Is the Rosemary District becoming the densest condo-per-capita neighborhood in town? It would appear so.

In 2015, Premier Sotheby’s broker-associate Frank Lambert began marketing a future six-unit townhouse project called Vanguard Lofts in the then mostly undeveloped Rosemary District just north of downtown Sarasota. Today, thanks to a city overlay district that permits greater density, dozens of projects, both residential and commercial, have taken root, making it one of the hottest real estate destinations in Sarasota.

The latest is a new mixed-use project called Villa Ballada, the cousin of boutique luxury condos Zahrada and Zahrada II just down the street. They’re related not just because of their close proximity, but also because they share the same architects: Halflants + Pichette, known for their signature simple lines and modern esthetic.

The five-story building is slated for 430 Kumquat Court, across from Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center. It will include 22 residences, above a bottom floor of commercial spaces, of which two are already reserved—one for a hair salon, another for a short-term rental management business.

Czech for “House of Harmony,” Villa Ballada is scheduled to break ground within two months and be completed by March 2024. The .29-acre lot was sold to the developer earlier this month for nearly $3 million.

The residences launched last week and, according to Lambert, who is handling sales, two units are already under contract. The commercial spaces are listed for $350,000, and the residential units range from $840,000 to $2.2 million. It will house two- to four-bedroom options, spanning 1,060 to 2360 square feet, and will have a communal pool for residents only.

There will also be a 10-foot-wide sidewalk and six new canopy trees lining Kumquat Court. It's fitting, too, that two 60-foot-tall walls on either side of the lobby will provide a canvas for public art, since the Rosemary District is marked by vibrant, colorful murals.

The five penthouses will have 13-foot high ceilings, and “you may be able to get a peek of Sarasota Bay from there,” says Lambert.

Who’s interested?

“Every market section,” he says. “Old, young, retired, part-time residents, singles and couples. I think it’s a reflection of downtown. There are also buyers from the area islands because there’s only so much beach you can take in. Here, they go to the art theaters and can walk and bike to the arts centers, restaurants and the farmers market.”

Lambert adds that plans for the new 53-acre Bay park, just four blocks away, have also been attracting buyers.

And what about the Resurrection House, a day resource center that serves homeless people, and shares an address on the same street as the upcoming Villa Ballada?

“I’ve been in the district for six years and people now consider the Rosemary a destination and understand that it’s urban living," says Lambert. "People get a shower there, a meal, check email and do laundry. It’s closed at night and on weekends and it’s a help-up. When people ask about it, I encourage them to come spend the day here. If I didn’t feel comfortable there, I wouldn’t live there and have my grandkids and elderly mother visit.”

For more info, call Frank Lambert at (941) 921-1500 or Anita Lambert at (941) 920-1501.

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