For Rent

A New Apartment Development Is Headed to Downtown Sarasota

Artist Court Residences—named for the nearby Towles Court Artist Colony—will bring 242 units, and some will be affordable.

By Kim Doleatto November 29, 2023

A preliminary rendering of Artist Court Residences slated for the corner of South Washington Boulevard and Adams Lane.

New downtown Sarasota developments and sales continue to change the landscape, and with a rental market that’s made headlines for being sky-high, it’s no wonder.

Currently, the land on the corner of Adams Lane and U.S. 301 is being prepped for a 10-story, 242-unit apartment building called Artist Court Residences. This is a different iteration than the original plan for the parcel, which included hotel units and retail space. Now, the plan is to remain residential only.

Located at 200 S. Washington Blvd., the name is a nod to the Towles Court artist colony directly west of it.

The previous commercial building shown here has been demolished to make way for the residential project.

Image: Google Maps

This new version of Artist Court Residences comes on the heels of a recent zoning text amendment the City of Sarasota passed that incentivizes developers to build affordable housing, according to Andy Patras, director of development management with Artist Court Residences' developer, GK Real Estate, which also handles real estate investing.

GK Real Estate bought the 1.39-acre parcel in 2021 for $4 million, and it was originally zoned for a maximum of 70 units (50 per acre). With the new incentive, more density is allowed if 15 percent of the bonus units are affordable. In this case, that will amount to 26 units. One-third of the units will be priced at 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), another third at 100 percent of the AMI, and the other third at 120 percent of the AMI. Currently, 80 percent of the AMI for the Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port MSA is $58,000 a year for two people and 120 percent AMI is $87,840 for two people. The remaining units will be market rate.

In September, the Sarasota City Commission agreed to quadruple the allowable density in downtown zoning districts if private developers set aside 15 percent of the bonus units for affordable housing. The units have to be affordable for a minimum of 30 years.

Twenty-six of the units in Artist Court Residences will be considered affordable in terms of the area median income (AMI).

The parcel is also located in an opportunity zone. To spur economic growth, in 2017 the federal tax code was expanded to include preferential treatment for opportunity zones. That means investors in those zones may defer paying taxes on capital gains when those gains are invested there. (Capital gains are the profits from selling a property for more than its purchase price). 

Another condition attached to the code means that the developer must hold the property for a 10-year minimum. “For us, it's a long-term investment. It won't be our last project in the city or county," Patras says of Chicago-based GK Real Estate. "We come here often and enjoy it. It’s a second home for many of us.” 

The project is still in the early stages of development and there may be small changes to it, but amenities are slated to include a pool with a fitness center and, potentially, a co-working space. 

The residential project still needs final approval from the city's development review committee, but with no requests for rezoning or special exceptions, it’s expected to move forward smoothly.

“There was no pushback from nearby residents," Patras says. "I've talked to a handful of owners and there were no sour points other than concerns about noise during construction, and we'll address that.”

As for including a commercial component: “We didn't feel there would be significant drivers for retail on Adams Lane,” Patras says.

The project is still in the early stages of development and there may be small changes to it, but amenities are slated to include a pool with a fitness center and, potentially, a co-working space. 

There will be roughly 300 parking spots, with entry off Golf Street. A front lobby entry will be located on Adams Lane, with no entry points facing bustling U.S. 301.

Artist Court Residences is GK Real Estate's second Sarasota project. Its first is the 18-story, 39-unit luxury condo high-rise The DeMarcay. Located on Palm Avenue, it’s almost complete and sold out.

Show Comments