Sarasota County Completes Sale and Leaseback Agreement for Downtown Administration Building | Sarasota

Sarasota County and Benderson Development Co. have reached an agreement for the sale of the Downtown County Administrative Building, which provides for its lease until 2025, when county officials hope to establish a new base on Cattlemen Road. .

County commission chairman Al Maio signed the documents on December 30.

On November 15, commissioners approved the deal for the sale of the main building at 1660 Ringling Boulevard and two adjacent properties for $ 25 million, stipulating that the deal is expected to be concluded by the end of 2021.

The sale to Benderson is part of a process that began in December 2019, when Maio led an effort to prioritize the Ringling office move.

Maio detailed in November the efforts by county staff to resolve water leakage issues through the roof of the administrative center, built in 1973. County staff estimated that the installation would require $ 49 million to install. improvements over the next 20 years.

Under the terms of the deal with Benderson, the county will have to wait before it can move elsewhere. The contract says the county must enter into a four-year lease to stay in the Ringling Building, paying rent of $ 1 million per year. During the lease, Benderson would be responsible for maintaining the building’s roof and structure, and the county would cover all other maintenance.

The county has the option of terminating the lease with six months notice to Benderson. The county has targeted the property at 1301 Cattlemen Road as the preferred site for a new administrative center, although plans for a future facility have yet to be finalized.

In July, the county issued an invitation to negotiate with parties interested in purchasing the property. Six developers responded, offering between $ 20 million and $ 23.5 million for sale and annual rental rates between $ 1.6 and $ 2.3 million.

At the time of negotiations, Benderson did not indicate what plans the company had for the property. The larger of the three plots, which faces Ringling Boulevard, covers approximately 2.8 acres and is divided by the City of Sarasota for the downtown area and the downtown periphery, both of which have a variety of uses. dense residential and commercial. A second parcel, approximately 2.3 acres, is zoned for residential use and a small parcel, approximately 0.25 acre, is zoned for the outskirts of downtown.

The county government property purchase follows a multi-year progression of redevelopment projects along the Ringling Boulevard corridor, with further changes in planning stages.

  • In 2014, Jebco Ventures built a 40-unit townhouse project called The Q in Block 1700. The Aloft Sarasota Hotel and One Palm Condominium opened in Block 1400 in 2016, and Sansara Condominium from 10 Storey opened in Ringling and Pineapple in 2017.
  • In 2018, law firm Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen sold its 3.3-acre office building to Capstone Group Holdings, a New Hampshire-based investment firm. Capstone planned to eventually replace the one- to three-story buildings on the site with a 10-story mixed-use building on the southwest corner of Ringling and Orange Avenue. Capstone has invested heavily in the Ringling Boulevard corridor. The company also purchased the PNC Bank building at 1549 Ringling Blvd. and the Ringling Square building on the southeast corner of Ringling and Orange. In May, the city approved plans for Ringling Square South, the company’s 10-story office and parking development at 243 S. Orange Ave.

In addition to the new buildings on Ringling Boulevard, the city has identified other construction projects that it hopes will liven up the corridor: the extension of the Legacy Trail to Fruitville Road and a redesigned streetscape along the corridor. Ringling. In early 2021, the city proposed preliminary approval for the Ringling Trail, an initiative that would add bike paths and improved landscaping on a one-mile stretch from Lime Avenue to Pineapple Avenue.

A draft version of this vision made with plastic bollards and split sidewalks is expected to roll out in early 2022 to coincide with the opening of the northern extension of the Legacy Trail.

City staff estimated that full construction of the bike lanes would take five to 10 years and cost $ 10 million, but officials have expressed optimism about the transformative power of bringing more cyclists to Ringling.

Next week, city leaders are expected to rank building the Ringling Streetscape Changes as a top transportation funding priority with the Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization.

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