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One-stop shop complex for planning, development breaks ground

Sarasota County held a groundbreaking for a new facility to house planning and development services under one roof.


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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Ground broke Friday for the new Sarasota County Planning and Development Services One Stop facility near Interstate 75 and Palmer Boulevard, close to the Celery Fields.

Design for the project began in summer 2022 and lasted more than a year, according to Director of Planning and Development for Sarasota County Matt Osterhoudt. He expects construction will be complete in fall 2025.

Once the building opens, it will house the Planning and Development Services staff in one place; currently, personnel are divided between buildings.

The goal was to “provide a true one-stop destination experience for our community,” Osterhoudt said at the groundbreaking. A view of the Celery Fields will provide natural inspiration for community building, he said, and meeting areas will serve as a “community hub for property owners and residents engaging with our staff.”

The 6.5-acre site will include 55,600 square feet of office space, containing conference rooms as well as customer service and training areas. The building will also serve as the operations center for damage assessment teams after a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Personnel from these divisions will be in the new Planning and Development Services One Stop facility:

  • Property Management
  • Planning and Zoning
  • Environmental Protection
  • Building and Code Enforcement
  • Planning and Development Services business and administration staff
  • Neighborhood Services staff
  • Development Review Coordination team

County officials marked the groundbreaking milestone with a look back at the accomplishments planning and development personnel have achieved in recent history.

With the help of planning and development staff, Osterhoudt said, more than 10,000 single-family homes and 4,000 multifamily housing units were established over the last five years.

“To date, the number of single-family housing units in Sarasota County has increased by 73% – almost 900 units – in the one year,” Osterhoudt said. In fiscal year 2023 alone, he said that 8,000 dwelling units were approved through rezoning and special exceptions.

In addition, staff issued more than 50,000 permits in fiscal year 2023, according to Sarasota County Commission Chair Mike Moran, who spoke at the groundbreaking.

“Having a one-stop building for our residents to receive the help they need from our planning and development services staff is one more example of our commitment to public service and serving our community members,” Moran said.

According to Moran, the “remarkable” design of the one stop facility will enhance the community and bring together county government in a more accessible way.

“Its unique design and architectural features blend in with the surrounding area, exemplifying its variety of mixed land uses, and it will be a beautiful building that our community can be proud of," Moran said. "We are excited to have another building so close to some of our other Sarasota County facilities to make it easier for our community to connect with its government that has a duty to serve its residents.”

The new Sarasota County Administration Center is under construction nearby, off Fruitville Road east of I-75. The Planning and Development Services One Stop facility will be less than 2 miles away at 870 Apex Road.

Goodwyn Mills Cawood received a $1.48 million contract to handle the design process for the one stop facility, while Halfacre Construction was awarded a $26.69 million contract to build it.

 

author

Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

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