SARASOTA DOWNTOWN DEVELOPERS are back, and they’re poised to repeat—and possibly outpace—the boom of the mid-2000s. Thirteen downtown projects are either under way or in some form of planning. They include the typical high-end condominiums but also mixed-use projects, affordably priced rental properties and five new hotels.
A few developers are new to Sarasota and one, Canadian John Vandyk, is planning his first U.S. project with a condo complex on Golden Gate Point. Most, though, are familiar names, people who have held onto properties through the downturn and who are ready to build now that the economy has rebounded and demand
Every development needs solid financing, strong sales and a stable market before breaking ground, so our list is subject to change, but we’ve tracked down the developers and created a list of all the approved commercial residential projects and a list of those that are proposed but were still waiting for approval from the city of Sarasota at press time.
JOHN VANDYK, VANDYK GROUP
Canadian John Vandyk arrived in Sarasota like many Northern transplants: on vacation with a wife who convinced her husband to buy a home on Sarasota Bay. Vandyk, who for 30 years has developed custom homes, condos and industrial sites in southern Ontario, immediately saw the opportunity here. “Walking distance to downtown, incredible views both sunset and sunrise,” he says. “We wanted to grow our organization outside the U.S. and we found the right spot.”
COMPANY: VANDYK Group
HEADQUARTERS: Ontario, Canada
PROJECT: One88—a five-story, eight-unit condo on Golden Gate Point
COST: $17 million
UNIT PRICES: $2.6-$3.9 million
TIMELINE: Summer 2014-June 2015
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: First U.S. project, although Vandyk has purchased land on Orange Avenue in Burns Square for future residential development
JOHN MESHAD, GAVIN MESHAD, DENNIS MCGILLICUDDY, KENT LEVENSON AND SHANE EAGAN
Already rising is One Palm, a two-tower hotel-apartment project developed by some familiar names in the region: attorney and developer John Meshad of JWM Management Inc. and his son, Gavin; investor Dennis McGillicuddy; resort consultant Shane Eagan (who many will remember from his ownership/management of the Longboat Key Club and Resort and other Longboat hotels); and Kent Levenson, an Atlanta-based longtime partner of John Meshad’s. Also involved is iStar Financial, a publicly traded REIT, which owns the property at 240 S. Pineapple. The 139-room hotel will be Starwood Hotels’ modernistic Aloft brand. For now, the partners are building out the residential tower as 141 apartments, but if market conditions show that condominium units are a better investment, Levenson says each apartment has been built with high-end amenities for easy conversion.
COMPANY: JWM Management Inc.
PROJECT: One Palm—a 10-story, 141-apartment building and 139-room Aloft Hotel at Palm Avenue and Ringling Boulevard
COST: $54 million
APARTMENT RENTS: $1,500-$4,500
TIMELINE: Now—October 2015
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: The St. Regis Atlanta hotel
KEVIN BRYON, TETRA TERRA DEVELOPMENT
After years of flipping houses in San Francisco, Kevin Bryon was eager to break into the development business in his childhood home of Sarasota. He says he found the perfect opportunity with a boutique project in the Rosemary District, an area that he says mimics the urban feel of his California projects. “The walkability is there. The scale is there,” he says. “There’s a lot of open land to initiate some new urbanism philosophy, and I think the market is perfect right now.”
COMPANY: Tetra Terra Development
HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco
PROJECT: Vanguard Lofts—six one-story and townhome-style condo units at 1343 4th St. near Central Avenue
COST: $2.8 million
UNIT PRICES: $530,000-$745,000
TIMELINE: September 2014-June 2015
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: None locally
DAVID ARENT, THE KOLTER GROUP
David Arent has developed commercial and condo projects in Jacksonville and Naples for 15 years, though VUE is his first project for West Palm Beach-based The Kolter Group and the company’s first project in Sarasota. Kolter made headlines when it bought the property for a record-breaking $40 million in 2005. The site was previously slated for a Mediterranean-style condo project in the mid-2000s boom, but it was resurrected—with a hotel addition (the area’s first Westin)—and redesigned into a modern showpiece. “You are seeing more modern projects now, and it’s not necessarily something you are seeing across the country. It’s really what people expect in Sarasota,” he says.
COMPANY: The Kolter Group
HEADQUARTERS: West Palm Beach
PROJECT: VUE Sarasota Bay—twin 18-story towers with 141 luxury condos and a 255-room Westin hotel on Gulfstream Avenue and North Tamiami Trail, near The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
COST: $120.5 million
UNIT PRICES: $800,000-$3.4 million
TIMELINE: Summer 2014-Winter 2016
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Water Club Snell Isle condos in Tampa
TOM MANNAUSA, MAIN STREET J DEVELOPMENT CO.
A prolific Florida developer, Tom Mannausa began his career when he purchased a rental home in college. By graduation, he had five rental properties and two already paid off. He has since developed 51 residential and commercial projects (mostly rental apartments in Florida and Michigan), and he calls the high-end Jewel tower the feather in his cap. “It looks like all of our units have been purchased with cash,” he says. “These are purchasers who intend to design and create a beautiful home. They are not investors.” Construction began this summer.
COMPANY: Main Street J Development Co.
PROJECT: The Jewel—19 residential and six commercial condos at the corner of Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue
COST: $23.5 million
UNIT PRICES: $1.4-$3 million-plus
TIMELINE: Now-August 2015
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Center Court apartments in Bradenton, Victoria Pointe apartments in North Port
JIM BRIDGES, JEBCO VENTURES
Jim Bridges started in Atlanta in 1975 with shopping center developments and moved from retail to commercial to residential as the market changed. Now, he says the market is calling for infill projects in urban centers like downtown Sarasota, where limited townhomes are creating high demand. “Townhomes offer not only the same benefits as single-family-home ownership, but the homeowners and association fees are much less than at a condominium,” he says.
COMPANY: Jebco Ventures
PROJECT: Q—40 two- and three-story townhomes at 1750 Ringling Blvd.
COST: $7.2 million
UNIT PRICES: $470,000-$696,000
TIMELINE: Now-March 2015
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Vista Bay Point and Phoenix condos on Golden Gate Point, Goodwill Manasota retail store and job center on North Tamiami Trail
THE BITER BUILDING
DEVELOPER: Jesse Biter
COMPANY: Biter Enterprises
PROJECT: 168 apartments at 1445 Second St. (At press time, Biter announced his project is up in the air because of financing.)
COST: $40 million-plus
UNIT PRICES: Rents from $1,000-$2,000
TIMELINE: End of 2014-TBD
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: The HuB
DEVELOPER: Jim Bridges
COMPANY: Jebco Ventures
PROJECT: An 18-story, 180-room hotel with restaurant and bar, meeting rooms and 200-space parking garage at 202 N. Tamiami Trail
COST: Less than $40 million
ROOM RATES: $176-$185
TIMELINE: Fall 2014-Winter 2015
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Phoenix condos on Golden Gate Point
DEVELOPER: Rod Connelly
COMPANY: Civix LLC
PROJECT: 150 rooms with restaurant, meeting spaces, and retail at Main Street and Washington Street
COST: $45 million.
ROOM RATES: Around $200
TIMELINE: January 2015-October 2016
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Center Pointe office building on Main Street, Casarina condos on Siesta Key.
DEVELOPER: Matt Kihnke
PROJECT: A 10-story, 17-unit condo with commercial space at the Pineapple Avenue roundabout near Burns Court
COST: $30 million
UNIT PRICES: $1-$3.7 million
TIMELINE: Fall 2014-Fall 2015
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Contemporaine condos in Chicago, Sailrock residential community in Turks and Caicos
DEVELOPER: Bruce Weiner
COMPANY: Rosalyne Holdings
PROJECT: Up to 450 apartments on 6.5 acres on Cocoanut Avenue north of Boulevard of the Arts
COST: $45 million
UNIT PRICES: Monthly rents from $900-$1,600
TIMELINE: Early 2015-summer 2016
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Florida Classic Car Storage at Central Avenue and 12th Street
DEVELOPER: Angus Rogers
PROJECT: An eight-story, 186-room hotel on North Palm Avenue adjacent to city parking garage
COST: $40 million-plus
DAILY ROOM RATES: $200
TIMELINE: Late 2014-Winter 2015
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Grande Riviera condos on Golden Gate Point, Floridays Resort in Orlando
DEVELOPER: Mark Kauffman COMPANY: Rosemary Square LLC
PROJECT: Mixed-use project with 40 apartments, 34,000 square feet of commercial space, performing arts theater and town square on Central Avenue, Fifth Street and Boulevard of the Arts
COST: $20 million
UNIT PRICES: TBD
TIMELINE: Early 2016-TBD
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS: Hollywood 20 theater, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and, coming soon, Payne Park Plaza, an 8,295-square-foot office building on Washington Blvd.