Face-lift for downtown Sarasota

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 2:30 pm | Updated: 9:06 pm, Mon Apr 29, 2013.

SARASOTA - Plans are underway to change parts of Main Street in downtown Sarasota, bringing wider sidewalks, parallel parking and more landscaping. Sounds great, right? That depends whom you ask.

James Alberti has run a Main Street barbershop for 33 years, and he doesn't like what's going to happen outside his window.

He's been fighting plans to widen the sidewalks, increase landscaping and include parallel parking--which he thinks will mean fewer places to park.  "We have no problems with the way things are. If it works, don't touch it, right?," Alberti asked.

The Community Redevelopment Agency hired engineers to start 'touching it' in July--and take four months to finish the project.

"Good downtown needs to be attractive, and despite a little short term pain, we're confident of long-term gain," said Sarasota City Manager Thomas Barwin.

But Alberti isn't the only one who questions the need for the project. Kim and Jeff Dulitz just moved here from New York, and they think the city and county could spend that nearly $1.5 million elsewhere.  "It appears to me like it's already beautiful.  I don't see the need; it looks like it was already done. It's already beautiful," Jeff said.

Others wonder why more of the city/county redevelopment fund is again going to downtown. But one county commissioner defended the investment saying good counties begin with good cities.  "Great cities make great counties and activities that generate vibrancy and sales tax is shared throughout the county," said Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta.

The four month project will begin in July.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Critini posted at 6:42 am on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    Critini Posts: 3

    The parking is great the way - parallel parking only leaves fewer spaces it is and the sidewalks certainly don't need widening...for what? I'm sure Sarasota could use the money elsewhere and for better things.



Send your photos & videos to Pix@MySuncoast.com and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.