To look back at the progress of Sarasota Tomorrow initiatives in 2015, four issues of this Sarasota Tomorrow Insider electronic newsletter will be distributed to all Chamber members over upcoming weeks. Each issue will focus on the major strategic components of Sarasota Tomorrow: Targeted Development (high-lighted in this issue), Education & Workforce Development, Improving Our Business Climate and Building on Past Sarasota Tomorrow Successes.
Targeted Development – Strengthening key locales
Supporting the development of core business areas.
Our Downtown Economic Development Coordinator continues to work closely with Sarasota city staff and others promoting investment in our downtown.
* Facilitated real estate development. Over 35 projects with an estimated construction value of $433,290,000 are currently underway or in the pipeline.
* Served on city teams for projects such as Fruitville Road enhancements and bringing new hotels to the area.
* Helped new downtown merchants with opening stores.
* Worked with companies looking to relocate to downtown.
The North Trail along U.S. 41 is receiving needed revitalization and economic development, advocated for by The Chamber.
* Planned a series of 10 traffic roundabouts connecting the airport and downtown, the majority of which are currently planned and partially funded.
* Advocated for our transportation priorities at the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization meetings.
* Provided economic market studies to FDOT representatives, which helped overcome their reluctance to support accelerated funding from the federal government.
Sarasota Tomorrow is playing a key role to move the Bayfront forward. This is the largest metro-downtown waterfront location planning opportunity in the state of Florida.
* Utilized top Chamber officers in the Bayfront 20:20 Coalition to improve this unique area and allocating Sarasota Tomorrow funds.
Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 is now entering its Phase III Partnership: Master Planning in order to reach its goal. This phase will involve site planning, facility planning, outreach and fundraising.
(Bayfront 20:20 includes the former Quay site, the empty G.WIZ building and 42 acres from Boulevard of the Arts to Payne Terminal surrounding the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.) Please share in expressing our gratitude to the leading firms, organizations, and individuals that have demonstrated their vision and commitment by funding and implementing the work of “S.T.” With all your support, we will achieve the goal of the Sarasota Tomorrow initiative, which is “to secure a more prosperous future for greater Sarasota.”