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During a neighborhood workshop on Thursday, March 27, planning consultants and Sarasota County staff members presented plans illustrating how 300-plus acres along Fruitville Road east of Interstate 75 will be transformed. The property, mostly cattle pasture now, will be converted into a m i x e d - u s e c o m - m u n i t y w i t h 2 , 0 0 0 residential units, 1.2 million square feet of Major Employment Center (MEC) offices and light industrial space, and 640,000 square feet of commer- cial area. A multi-use boulevard on Fruitville Road and a new street grid will run through the heart of the development. (See the accom- panying illustration.) "This is a very long- term project, so it won't happen over- night," Steve Suau, a civil engineer and planning consultant with Sweet Sparkman Architects, told the approximately 50 res- idents in attendance. Steve Suau makes a presentation on the Fruitville Initiative to about 50 residents on March 27. Photo by Roger Drouin RESIDENTS HEAR ABOUT PLANS FOR 2,000 RESIDENTIAL UNITS, 1.2 MILLION SQUARE FEET OF MAJOR EMPLOYMENT CENTER OFFICES AND LIGHT INDUSTRIAL SPACE, AND 640,000 SQUARE FEET OF COMMERCIAL AREA FRUITVILLE INITIATIVE UPDATE We haven't really planned like this in 100 years. Setting up a framework for development is usually reactive. Steve Suau Engineer Planning Consultant Sweet Sparkman Architects By Roger Drouin County Editor

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