Sarasota News Leader

01/17/2014

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Sarasota News Leader January 17, 2014 Page 67 "The state [Department of Transportation] will only close a state road for six hours," said Lancaster. "We'd have to move all the light poles and traffic lights along Fruitville [to permit passage of the building on the road], and that's just impossible." He also looked into moving it further east on Second Street but could not find any property available. "We've taken a lot of pride in taking care of the building," he told the board. A newer onestory structure stands adjacent to it. Lancaster said the latter can and will be moved. "We'll either go with small condos with retail underneath or revitalize the contract with JEBCO," he added. "Things are happening to the east of us, too. Maybe somebody wants to join our two [lots]." The site of the Lubé shop on North Tamiami Trail was part of the planned footprint for the new JEBCO hotel in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel The zoning on the first block of Second Street piece of property in 1984 and bringing it back is Downtown Core, with 50 units allowed per for 30 years by saying, 'You've done such a acre and 10 stories of height permissible. good job, you should keep it for another 30 "I understand you're sitting on a piece of prop- years.'" erty that is valuable according to its zoning," Svekis moved to approve a Certificate of said board member Richard Allen. "I've lived Appropriateness that will allow demolition here a long time and seen a lot of stuff come of the structure. At least three of the seven down. This is a nice, little building, but it's members of the Historic Preservation Board not great architecture. I see it as a standalone said they came to the issue critical of the problem for you folks." request, but after the hearing the discussion, Allen's implication of inevitability was shared they believed demolition was the best answer. by other board members. "I appreciate all the The motion passed unanimously. effort you've made across the city to preserve historic structures," said Sherry Svekis. "I fully understand the economics of this property and the changes downtown along U.S. 41. This is the inevitable decision for it." The city's historic preservation specialist, Cliff Smith, noted it is the first time in his seven-year tenure with the city that the board has agreed to demolish a structure on the city's list of historic buildings. Chairman David Gurley added, "We don't want Marlene Lancaster said immediately after the to put people in the penalty box for buying a vote, "It's a little like losing a child." %

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