Herald Tribune – BUSINESS
End near for Sarasota Quay
Now that the city has OK’d new project, developer says demolition coming soon.
By KEVIN MCQUAID
SARASOTA — The Dublin-based owner of the Sarasota Quay hopes to begin razing the deteriorating, nearly vacant nine-story building on North Tamiami Trail by the end of next month.
Owner Irish American Management Services Ltd. also is formulating a marketing plan to sell the 700 residences that will anchor the project, complete with sales offices in major U.S. cities and the United Kingdom.
Irish American officials said they expect the entire demolition of the 22-year-old Quay to take nearly eight months.
“We hope to begin taking down the Quay, if all goes according to plan, around the end of March, perhaps the beginning of April,” said Patrick Kelly, Irish American’s founder and lead partner. “We’re anxious to proceed.
“Irish American’s intent to dismantle the Quay comes in the wake of a unanimous City Commission vote Monday on plans for the 14-acre property.
In all, Irish American intends to construct a trio of 18-story condominium towers, with retail shops and restaurants, office space, a 175-room hotel and more than 1,000 parking spaces totaling 1.8 million square feet. The first condo tower is slated for completion in either late 2009 or 2010.
The $1 billion Sarasota Bayside project also will include an open-air, Italian-styled piazza flanked by upscale stores and restaurants, and a multi-use recreational trail ringing the property along the water’s edge. In spots, it will be 28 feet wide, current design schemes show.
Quest Construction, the company that razed the former Splash store on the site and dozens of aging residences that had once been the El Vernona apartments, will likely be tapped to tear down the main Quay building.
Jeffrey Gareau, an Irish American executive vice president, said the development firm has yet, however, to sign a contract for the demolition work or file for a building permit with Sarasota.
The nine-story building continues to be occupied by a smattering of tenants, including a Coldwell Banker residential real estate office, Quay Management and HKR Architects, the London-based firm that is designing Bayside. Ritz-Carlton Hotel also leases some space there.
“Our intention is definitely not to have the building just sit there for a long time,” Gareau said. “By summer, there will be major action there.
“In conjunction with the demolition, Irish American will start to move the historic Belle Haven Hotel, a three-story structure that will become a Bayside office building.
As the Quay’s dismantling reaches its final stage, Irish American intends, around October, to launch its marketing efforts to sell Bayside condominiums.
As part of that effort, the developer will establish sales offices in Boston, Chicago and New York, Kelly said.
Irish American also will target buyers in Dublin and London, where favorable exchange rates, humming economies and cold, damp winters are likely to entice people interested in U.S. real estate investments.