- June 13, 2012
The ongoing wave of development in downtown Sarasota is largely concentrated on high-end residential offerings, but some major projects are also injecting activity into the city’s retail scene.
On Tuesday, Mark Tuchman appeared at a community workshop at City Hall to discuss his new business venture. Tuchman plans to open a craft beer and fine wine-focused bottle shop called 99 Bottles at 1451 Second St. The 1,300-square-foot property is located in the ground floor of The DeSota, a 180-unit apartment project that also includes 15,000 square feet of retail space.
Tuchman emphasized the centralized location as a reason he wanted to open the business in The DeSota. He pitched 99 Bottles as a unique business in the city, something that’s only viable because of the growing popularity of craft beer — and an increase in action downtown.
Tuchman is one of several downtown merchants hoping to capitalize on proximity to a growing residential base. Here are three new mixed-use projects that are announcing tenants for their commercial components:
In addition to 99 Bottles, which will allow for visitors to consume a curated collection of craft beer on- and off-site, The DeSota is also slated to add a shared salon space to its retail offerings.
In February, Salons by JC filed plans with the city to open in one of the commercial suites in the Second Street building. The San Antonio-based company offers salon professionals the opportunity to rent space to work within a shared business footprint.
Fatima Moon is the first tenant to move her business into the ground floor of a new mixed-use project in the downtown core.
Moon is the owner of Moon & Co. Eyewear, located at 1500 State St. The building, located next to the State Street parking garage, includes 20 luxury condominium units. All of the residences have been sold, said developer Hembree and Associates.
Although an eyewear store is more of a destination business, she said the proximity to foot traffic — from both residents and customers at neighboring stores — is helpful.
“I think it’s very important for my business to be right here in this exact spot,” Moon said.
The project was set back because of a legal dispute over a neighboring property Hembree and Associates planned to develop in conjunction with the 1500 State St. project. Although that changed the lineup of tenants slated to move into the building, President Joe R. Hembree said the company has leased all but one of the commercial spaces.
In addition to Moon & Co. Eyewear, Optional Art Fine Jewelry and Re/Max Platinum Realty are in the process of obtaining permits to open.
Hembree shared Moon’s excitement for the future of that segment of the city — particularly considering the construction of a 12-story mixed-use project across the street.
“That’s going to be a dynamite area,” Hembree said. “It’s going to really change the nature of the game over there.”
The mixed-use project known as The Mark will include 50,000 square feet of commercial and office space in addition to its 157 residential units.
Developer The Kolter Group is working with Casto Southeast Realty Services to land businesses to occupy 38,000 square feet of retail space. Last month, the group announced Neopolitan pizza restaurant MidiCi as its first confirmed tenant.
Casto highlighted MidiCi as a business that it believes offers a new product for the Sarasota market. It hopes to find more tenants that carry a similar appeal.
“We’re planning at The Mark to create a point of differentiation downtown,” said Brett Hutchens, Casto Southeast’s president and managing partner.
Kolter Project Manager David Arent said he is excited about the future of retail in the area — not just at The Mark, but at surrounding properties, as well.
“The more you can get that retail in one centralized location, it drives more people to come to that area,” Arent said. “It’s only a benefit.”