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New grocery store, residences transform upper Main Street

Downtown redevelopment is moving eastward with residential and mixed-use developments.

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When he introduced plans to develop Sota — the 12-story condo/hotel mixed-use project at the corner of Main Street and Goodrich Avenue — Rodrigo Trepp of Trepp Development called the area “what’s happening next” in downtown Sarasota. 

Indeed, redevelopment is active on the eastern end of Main Street, also known as upper Main Street, with multiple residential and mixed-use projects either under construction or in planning. Located in one of four federally designated opportunity zones, the area bisected by the intersection of Main Street and U.S. 301 is ripe for investment.

“Sarasota is viewed as one of the better opportunity zones in the country due to its proximity to the downtown core,” said broker Kevin Robbins of Robbins Commercial. “Because of the zoning and density, this location is very attractive for development with as-of-right zoning in addition to the opportunity zone status. This combination will attract apartment developers which will increase the opportunity for affordable housing.”

Already under construction is One Main Plaza, the first significant redevelopment project in the area at 1991 Main St., bringing hundreds of apartments and thousands of square feet of street-level retail and commercial space. Soon to follow is Sota, its location best known as the site of Il Panificio restaurant. 

Meanwhile, planning is underway for the first phase of Park District, which will include 331 multifamily residences and nearly 8,000 square feet of retail just east of U.S. 301 bounded by Fruitville Road and Main Street. And still considering its final form is Artist’s Court at the corner of Highway 301 and Adams Lane. 

“The east end of Main, or upper Main Street, close to Highway 301 is ripe for development,” Robbins said. “The project located at 1991 Main St. (One Main Plaza) is serving as a catalyst for the entire area. This location has always had the ingredients for a vibrant area and has been known as Sarasota’s central business district as there are numerous office towers and it houses the judicial center.”

Opportunity zones are an economic development tool that encourages investment in distressed areas to spur economic growth and job creation in low-income tracts while providing tax benefits to investors. Low-income census tracts are nominated by governors and certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury into which investors may make qualifying investments into new projects and enterprises in exchange for certain federal capital gains tax reductions.

Up to 15% of the deferred gain is permanently excluded from income if the opportunity zone investment is held for more than seven years.

Courtesy rendering

Developer: Trepp Development

Location: 1703 Main St.

Best known as the site of Il Panificio Pizzeria, Sota will be a 16-story tower with 35 condominiums, 120 hotel rooms managed by Tapestry Collection by Hilton, and a 4,500-square-foot restaurant. The site is located at the corner of Main Street and Goodrich Avenue. Demolition of buildings on the site and construction are expected to begin this summer.

One Main Plaza
Courtesy rendering

Developer: Belpointe

Location: 1991 Main St.

Construction is well underway on The Aster & Links multifamily complex that will include 424 units at the corner of Main Street and Links Avenue. Units will range from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom town home-style penthouses in a seven-story building at the front of the development and a 10-story building in the rear. It will also include 900 parking spaces. One Park is also expected to include more than 55,000 square feet of ground-floor retail including the recently announced, 23,000-square-foot grocer Sprouts. 

Park District

Developer: Brook Farm Group

Location: Multiple addresses between Main Street and Fruitville Road

Planning is underway on a mixed-use project consisting of 331 multifamily apartment units and 7,828 square feet of retail. The area is bounded to the north by Fruitville Road, to the south by Main Street, to the east by Audubon Place and to the west by North Washington Boulevard. Development is proposed only on the lots between Fletcher and East Avenue at this time with future development to occur on the surrounding lots, totaling 8.5 acres.

Artist’s Court

Developer: GK Sarasota Venture

Location: Adams Lane at U.S. 301

Initially planned as a 139-unit apartment development before morphing into an eight-story, mixed-use project of 69 residences, a 120-room hotel and 3,500 square feet of commercial space, plans are in flux again at the northwest corner of South Washington Boulevard and Adams Lane. The site is currently occupied by three one-story commercial buildings totaling 15,736 square feet that will be demolished.



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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