Last month I began describing the changes that ar e coming to Sarasota. My team and I have been looking extensively at how major development, investment in the public spaces and amenities, and philanthropic moves are building momentum to a Downtown Sarasota that will be totally different in 5 years. I have coined this as “Sarasota’s Great Transformation 2027.” (Click here to see Part I)
Much of our focus on development in Downtown Sarasota until this point has been on the western end of town with plans for new luxury condo buildings, hotels, and mixed use residential most notably in The Quay. On Golden Gate Point there are also new projects such as The Peninsula and Evolution.
Now I want to take a deeper look at some of the larger developments in the works to provide more context for the transformation underway in Downtown Sarasota.
Belpointe, Benderson, and Capstone Making Major Investments
We are seeing a lot of infill development in the downtown core. I want to start by taking a look at the activity with Belpointe. They are a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) out of Connecticut that is publicly traded. They have purchased 7 parcels — all of which are going to be developed into apartments. This is a positive thing because it should lower the cost of rent by increasing supply.
Belpointe’s primary projects right now are going to be at the location of the former Sarasota Main Plaza (next to Hollywood 11). On this site they’re going to build two buildings. The main floor will be retail based on downtown zoning, and then apartments above. They’ve also purchased the adjacent outparcel where Staples used to be, and they are going to build more there.
The other significant purchase they’ve made is next to the Ringling post office where they bought the former Verizon (now Frontier) building. That’s over two acres where they will also build more apartment buildings. Belpointe is motivated by cash flow and they are publicly traded so they need to be putting their money to work.
Other developments that we’re going to see in the near future are going to be the former Williams-Parker parcel, which is over an acre and a half. This will become a residential/mixed use development. Just across Cross street, Capstone purchased over an acre by assembling several smaller parcels and they’re going to develop there as well. In addition, just down the street on Orange Ave an assisted living facility will be constructed.
Benderson, the large developer originally out of Buffalo (UTC and Southgate Malls), has purchased the Sarasota County Administration Building and they’re going to develop a project there. That’s over 2 acres just in that spot. There are also other hotels and smaller developments planned throughout Downtown Sarasota.
Stay tuned for the next in our series to illustrate the breadth of investment and change coming to our area.
Sarasota’s Future: Bullish or Bearish?
As we move into the third decade of the 21st century, there are three things I think Sarasota needs to do as a community- both in the public and the private sector- to develop more economic, educational, and environmental resiliency for the future of our community.
- BETTER JOBS. As I have spoken about over and over again, we need better, higher paying jobs and we need more of them. We need diversification of different economic sectors.
- BETTER TRAINED GRADUATES. Educationally, we need the local institutions of higher education, vocational schools, and two-year or four-year institutions to step up their game. They need to be producing more and better prepared graduates for the jobs in the 21st century.
- CLEAN WATER. And finally on the environmental front, the water is our life blood and we need to do everything that we can to sustain and improve the quality of the water.
All this said, we’re VERY, VERY bullish on the future of Downtown Sarasota. As illustrated, lots of intelligent people who’ve done their homework are investing millions upon millions of dollars in developing our community. I am really excited about the Great Transformation 2027.
We look forward to being your trusted real estate advisor so that you can experience a return on your Sarasota real estate investments — both in money and happiness.