Downtown Sarasota's newest residential/retail development, Broadway Promenade, is named for a pizza parlor, not New York's Great White Way. But developers promise plenty of razzmatazz nonetheless.

A joint project of Ram Development and RMC Property Group, which are headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens and Tampa respectively, Broadway Promenade will start taking shape this summer on seven acres on North Tamiami Trail between 10th and 11th streets. A main building with six floors of condominiums over 21,000 square feet of retail, and another with four floors of condominiums over 3,200 square feet of office space will accommodate 187 residences, with floor plans theatrically named Applause, Maestro, Kudos and Jazz. A Publix supermarket has been announced for the site, and developers say they're targeting retailers that provide neighborhood services, such as a coffee shop and dry cleaner, although at press time none had been signed. The retail base leasing rates are between $25 and $30 per square foot.

And the namesake pizza parlor? It's the Broadway Bar, a Sarasota institution at that location since 1953, long popular for its thin-crust pizzas and smoky neighborhood atmosphere (at least pre-state smoking ban). Developers and the Broadway Bar's owner say they'll recreate the pizza parlor as closely as possible to the original at its new location on Cocoanut Avenue and 10th Street.

Rhonda Barnes, vice president of Ram Realty Services, says Broadway Promenade is a concept whose time has come because of the city of Sarasota's new urban planning and zoning codes that encourage mixed-use development and because "we saw the need in the marketplace for a Publix and luxury units moderately priced." Those units, ranging from a compact 953-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath model to a 2,103-square-foot three-bedroom, three-bath, are priced from the $180,000s to over $500,000.

The development's location-within walking distance of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Centennial Park and the rest of the downtown cultural district-and the residential/commercial mix would get a thumbs-up from New Urbanist fans. Broadway Promenade's jazzy marketing campaign is aimed at "young professionals who work in downtown Sarasota, arts patrons who want close proximity to the cultural district, and empty nesters looking for the convenience of downtown living and cultural opportunities," says Barnes. It seems to be working; two weeks after it opened its sales office in March, 50 percent of the condominiums were reserved.

This is both developers' first Sarasota venture, although Ram has developed residential and commercial projects from Miami to Palm City; and RMC Property Group manages 81 shopping centers and has developed more than 80 freestanding Walgreens drugstores throughout Florida. Coldwell Banker the Condo Store is the exclusive licensed real estate broker for the project.

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