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Workers begin demolishing Longboat Key's Amore building

Work expected to take between six and eight weeks.

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  • | 9:14 a.m. February 26, 2019
  • Longboat Key
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Vacant for nearly two years on acreage vital to Longboat Key's plan for both an interim public-gathering spot and ultimately its more elaborate Town Center vision, the former Amore restaurant building began coming down last week.

Workers with Forristall Enterprises, Inc. of Bradenton are using heavy machinery to tear down the building in the first stage of a plan to first create an open-air gathering spot.

Working with a $400,000 county grant, the town is clearing the building from the site, then pushing ahead to clear the lot and adjoining land to open up space for concerts, art shows or other events. Demolition is expected to take about six weeks.

The land would be graded and pavers added. Ultimately, a portable stage could be brought in as needed. There are no plans for anything permanent on the land, aside from the pavers.

From there, the Arts, Culture and Education Center would be constructed on the land in years to come. By locating the facility in Town Center, Longboat and Ringling officials hope it will be more accessible to residents and visitors than the former Longboat Key Center for the Arts, which was located in the Longbeach Village neighborhood at the northern end of the Key. That also in 2017.

Amore closed on Longboat Key in May, 2017 and reopened a few months later in downtown Sarasota’s Burns Court.

In recent weeks, firefighters from Longboat Key and Sarasota County have used the empty building for training.


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