Sarasota News Leader


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 115

gave its approval to a plan to build an 18-story structure on the 50-foot-wide lot, with 39 units above retail space. Kauffman recalled the audience's opposition to the proposal at the time. Perhaps to soothe the crowd, the commissioners demanded the front of the two-story building be preserved. It is a small piece of Palm Avenue with major entitlements. This is one of the few projects allowed to go to 18 stories, the highest eleva- tion permitted under the old city zoning code. Current regulations allow only 10 stories. And the DeMarcay property is one of only three permitted to have quadruple density under a now-lapsed plan called the Downtown Redevelopment Overlay District. The other two are the 1350 Main St. condominium com- plex and the United Way property on First Street that entrepreneur Jesse Biter is trying to develop into a residential structure. That overlay allows 200 units per acre, not the 50 permitted by "Downtown Core" zoning. The owners of the DeMarcay have a time problem. When the city approved the 18-story condominium project in 2007, the board agreed that the permission would expire in two years unless work began. This was the era of the bursting of the real estate bubble. The 50-foot lot cost Palm Avenue Partners LLC $2.75 million. The Florida Legislature gave all development agreements a sweeping extension in 2009, adding four years before all the approvals and entitlements would become moot. In 2013, a local representative of the DeMarcay owners — Bruce Franklin — asked for and received one final extension from the city; it was for Information about the historic DeMarcay Hotel is provided on its Facebook page. Sarasota News Leader May 16, 2014 Page 44

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sarasota News Leader - 05/16/2014