The 1.3-acre property is on the market for $14 million.
SARASOTA – An entire city block on Main Street in the heart of downtown is on the market for $14 million. The 1.3-acre property on the south side of the 1700 block is home to three buildings that generate cash flow, but the location in a federally designated opportunity zone offers “significant development potential.”
SVN Lotus, selected to market and manage the sale, compiled an 89-page prospectus that contains seven concept plans for the property developed by Hoyt Architects. Those preliminary ideas include various combinations of residential, retail, office and hotel ranging from seven to 18 stories.
Four would require demolition of the existing structures and three retain the existing office building. The three 18-story proposals would need comprehensive growth plan changes approved by the city, while the other four don’t since they sit in the Downtown Core zone, which allows for mixed-use development.
“Having an entire city block with the flexibility of its current zoning allows for a myriad of development possibilities,” said Ashley Barrett Bloom, the managing director of SVN Lotus. “The recent activity in the area combined with the benefits of the Opportunity Zone has already created significant interest in the property. We are expecting a high level of interest in this opportunity.”
Current tenants in that block include the Tube Dude Art Gallery, Inspiration Salon & Day Spa, Evoke photography studio, several real estate offices and a shuttered Iberia Bank branch, which relocated 16 months ago.
In January, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System closed on the purchase of the former Herald-Tribune building at 1741 Main St. and plans to renovate the building and relocate more than 300 support personnel there. More workers downtown will boost Main Street businesses.
“Opportunity Zones are an excellent tool to help develop and revitalize specific areas within the community,” said Destin Wells, vice president of business development with the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County. “There is a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding Main Street, especially with the positive momentum the Memorial Healthcare project will create.”
The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created the Qualified Opportunity Zones program to spur private and corporate investment in economically distressed areas and low-income communities. Individuals and companies receive tax advantages when they reinvest capital gains from other investments into businesses and start-ups in the zones.
Sarasota’s four Opportunity Zones follow U.S. Census tract boundaries and were chosen based on poverty rate, family income, unemployment and other factors, city officials told the Herald-Tribune in February. The zones include Newtown, the Rosemary District and Gillespie Park, Laurel Park and part of downtown and an area between Tuttle Avenue and Beneva Road.
While Main Street is hardly impoverished, a portion of downtown is included in one of the areas because Census tract lines drawn decades ago include part of downtown in the same tract as an economically challenged area, those officials said.