11/05/2015 - John Hielscher

Developer plans 157-condo project in Sarasota

SARASOTA - Nearly 10 years in the making, a large downtown mixed-use project may finally get off the ground.

The Kolter Group - already reshaping Sarasota's bayfront with a $300 million condominium-hotel development - plans to resurrect the long-stalled City Place at Pineapple Square.

Kolter has a contract to buy about 1.5 acres along State Street to build an 11-story, 157-unit condo tower and about 50,000 square feet of commercial space.

The property was put up for sale last spring by Isaac Group Holdings LLC, an Ohio-based company whose ambitious plans to revamp that section of downtown never reached fruition.

Even in a downtown with more than 700 condos under construction or planned by developers, Kolter believes the time is right to revive City Place.

"We feel the market is still strong," said David Arent, project manager at Kolter Urban. "We still have a strong group of people who are moving to the area to retire, for a second home or coming downtown from the islands and Lakewood Ranch."

The West Palm Beach-based company's confidence, he said, is partly based on its sales success at Vue Sarasota Bay, which is bringing an 18-story, 141-unit condo and 255-room Westin Hotel to Tamiami Trail and Gulfstream Avenue.

Only 12 condos there remain unsold among units that are priced from the $800,000s to more than $2 million for penthouses, he said.

"We're big fans of Sarasota," Arent said. "Sarasota is a strong community, a very highly desirable place to move to. The number of high-rise units and buildings going up downtown attests to that."

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