Palm Plans

Another Luxury Condominium Tower May Be Headed to Downtown Sarasota

A local developer has submitted plans to build an 18-story luxury condo tower on North Palm Avenue. A string of existing single-story businesses would be razed.

By Kim Doleatto February 1, 2023

A rendering of the North Palm Avenue Residences.

Like deer wandering in the backyards of sprawling, master-planned communities, just about anything that’s one story high in downtown Sarasota, while charming, looks vulnerable and almost out of place these days.

For example, look at what some might call the strip of small shops located at 1260 through 1274 N. Palm Ave., directly to the east of Bay Plaza and across the street from the Palm Avenue parking garage. It may soon be razed and replaced with an 18-story luxury condominium tower that includes 640 square feet of ground-floor retail space, according to an administrative application for site plan approval filed by the developer in October of last year.

The existing row of seven commercial spaces, built in 1954, which includes a barber and a restaurant, occupies 8,209 square feet. The site is roughly 12,377 square feet altogether.

1260 through 1274 N. Palm Avenue is the site for the proposed new development.

The architectural plans for 1260 North Palm Ave. show there will be seven ground-level parking spots, with an additional 30 parking spaces in four upper parking levels. Single access and ingress will be located on Palm Avenue. The 18-story tower would house just 14 condo units, starting on the fifth floor—that’s just one unit per floor.

Local firm Hoyt Architects, in collaboration with PS Design Workshop, are leading the design and is familiar with such vertical projects. The firm is also spearheading the design for the 16-story Sota Hotel & Residences on Main Street and has led other multiple large-scale downtown Sarasota projects like The Jewel, One Park on the bayfront and Sansara–the last two spearheaded by the same developer as what may be headed to North Palm Avenue.

Originally from Chicago, now-local developer Matt Kihnke, of MK Equity, submitted the application on behalf of Palm Properties, LLC, which purchased the parcel in January 2022 for $3.79 million from Palm Avenue Properties LLC., owned by Dr. Mark Kauffman. Kauffman is also part owner of the Mira Mar plaza, just down the street, and attempted to sell the historic building to another local developer last year.

Among Kihnke’s portfolio is the recently finished The Collection at 1335 Second Street, across from the Selby Public Library. He’s also responsible for Sansara, which is located on Palm Avenue, too. Before that, he converted Sarasota and Bradenton apartment complexes into condominiums like Sanctuary of Bradenton and City Walk in Sarasota.

At the North Palm Avenue Residences, which have yet to be given a proper name, drawings show the third floor will have a library, a wine cellar, a wine room and a formal dining space.

The amenity level, located on the fourth floor, will have a bocce court, outdoor bar, a 1,026-square-foot club room, a 1,082 square-foot fitness room, a garden and a water feature, with a lounge area and fire pit.

Architectural drawing of the penthouse on the 18th floor.

Residences on levels five through eight each have three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms spanning 4,344 square feet, and levels nine through 17 have four bedrooms, and five and a half baths spanning 5,763 square feet of space. Large outdoor terraces hug the west side of the units. 

The 5,788 square foot penthouse on the 18th floor has four bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms, with rooms for wine, an office, and terraces on both the east and west sides. Penthouse residents will have exclusive access to a 26 by 12 plunge pool and lounge and dining area, located on the roof deck above. Also on the roof deck, the rest of the residents would have access to a 34-by-18-foot pool, a spa and an expansive dining and lounge area.

The residents of the Bay Plaza next door, a mixed-use, mammoth collection of 102, amenity-rich, luxury condos with office and retail space right on Gulfstream Avenue—Sarasota Magazine HQ is located there, too—face parked yachts and water views to the west and bustling Palm Avenue to the east. The building has long cast a shadow on the site of the proposed project. Built in 1982 by the late, famed Sarasota School architect Tim Seibert, its residents along the east have never had to share the sky with neighbors. Now, they may have to.

Because the developer of the North Palm Avenue Residences is still going through the motions to seek approval with the City of Sarasota’s development review committee, some details of the project may change, and price ranges have yet to be determined. But as of today, you can snag a second-floor, 1,822 square foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom, unit next door at Bay Plaza for $1 million—which we can probably assume is a bargain amidst the new-construction downtown condo craze that just won’t let up.

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