Two projects start, one in limbo

Quay, Resort at Longboat Key Club and Colony construction updates

New Quay project in Sarasota
Quay Rendering - A total of 695 residences in Sarasota planned for this mixed-use property downtown

Ground has been broken recently for two major hotel and residence projects that will significantly raise mixed-use property in the area. A more than symbolic groundbreaking off Tamiami Trail in downtown Sarasota sets in motion a series of development for the old Quay property. A diversion of the road around our offices and the Chart House will make room for the planned expansion of the Resort at the Longboat Key Club. And yet there is a third still in limbo, the old Colony Beach & Tennis Resort residences on Longboat Key.

Last Wednesday developers GreenPointe Communities LLC of Jacksonville staged a ceremony with city planners and high school students on the mostly vacant grounds, just north of the new Vue residences, to set in motion construction of residences, offices, retail shops and hotel rooms on the old Quay grounds.

GreenPointe purchased the 15-acre land in 2014 and have put forth different designs to city planners. Each incorporated the waterfront as a focal point for visitors and owners. The city had approved 695 residences to be available for this project and GreenPointe has incorporated those units into their plans. The company last year announced plans to use 73 of those units for The Grande, an 18-story building that will connect to the next-door Ritz-Carlton through an elevated walking bridge. A restaurant and parking garage are also planned for The Grande.

At the center of the Quay project is the Broadway Apartments building renovation of 20 units that was opened in 1925. It was later named Belle Haven and was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. That year the apartments were repurposed for use as office space. GreenPointe has made public comments that they plan to use the offices, then renovate and repurpose Belle Haven again for this project.

The groundbreaking on May 23 was a signal for construction crews to begin work on the horizontal ground structures that buildings are planned. A second groundbreaking is planned for that phase of the project. In all, eight blocks will be built around Belle Haven in different phases with a build-out date for The Grande at 2020. But first, GreenPointe made an agreement with the city to complete a roundabout traffic circle at the intersection of Fruitville Road and Tamiami Trail. The total project calls for the following:

  • 695 residences
  • 175 hotel rooms
  • Nearly 40,000 square feet of office space
  • Nearly 190,000 square feet of retail shops
  • Marina
  • Parking spaces
  • Roundabout at the intersection of Fruitville Road and Tamiami Trail

Plans for the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall are in debate. It is an entertainment venue with 1,736 seats that exists just north of the Quay on the bayfront. It is an icon for Sarasota but the big lavender building on the bayfront has its defenders in a debate with a side opposing its use in the current plans. Its color was picked out by the wife of Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect of the time. Entertainers from around the world perform at the Van Wezel. In the original bayfront plans, the building was to be demolished and replaced. Other options include complete demolition and use the land for different purposes. The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization has yet to issue its decision.

Longboat Key Club Resort begins its expansion

Resort at Longboat Key Club
Rerouting of Longboat Club Road has begun

In order to make space for the planned expansion of the Resort at Longboat Key Club, the Longboat Club Road required a reroute that is to run directly through the driving range at the Links on Longboat, formerly Islandside Golf Course. That work has begun following the planning and zoning board approval of the driving range and cart barn move to a more northern spot. It was a change originally approved by the board in December. A new Pro Shop is planned within the next two years that will be adjacent to the cart barn. The company has already brought in plants for the project and preparing them on one of the unused tennis courts.

All this is in preparation for the planned hotel that was approved by voters in a referendum in 2015. The referendum will allow the Longboat Key Club to convert 300 residences to tourism units to be used for the 259 unit hotel. Hotel plans also call for 10 to 12 more meeting rooms. A left-turn lane off Longboat Club Road will be constructed before the guard gate to help with traffic flow for hotel guests. Ocean Properties, the hotel management and development company of the Longboat Key Club, has not publicly announced a build-out date.

Developer faces off against owners at Colony Beach & Tennis Resort

Longboat Observer update
Colony Beach & Tennis Resort - Developers faced with obstacles to develop the abandoned property.

Unicorp National Developments and its chief Chuck Whittall are trying to develop the abandoned Colony Beach & Tennis Resort they purchased in 2014. The property has gone through voter rejection of an original plan of planned usage and final approval from the planning and zoning board this year of a change to a 166-room hotel with 78 luxury residences. A spa and ballroom are among the amenities planned for the resort. It will be operated by St. Regis, a management company of five-star hotels including the Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand.

But there are still owners of some of the condominiums and beach townhouses of the original Colony that are willing to fight in court to keep their property. They have rejected purchase offers from Unicorp. Even the existence of a Colony Beach & Tennis Association stalls the project, it must be disbanded first to continue. As it stands, the Colony continues to deteriorate causing a nuisance for Longboat Key.

I hope you are having a good Memorial Day and the rains haven’t dampened your plans. Last week I listed a Beachplace residence in building 10. It is a light and open layout with three spacious bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances, plus almost 2,000-square-feet of interior. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1065 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #105 $715,000   Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing