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Entrepreneur Biter buys United Way building for apartment project

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  • | 8:24 a.m. June 28, 2013
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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BUYER: Biter Building LLC (Jesse M. Biter Revocable Trust), Sarasota
SELLER: United Way Suncoast Inc.
PROPERTY: 1445 Second St., Sarasota
PRICE: $2.8 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $850,000, December 2000
LAW FIRM ON DEED: Berlin-Patten PLLC, Sarasota

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Entrepreneur Jesse Biter purchased the 13,881-square-foot United Way building in downtown Sarasota for $2.8 million.

The price equated to $202 per square foot. That figure is higher than the two-year average price per square foot for office space ($115) in the Tampa Bay area, according to the CoStar Group.

The 0.84-acre property, located catty-corner to the Whole Foods Market, is the first of two parcels Biter is slated to buy to develop a 10-story, 180-unit apartment. Biter is scheduled to acquire the adjacent Marcia Wood & Co. property at 1401 Second St. in July.

John Harshman of Harshman and Co. represented the seller and Steve Horn of Ian Black Real Estate represented the buyer.

“Jesse's vision for the city is for people to have the ability to live and work in downtown and not have to buy a million or a half-million-dollar condo,” Horn says.

He expects demolition of the two buildings to start toward the end of the year and is hopeful that construction could start in the first or second quarter of 2014.

The seller, United Way of Sarasota County Inc., purchased the 39-year-old building in late 2000 for $850,000.

Meanwhile, Biter said local architects are putting together some possible design plans for the proposed 10-story apartment development.

Early plans for the apartment project include amenities such as a laundry chute, rooftop restaurant and a share-a-car community rental program. Preliminary project plans also include retail space on the first floor.

Biter's project stands to benefit from a city approval in 2007 that granted previous developer Leonard Garner a density bonus allowing up to 168 new residences at 1445 Second St. Twelve units can be built at 1401 Second St.
—correspondent Roger Drouin, contributed additional reporting


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