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Sarasota News Leader October 19, 2012 real estate crash occurred. Since then, it has been lying vacant, despite neighborhood pleas to re-establish a community garden or for the city to find some other civic use for the land. "It's appraised for taxes at $330,000 and is zoned Downtown Edge," said Tucker. "We could make a for- mal invitation to nego- tiate, but they may ask for concessions," she said of the buyers. Barwin is still learning the town, having taken the city manager's po- sition only seven weeks ago. "I looked at that area recently. There seems to be a lot of op- portunity to regenerate this district," he said. Page 47 Shaw made a motion to direct staff to talk to stakeholders in the area and report back. The motion passed unanimously. "And the other four parcels?" asked Tucker. Should staff decline any offer below the Sarasota County property appraiser's figure? The market is fractured. Purchasing Director City of Sarasota Mary Tucker Barwin said, "We'll bring them back on a sale-by-sale basis. Is that what I'm hear- ing?" For unlisted prop- erties – such as the patch of parkland at the intersection of Fruitville and Beneva The area is commonly known as the Rosemary District, although locals are starting to call it "NOF" – north of Fruitville. Barwin added, "This is catalyst property or a catalyst opportunity. We could move ahead with the invitation to negotiate, but if we could have a little more time to meet with the NOF people [we could] put a finer point on this discussion, to help stimulate this partic- ular district. We could get back to you in 30 days." "We have no control if we sell, other than zon- ing," said Commissioner Willie Shaw. The current zoning would allow five-story buildings and 25 units per acre. The parcel is on high ground, so the highest units would overlook the bay. Roads – unsolicited offers, like the one from Benderson Development Co. the commission recently accepted for that site, will go before the commission before staff begins to draft paperwork. "That would be a good policy," said Barwin. "After receiving the offer, then we can ask oth- ers for offers." ANOTHER LONG-TERM LEASE The last time the City Commission considered a long-term lease for a marina — for Marina Jack — there were howls of public outrage over good-deal giveaways. So it was with some trepidation that Pete Smith came for- ward to ask for a new and extended lease for the Marine Max marina just east of the New Pass Bridge on City Island. "We've leased the property for about a half-century," said Smith. He represented Marine Max, a franchise in- cluding about 75 other marinas around the county. Smith was co-owner of Gulfwind Ma-

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