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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 3 weeks ago

Sarasota Quay project could cause a seismic shift in downtown

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The $1 billion development has the potential to move the city's epicenter, but its developer says the waterfront project will only complement Sarasota's existing downtown.
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

With nearly 700 high-end residences and more than 200,000 square feet of commercial, retail and restaurant space spread over 15 acres, the Quay Sarasota project has the potential to shift the very epicenter of downtown Sarasota.

In addition to the roughly $1 billion investment master developer GreenPointe Holdings anticipates, the Quay property also benefits from pending upgrades to a 52-acre, municipally owned site adjacent to it.

The 52-acre “The Bay” project also is likely only to enhance, rather than compete, with GreenPointe’s offerings. That’s because city leaders and planners have mandated that the property be devoid of commercial space and condos and be improved with open space and event-driven amenities.

Taken together, the Quay and the Bay could easily alter where tourists and residents alike dine, congregate, shop and play when each reach critical build out a decade from now.

But Edward Burr, GreenPointe’s president and CEO, believes that even after the Quay’s six planned towers, embedded retail and restaurants and connected entertainment space are completed, the project won’t compete directly with the city’s historic downtown that was created in the 1920s.

“I view the Quay Sarasota as merely an extension of the city’s downtown,” says Burr. “I don’t see it shifting the focus of downtown; I expect it will simply complement what’s there, the existing entertainment and restaurants.

To date, two vertical developments have been announced for Quay Sarasota: a luxury, 73-unit condo tower being developed by The Kolter Group, and a 241-unit apartment tower by a division of homebuilder Lennar Corp.

The 18-story Ritz-Carlton Residences, where some units are being marketed for as much as $8 million, is under construction now and is slated for delivery late next year.

Lennar Multifamily’s planned 11-story apartment complex has yet to be formally approved by city officials. The $150 million project, which is slated to break ground sometime in the second quarter of next year, will require about 24 months to build, Burr says.

Like Water Street Tampa, the $3 billion project in Tampa that will encompass 53 acres in that city’s downtown and Westshore Marina District between St. Petersburg and Tampa, another 52-acre, mixed-use development that will be a ground-up neighborhood of high-end residences, shops, restaurants and amenities, Quay Sarasota could transform the urban core of Sarasota through critical mass alone.

The associated commercial space also is expected to have a profound impact. GreenPointe has retained commercial real estate brokerage firm The Shopping Center Group to oversee Quay leasing.

Burr says he expects the next ground-up development, following the Ritz-Carlton Residences and the Lennar apartments, will either be a “condo project with a higher-end price point or a hotel, or both.”

Quay Sarasota is entitled for a 175-room hotel.

That component likely wouldn’t debut until the close of 2022 or the first half of 2023, he says. The bulk of the Quay development is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, Burr believes.

And even as the vertical projects progress, other development is slated to occur on the site, which is adjacent to a 266-room Ritz-Carlton Sarasota hotel.

GreenPointe has pledged to install a marina and a one-acre park within the project, and state transportation officials are planning a traffic calming roundabout at North Tamiami Trail and Fruitville Road, at the Quay’s entrance. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

An internal main street, Quay Commons, is on tap to be ready by the first quarter of 2021, as well.

Although Quay Sarasota is perhaps GreenPointe’s most urban project at present, it isn’t the Jacksonville-based company’s only Gulf Coast endeavor.

In Tampa, GreenPointe is developing Triple Creek, a 990-acre master-planned community with more than 2,000 homesites, and Belmont, a 930-acre community with more than 2,000 residences and 180,000 square feet of commercial space.

In Lakeland, the company is building Bridgewater, a 700-acre tract slated for more than 860 homesites and commercial space.

And in Fort Myers, GreenPointe is working on Hampton Lakes, a 413-acre project planned for more than 400 homes and River Hall, a 1,500-acre property scheduled to contain roughly 2,000 homes.

“Our core competency is developing communities with a sense of place,” says Burr. “We work hard to balance the economic realities of a place with the demands of that particular marketplace.”

 

 

 

 

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