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As Fruitville Road east of Interstate 75 transi- tions from a series of pastures to a "gateway" village to Sarasota, another big change is com- ing, as the result of county action this week. The Sarasota County commissioners on Wednesday, July 9, approved Benderson Development's plans to purchase 41 acres of county land to serve as the site of a busi- ness complex. The property is in a prime location, right in the midst of the long- p l a n n e d F r u i t v i l l e Initiative area east o f I - 7 5 . A c c o r d i n g to the agreement between the county and Benderson, the developer will have the first 200,000 square feet of the complex con- structed within six months of closing on the parcel. Wednesday's vote came two days after Bass Pro Shops officially announced its plans to open an 80,000-square-foot store in the Fruitville Initiative area. More than 300 acres along that cor- ridor long have been foreseen as home to a mixed-use village of commercial property, Benderson says it will build the first 200,000 square feet of the complex within six months after closing on the property. Image courtesy Sarasota County A TRANSITION A SPLIT COUNTY COMMISSION VOTE CLEARS THE WAY FOR ANOTHER BIG CHANGE ON FRUITVILLE ROAD EAST OF INTERSTATE 75 Light industrial Class A [space] is extremely hard to find. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor

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