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Sarasota County breaks ground on development services building

The new Sarasota County Planning and Development Services One Stop Shop will be located on Apex Road at Palmer Boulevard.
The new Sarasota County Planning and Development Services One Stop Shop will be located on Apex Road at Palmer Boulevard.
Courtesy image
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The Fruitville Commons area of eastern Sarasota County is developing into a one-stop destination for much of the county’s services and facilities.

Apex Road between Fruitville Road and Palmer Boulevard just south of Fruitville Road is home to a branch of the Sarasota County Library and History Center, the Employee Health Center, the future Enterprise Information Technology facility and the underway construction of the new administration building. Forming the backdrop to it all is the 400-acre Celery Fields, a county park.

Last Friday, the county held a groundbreaking for its latest facility, a “one-stop shop” to house its Planning and Development Services operations at the northwest corner of Apex Road and Palmer Boulevard, that intersection scheduled to be rebuilt as a roundabout. 

Sarasota County staff and elected officials toss the ceremonial dirt to mark the groundbreaking of the new Planning and Development Services One Stop Shop.
Photo by Andrew Warfield

While the 4.5-acre site has been cleared, ceremonial dirt was flung by shovel-wielding county officials to mark the start of construction of the 55,600-square-foot building that will house the county’s property management, planning and zoning, environmental protection, building code enforcement, business administration, neighborhood services and development review personnel. 

Spaces will include general office, customer service, conference rooms, training rooms and more. 

“We take great pride in creating spaces and opportunities where everyone can flourish and we prioritize serving the community members of Sarasota County doing our best to provide more living options for our residents,” said Planning and Development Services Director Matt Osterhoudt. 

The goal of the One Stop Shop is to centralize all the planning services operations to improve efficiency and convenience to customers and residents. Planning for the facility began in the summer of 2022, the design process completed in winter 2023 and construction is estimated to be completed in the fall of 2025.

The new administration building, under construction about a mile away, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025.

A rendering of the Sarasota County One Stop Shop for planning and development services.
Courtesy image

The One Stop Shop comes at a time of rapid development in unincorporated Sarasota County. According to Osterhoudt, over the past five years Planning Development Services has facilitated construction of more than 4,000 multifamily and more than 10,000 single family residential units. 

“The building development services department is a major component of the Sarasota County government,” said County Commission Chairman Mike Moran. “For the last five years combined, they've issued more than 220,000 permits. This building will better the permitting process for our staff and community members.”

The new building will house all divisions of the Planning and Development Services Department, including Property Management, Planning and Zoning, Environmental Protection, Building and Code Enforcement, Planning and Development Services’ business and administration staff, Neighborhood Services staff and the Development Review Coordination team.

It will also serve as the operations center for the damage assessment team during the recovery phase following hurricanes or other natural disaster events.

“The design of the One Stop Shop is remarkable,” said Moran. “Its unique design and architectural features blend in with the surrounding area, exemplifying its variety of mixed land uses. We are excited to have another building so close to some of our other Sarasota County facilities to make it easier for our community to connect with its government.”



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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