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Developer calls east Main Street 'what's happening next'

Rodrigo Trepp likes the prospect of developing in Sarasota so much that he's moving his company and his family to the area from Bolivia. His first project, SOTA, breaks ground soon.

Both residents and hotel guests at SOTA will have access to the amenity level, located on the fifth floor of the building.
Both residents and hotel guests at SOTA will have access to the amenity level, located on the fifth floor of the building.
Courtesy Hoyt Architects
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Rodrigo Trepp was visiting the East Coast of Florida with his family on a half-vacation, half-site exploration tour for development sites for his company, Trepp Developments, when his financial partner, Michael Ealy, suggested he take a look at Sarasota. 

That was in December 2019, just before the world turned upside-down, but the city and Gulf Coast made a lasting impression. So much so that Trepp assembled a local team of well-known development and real estate names — Hoyt Architects, Michael Saunders and Joel Freedman — to help bring to life the Bolivia-based company’s first U.S. project, SOTA Residences & Hotel, to the corner of Main Street and Goodrich Avenue.

Located at 1703 Main St., most well known as the  site of Il Panificio Pizzeria, SOTA will be a 16-story tower with 35 condominium residences, 120 hotel rooms managed by Tapestry Collection by Hilton, and a 4,500-square-foot restaurant. The company is developing SOTA under the entity 1703 Main Developers LLC.

SOTA is only the first project Trepp plans to build in Sarasota, where he plans to relocate his company. Trepp has set up an office at 741 S. Orange Ave. and is purchasing a home in Lakewood Ranch for his family, where he plans to move at the end of the school year. 

“When we got here we were in love with Sarasota because of the beaches, the people, everything,” Trepp said. ”It's magic for me. It’s like the day is brighter here. I don't know how to explain it, but it's so beautiful.”

Making the decision to move here and develop in downtown was quick and easy.

“When we started looking around it was like this aha moment when you say this is the place we want to be,” he said.

Where he wants to develop, for the time being at least, is in downtown. With final approvals to build SOTA in hand, the company is already looking for its next site with an an emphasis on high-end boutique residential.

“We enjoy doing boutique, luxury, multifamily condominium developments, and I'm open to every every kind of business that could support the mission of the community,” Trepp said. “What we love about development is that when you do a development, you have a dream, and that dream adds to the community and also gives work to 200 or 300 families. That's our purpose, not just a business. It has to have a purpose.”

‘What’s happening next’

Located at 1703 Main St. in downtown Sarasota, SOTA Hotel & Residences will be a 16-story tower with 35 condominium residences and 120 hotel rooms managed by Tapestry Collection by Hilton.
Courtesy rendering

One purpose of SOTA is to extend the lifestyle of the downtown core farther east on Main Street. SOTA, in fact, will be the only hotel on Main Street, several blocks removed from those along the bayfront. The location of SOTA is approximately at the mid-point between the heart of the downtown restaurant and entertainment scene and One Main Plaza, which will bring 418 luxury rental apartments and 55,000 square feet of street-level commercial and retail space a few blocks to the east.

That entire stretch of Main Street isn’t in the center of what’s happening now, but Trepp calls SOTA an opportunity to live and lodge “in the heart of what’s next.” 

“We wanted a hotel there because there's a lot of demand for a hotel, but also people want to be in the middle of downtown to walk around, not have to have a car, and be in the middle of everything,” Trepp said. “We're going to be with Tapestry by Hilton, and that allows us to design the hotel as an upscale boutique hotel. We’re going to bring an experience there — not just a regular hotel — but actually an experience so people can enjoy all the surroundings and attractions you have in downtown.”

The 12-story building will stand above a four-level, 144-space parking structure that will offer valet parking for hotel guests and dedicated parking spaces for the residences. Separate hotel and residential lobbies will be on the ground level with hotel and reception amenities on the fifth level. Six floors of condominium residences will be above the six hotel floors, starting on the 11th floor.

Rodrigo Trepp is president of Trepp Developments, which will build the 16-story SOTA in downtown Sarasota
Courtesy photo

Amenities will include a restaurant and lounge that will be the centerpiece of the fifth floor, in addition to a pool and expansive pool deck with outdoor dining. A private residents’ club room with a catering kitchen and an outdoor terrace will be on the 16th floor.

Hoyt Architects of Sarasota is the building designer with interiors by New York City-based Andre Kikoski.  

“Embracing Sarasota’s casual sense of refinement, we created gracious residence floor plans while appointing the spaces with a clean palette of soft neutral tones to offer a distinctly elevated approach to downtown living,” Kikoski said in a news release.

Michael Saunders & Company will market the two- and three-bedroom condominiums starting at approximately $1.8 million. Beginning March 1, the sales gallery will be at 1734 Main St.

“Trepp Developments is bringing a compelling and unique offering to downtown Sarasota market by combining luxury residences with the amenities and personal services of a boutique hotel centrally located on Main Street,” said Michael Saunders in a news release. “We anticipate a strong market response to SOTA for buyers seeking refined design and an active, urban lifestyle.”

SOTA will stand next to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Support Services building, fronting Main Street and Goodrich Avenue. That site is currently occupied by Il Panificio Pizzeria on Main Street and two other single-story buildings along Goodrich that house a number of businesses. The entrance and exit for the parking structure will be off Goodrich. 

Nick Melone, the owner of Il Panificio, will own the restaurant in SOTA, which will be located on the ground floor fronting Main Street. Details about the restaurant remain under development. 

The magic pearl

For now at least, Trepp has abandoned developing on the east coast of Florida. Previously, he had been renovating fixer-uppers in the Fort Lauderdale area while considering locations for projects similar to those his company had built for more than a decade in Bolivia — boutique luxury condominiums.

SOTA offers six floors of condominium residences starting on the 11th floor. This rendering is a view from the terrace of a 16th floor unit.
Courtesy rendering

The west coast has greater potential, he said, with plans to build a variety of luxury residential and commercial developments throughout Sarasota northward into the Tampa Bay area.

“I think when you have purpose in your life and your business, everything falls together,” Trepp said. “I love the west coast. I don't know what God's going to have planned for me, but I'll keep going in whatever direction that I can take. With this mission and purpose of supporting communities, there are a lot of things we can do here.”

It all starts, though, in his new hometown. 

“I think that Sarasota is like the magic pearl of the west coast of Florida because it has been discovered business-wise and there's a lot of movement going on in real estate here,” Trepp said. “All of the west coast is booming and also the east coast for bigger developments. Here it’s like a separate world. It's more stable. People are coming here with new families, retired people, people who want to enjoy arts and culture. 

"This is an amazing lifestyle that you have here in Sarasota. It's so comfortable, so quiet, so calm, but it’s also really fun.”



Andrew Warfield

Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

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