Sarasota News Leader


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GRANDSON OF DROD Greater density on the drawing board for downtown — Stan Zimmerman First there was DROD, then Son of DROD. And now a third generation is stirring, Grandson of DROD. No, this is not a Japanese movie serial in which a monster stomps on cardboard constructions and people flee for their lives. This is an old squeaking wheel coming back to life: how to create affordable housing downtown. DROD stands for Downtown Residential Overlay District, a two-year experiment that permitted developers to jump to 200 dwelling units per acre instead of their having to adhere to the cap of 50 per acre allowed in the city's comprehensive plan — except nobody tried it. By allowing increased density, city planners and the City Commission wanted to see if developers might propose building smaller units — but a lot more of them — to bring prices down — or build large rental complexes. The DROD expired long ago, and only one builder — Chris Brown — gave the idea a spin, but he decided on a conventional mixed-use condominium we now call 1350 Main. (Full story here) LESS ENERGY EQUALS MORE MONEY The Sarasota County Schools realize $16 million in savings through a five-year program to reduce energy consumption — Scott Proffitt A five-year contract initiated by the Sarasota County School Board with Cenergistic Inc. (formerly Energy Education Inc.) has resulted in savings of $16 million, the school district has announced. The Sarasota News Leader caught up with the district's chief operating officer, Scott Lempe, to see how he felt about the program and find out what is next. "First of all, just because our contract is up, doesn't mean our relationship with Cenergistic stops," Lempe said. "The contract with us financially, where they get 30 percent of the savings, has ended, but our relationship otherwise will continue. So I see us still meeting with their mechanical engineers and see them informing us of new technologies and developments they have learned from other sites," Lempe added. "We are at the front end of a very long relationship with Cenergistic," he pointed out. (Full story here) Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article AT A GLANCE TOP STORIES

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