Take a peek at the Siesta Promenade, a new Benderson Development project heading south of Sarasota.

Mega developer Benderson Development is preparing to start the Siesta Promenade, which will transform the gateway to Siesta Key in South Sarasota.

And as the project at 6450 S. Tamiami Trail heads toward groundbreaking in 2024, Benderson Development gave us an exclusive look at what’s coming to the long-vacant site.

The 24-acre Siesta Promenade project, near the “South Bridge,” as locals call it, is scheduled to start at the beginning of next year. It heads to the northwest corner of the South Tamiami Trail and Stickney Point Road—”what we think is one of the best corners available in the state,” Benderson’s vice president of retail development, Rex Burgher, told us in 2005.

The project will include a total of 10 retail and restaurant buildings, including a yet to be named grocery store. It will contain 140,000 square feet of retail space, with no less than 7,000 square feet of office space, and a residential building with 414 units, 25 of which will be affordable. The affordable units will target those earning 80 percent of the area’s median annual income, which comes out to $51,200 for a single person and $73,100 for a family of four. It is Benderson’s first multi-family development in Sarasota County.

The Siesta Promenade will also include an 80-foot-tall hotel with 130 rooms, which will be larger than any single hotel on nearby Siesta Key, where space for such a dense hotel is limited.

Building elevations will travel across the property, with the hotel being the highest point. However, some details regarding the number of levels of each building may change before the foundation stone is laid, according to Benderson’s director of marketing, Julie Fanning. The hotel and grocery store are located at Stickney Point; The residences are located to the north of the project, away from heavy traffic. And some retail and restaurant space will face the bustling South Trail.

The retail and residential facilities will be built in unison and will take approximately two years to complete, with the hotel to follow. “The goal is for stores and restaurants to be open when residents move in, so they can immediately enjoy the on-site amenities and lifestyle experiences,” Fanning says.

Benderson acquired the site in 2005 for $17.1 million. It formerly housed a Shell gas station and Pine Shores Mobile Home Park, where there were approximately 140 mobile homes.

Siesta Promenade was approved by Sarasota County in 2018. “The property was always intended as a mixed-use development, but the design has evolved during the planning process from downtown to a neighborhood destination with a coastal village feel,” says Fanning. .

The collection of buildings will feature a variety of architectural styles, from modern Florida to coastal contemporary. “The village environment will be enhanced with landscaping and plenty of inviting outdoor spaces to relax and recharge,” Fanning adds.

On September 27, the Sarasota County Commission will vote on a decision on plans to add 39 parallel parking spaces along Glencoe and Crestwood Streets, which are residential thoroughfares. This is a point of contention for nearby residents, but Fanning says adding spaces “is one of several traffic calming measures Benderson is considering to preserve the character of the neighborhood and create a more pedestrian-friendly area.”

However, opponents say the additional parking does not meet the terms agreed upon as part of the county commission’s initial approval of the development, which instead included a 20-foot landscaped buffer zone for the neighborhood.

Founded in 1949 in Buffalo, New York, Benderson Development has more than 800 properties and more than 50 million square feet in 40 states, including grocery centers, industrial warehouses, offices and hotels.

In March, Benderson Development opened a Publix store in The Landings on US 41 south of Proctor Road, and is also working on Fruitville Farms, a Publix-based mixed-use development now in progress at the intersection of Fruitville Road and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. Benderson also recently closed the former Café Baci restaurant at 4001 S. Tamiami Trail and purchased a Walgreens on the corner of Bee Ridge and Beneva Roads.

Last year, the company acquired the Sarasota County Administrative Building and the surrounding parking lots last year. It plans to redevelop the property by the end of 2025 and build a mixed-use development of residential, office and retail spaces.

“Tamiami Road and Stickney Point Road are the de facto gateway to Siesta Key, a world-renowned tourist destination,” says Fanning. “The property was very neglected when we acquired it, which represents a huge opportunity. When complete, it will be a vibrant destination for both locals and visitors to enjoy.”

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