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Work begins on Sarasota apartments, retail

Belpointe REIT intends to replace moribund Main Plaza complex downtown with mix of shops, eateries and multifamily rental units

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  • | 6:00 a.m. October 23, 2020
  • Commercial Real Estate
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Belpointe REIT Inc. of Greenwich, Conn., has begun demolition work on one of the most anticipated developments in downtown Sarasota of the past decade.

The private equity company, which was formed in 2019 to develop properties in federally designated Opportunity Zones, began razing a portion of the two-story Main Plaza late last month.

In its place, Belpointe is planning a pair of buildings containing 418 market-rate apartments and 50,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space, according to its website.

It is expected that Robbins Commercial Real Estate, of Sarasota, an affiliate of brokerage Harry E. Robbins Associates Inc., will lease the new commercial space. Robbins also brokered the Main Plaza sale last year.

Belpointe acquired 8.6 acres of the roughly 10-acre Main Plaza site in December 2019 — its first acquisition since its creation and initial public offering earlier that year — for $20 million.

The balance of the property, which contains the Regal Cinemas’ Hollywood 11 movie theater and other retail space, was retained by seller BBC Main Street, which bought the site for $18.1 million in late 2015.

Belpointe officials did not return telephone calls for comment on the 1991 Main St. property.

Belpointe CEO Brandon Lacoff in a statement says the Main Plaza project fits into the company’s “investment strategy of developing urban multifamily communities in the growing cities of the Southeast.”

Belpointe’s apartments are being designed to be larger than many rentals, and feature amenities such as courtyards, swimming pools, rooftop decks and fitness centers.

One of the buildings will have a “polished luxury aesthetic,” while the other will be designed with a more “industrial” feel, with oversized windows and exposed concrete and steel, Belpointe notes.

The retail space, meanwhile, will feature “several sit-down restaurants and a food hall,” according to Bellpointe’s website.

Under city zoning, Belpointe’s project could rise 10 floors. The project’s location in an Opportunity Zone also will allow Belpointe to defer capital gains and taxes for a decade.

The 259,000-square-foot Main Plaza, which debuted in 1985, struggled in recent years with tenant retention and design flaws.



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