SARASOTA (WWSB) - After meeting Thursday night, the Sarasota County planning commission recommended approving the plan for the Siesta Promenade.
After over 10 years of sitting vacant, Benderson Development wants to build the Siesta Promenade, a series of condos, shops, offices and restaurants, at U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road. Right now, it’s an open lot where a gas station and mobile homes used to sit.
A public hearing will be held at 9 a.m. on December 12, but some neighbors don’t think that area can handle any additional traffic.
Many locals, including Lourdes Ramirez, say their concerned about what the development will do to the traffic.
“My concern is getting on and off Siesta Key. It’s usually horrible during the season but it’s getting to be all year round. Now I’m concerned with the additional development which we’re not stopping what they are allowed to do but the substantial increase they are looking for is going to add so much traffic to the Key that it’s going to be hard for me to get on and off the Key. God forbid there is an emergency," says Ramirez
Benderson wants to build 414 apartment units, a 130 room hotel and retail shops made up of 140,000 square feet. The entire project will cover about 24 acres of this property. Benderson hopes Siesta Promenade will create over 250 jobs and $10 million in tax revenue.
Some are excited about plans for the new development while others oppose the idea.
Many who work or live nearby like Sura Kochman have been doing what they can to stop the process by protesting and signing petitions against Benderson Development.
“We had over 1,300 signatures on there through social media sharing. We did have a demonstration on the property on Veterans Day, had over 160 people out here for an hour really trying to say we don’t want this density. We understand that Benderson has a right to develop this property but they should not be developing it at the intensity and density at the request that they are asking,” says Kochman.
Other people near the open lot where Siesta Promenade will sit are concerned the development will be too close to their property. They’re also concerned about traffic being directed into their neighborhood which has narrow roads.
The next time Benderson will meet with the county will be December 12th.