Sarasota News Leader

02/07/2014

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The Sarasota City Commission meeting on Feb. 3 was short but not very sweet. The com- missioners remained divided over the fate and future of the State Street parking garage, and they were daunted by its $4.1 million cost increase. Design work will move forward, but only thanks to a 3-2 vote (Commissioner Paul Caragiulo and Mayor Shannon Snyder in the minority). Bearer of the bad tidings was Senior Planner Steve Stancel, who has tried to shepherd this process through a political minefield for years now. The garage is part of an ambitious down- town redevelopment plan called Pineapple Square. Under terms of a contract with the developers, the city is responsible for finish- ing the garage by next February. If absolutely every little thing goes perfectly between now and then, the city will be about one week late. EXPLAINING THE OVERAGE The rise in the garage expense lies in the cost per square foot now versus that cost in 2009, when the original estimate was produced. In the intervening years, much has changed. Costs for labor and concrete are up, for exam- ple. And the design changes for the structure itself between then and now have been sig- nificant — one story higher, two multi-story firewalls, a disguised facade, cast-in-place One artist's rendering of the State Street garage shows where vehicles would enter the facility. Image courtesy City of Sarasota CITY STAFF SUGGESTS WAYS TO COVER THE STATE STREET GARAGE HOLE PAYING FOR PARKING By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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