The city of Palmetto is one step closer to realizing plans for downtown redevelopment with purchases of more than $1 million of land for a new parking garage and retail spaces.
The Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency approved the purchase of a 1.93-acre property at the corner of Fourth Street West and Ninth Avenue West in downtown Palmetto last August, records show.
In March, the city paid Sarasota Investment Trust, LLC $925,000 for the property.
The land deal includes the building at 923 Fifth St. W. that formerly housed Slicks Garage.
The city also recently bought the next-door property at 911 Fifth St. W. where Grower’s Hardware operated for almost 100 years before closing last December. That transaction totaled $329,000.
If the city receives approval from the Environmental Protection Agency, demolition of the existing structures will begin in October.
“This is a prime piece of property in downtown Palmetto, which made it a perfect fit for the city,” said Amy MacDougall, a broker with Ian Black Real Estate, in a press release.
The company represented Sarasota Investment Trust in the sale.
“Given their plans for the land, this property could play a catalyzing role in the growth of the downtown area, which has seen a number of improvements lately,” MacDougall said.
The Palmetto CRA conducted a parking study in 2017 which found that existing parking spaces fell short of the city’s redevelopment goals. The study documented 1,527 parking spaces but stated that 2,990 were needed.
In June 2017, the CRA proposed building a downtown parking garage with ground-floor retail, similar to the Palm Avenue parking garage in Sarasota.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a parking garage with first-floor retail that has the façade of the historic buildings in the area to add to the charm of downtown,” said Jeff Burton, director of the Palmetto CRA. “We’re excited to put this plan into motion and continue our efforts to revitalize downtown Palmetto.”
For now, the city plans to make improvements to the property and use it for additional surface parking.
The city of Bradenton also opted to a build a parking garage when faced with a shortage of downtown parking.
Dubbed City Centre, the parking garage is expected to be open by mid-May and will feature ground level retail and office space along Old Main Street and 10th Street West. It will have about 500 parking spots. Building costs are estimated at $13.8 million.