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Developer buys fitness facility for $5.5 million, plans 207 homes

The property includes a 40,000-square-foot fitness facility with a Junior Olympic swimming pool, 29 tennis courts and a full-service restaurant.


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  • | 10:07 a.m. June 3, 2020
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File. The Bath and Racquet Club in Sarasota was recently sold for $5.5 million.
File. The Bath and Racquet Club in Sarasota was recently sold for $5.5 million.
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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SARASOTA —Area developer Mark Lukas has acquired the 13-acre Bath and Racquet Club in Sarasota for $5.5 million. 

According to a press release, if Lukas secures the support of the city commission, he plans to renovate the fitness facility at 2170 Robinhood St. and incorporate it as an amenity in a 207-home, mixed-use development. The sale of the facility, built in 1969, closed May 27.

Lukas initially sought a comprehensive plan amendment from the city to allow for additional height and density. The commission voted 3-2 in favor of the plan on Feb. 4, but the amendment required a 4-1 vote, the release says. So now Lukas plans to proceed with an alternative development plan that doesn't require a comprehensive plan amendment. The new plan will support the club with a mixed-use residential and commercial development.      

The property includes a 40,000-square-foot fitness facility with a Junior Olympic swimming pool, 29 tennis courts and a full-service restaurant. 

“We’ve been working on this for four years and spent over $2 million covering club payroll, improvements to the facilities, updating the fitness area and hiring consultants,” says Lukas in the statement. “We’re so excited to be able to take responsibility for this historic Sarasota property and move forward with renovations and redevelopment. We will be teaming up with the well-awarded architecture firm Halflants + Pichette to help develop the vision for the property.” 

Former owner Scott Olsen, stepson of original owner Ken Wagstaff, had overseen the club since 1995 but has been unable to keep up with maintenance in recent years, the release says.

“This club has been a part of Sarasota since 1969," says Olsen in the statement. "I didn’t want it destroyed. I’m happy that the new owners are going to maintain its integrity and give it new life.”

Lukas has engaged Kevin Robbins and Mitch Helmuth of Harry E. Robbins Associates Inc. as real estate consultants. Robbins and Helmuth are Sarasota natives. Robbins grew up at the club and has felt the area was ripe for development for years.

“The Bath and Racquet is an important part of the Sarasota community,” he says in the statement. “This property is strategically located in the heart of Sarasota. The opportunity for a true live, work, play community in this area in Sarasota is exciting. We are honored to be a part of the development team, as the sales and leasing agent, and to be able to work on a historic project.”                       

 

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