developer presents plans for apartments on Sarasota Kennel Club website | Sarasota

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At a community workshop on July 1, Sean Flanagan described some of the factors that complicate the redevelopment process of the former Sarasota Kennel Club site: proximity to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, the presence of a canal crossing the property and the need to tear up the asphalt and demolish existing structures.

Flanagan is Senior Director of Development for Aventon Cos., Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, which has filed a preliminary application with the city for approval to build up to 380 apartments on the Kennel Club site. As this proposal is poised to move forward in the city’s development review process, Flanagan said that Aventon’s experience as a developer and manager of apartment complexes would be an asset to bringing it to fruition. the project.

“These obstacles are really nothing that we have never faced before,” said Flanagan. “Our vision for this site is to make this community a truly desirable place for people to live despite some of the physical and geographic constraints we face.”

According to a conceptual site plan and documents submitted to the City, Aventon intends to build between 330 and 380 apartments at 5400 Old Bradenton Road. The site plan shows more than a dozen residential buildings on the 24.5-acre property, all of which are said to have a maximum height of three stories, Flanagan said.

A conceptual site plan shows the planned layout of an apartment complex on the site of the Sarasota Kennel Club. Image courtesy of Joel Freedman.

In order for the proposal to go ahead, the city must first approve a plan change and rezoning request. Aventon is applying to rezone the property from its current intensive commercial designation to a multi-family residential classification that allows up to 18 units per acre. Because a 3.3 acre segment of the east side of the property is in the county, the developer is also asking the city to annex this land.

Comments from three participants in the online community workshop focused on a major point of concern: trafficking. Della Burman is a resident of Villa Gardens, a complex of 222 villas located just south of the Kennel Club property. She questioned the decision to place the entry and access points to the proposed apartments on Old Bradenton Road, skeptical whether the street could handle the capacity associated with the project and a separate plan for a Circle K to the north .

“Old Bradenton is a two-lane road, and this will significantly increase traffic, especially with the proposed gas station,” Burman said.

Resident Jeremy Anderson shared similar concerns about the prospect of adding cars to Old Bradenton Road, pointing to other multi-family residential properties in the area as a reason to fear reaching a breaking point.

“I was there about a week ago trying to get in – a lot of congestion going in and out of these,” Anderson said. “If you try to add a 300 unit apartment style complex, you are potentially going to have a lot more occupants per unit than a traditional residence or condo; that would be a concern.

Flanagan said he understood the line of questions from neighboring residents, noting his belief that the city would likely need a formal traffic survey before the project can move forward. Still, he sought to reassure those in attendance at the workshop by saying that the apartment complex would likely be less restrictive on the pavement than the dog run before it closed in 2019.

“I think the overall intensity of use will be less than it was when the dog track was there,” said Flanagan. “You’re not going to have a lot of people coming in and going out at the same time; it will probably be more tapered during the day.

Neighboring residents have expressed concern about traffic on the two-lane Old Bradenton Road, but the developer said a residential complex would be less intensive than the dog track was.

This did not allay the concerns of Richard Harris, a resident of the Bayou Oaks neighborhood. He speculated that the apartment complex’s traffic patterns would differ significantly from that of the Kennel Club – with the new project producing more trips on Old Bradenton Road.

“Very little traffic was coming from the south on the town side,” Harris said of the kennel club. “Most came from the university [Parkway] turning into a park. I’m suspicious of your comment that it’s going to be less than the dog track, because… the majority of people here, maybe, will be working downtown and using Old Bradenton Road.

Despite the traffic-related inquisitions, Harris and Burman both offered positive feedback on the Aventon design described at the workshop. Flanagan said the development would be similar in scope to the company’s existing portfolio of apartment complexes in the Southeast, which includes Bainbridge Palmore on Cattlemen Road in Sarasota County. Flanagan noted some specific design decisions related to site dynamics, including a larger setback on the south side of the property to create a buffer zone for existing residences.

“I think your plans are lovely,” Burman said. “I think it will be an upgrade from the dog track, as far as most things go.”

Burman encouraged the development team to maintain an open line of communication with its neighbors as the proposal progresses through the city’s review system.

“The concerns we have – we’re already residents living here, and your residents are going to have the same issues,” Burman said. “I think it belongs to you [to listen to us], and I think you’re listening to us talk about it.

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