritz-Carlton Drive, the Vue Sarasota Bay developer intends to build an 18-story, 86-unit condo called The Grande at the Ritz-Carlton Residences.
One of the few remaining redevelopment parcels along that stretch of Tamiami Trail is the Players Centre for Performing Arts. The theater announced its plans to move to Lakewood Ranch last year, and marketed its downtown property at 838 N. Tamiami Trail as a potential 18-story site.
The 1.77-acre property is still on the market with a listing price of $12.5 million. Ian Black, the real estate broker whose firm is selling the property, said he’s seen renewed interest in the land since the beginning of the year, though there haven’t been any offers yet.
Like Daves, Black said the rate of growth north of Fruitville Road is helping make the land attractive. It goes beyond the big bayfront projects, too. Renters are moving into the 228-unit CitySide apartments one block east of U.S. 41 at 700 Cocoanut Ave. Construction has begun on The Sarasota Modern, an 83-room hotel at 599 Cocoanut Ave.
The 18-story maximum height that comes with the Downtown Bayfront zoning along U.S. 41 is spurring activity, as well. Although the city is developing a master plan to redevelop the bayfront land around the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, height restrictions guarantee a view of the water for the high-rises on Tamiami Trail.
“We’re one of the last remaining available properties with a view corridor, which seems to be a big asset,” Black said.
The condos at The Boulevard will sell for between $1.5 million and $5 million. Core hopes to begin marketing the project in March and break ground in September. Daves said construction would likely take 18 to 20 months, putting a targeted completion date in the second quarter of 2019.
“There’s a lot of reasons to like this one,” Daves said. “The location is what we consider to be a perfect one.”