SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Selby Gardens expansion plans has gone from a five-story parking garage with rooftop restaurant to now a 45-foot tall parking garage and a restaurant that’s more compatible with the neighborhood.
“I’m really excited and optimistic," said Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO of Selby Gardens. "I think we’ve worked hard to listen to all the concerns that came up and I feel very optimistic with the compromised plan that we’re moving towards really addressing the concerns we heard.”
Back in November, Sarasota city commissioners rejected Selby’s master plan. Their revised plan was introduced to the large crowd Wednesday night which included opponents and supporters of the proposed expansion.
“It will definitely draw a lot more people to the area, will bring in more traffic and it will certainly change the ambiance,” said Chris Hannafin, a Sarasota resident.
“As a practically full time volunteer at Selby, I see everyday the need for parking" said Donna Backer, a Selby Gardens supporter. "I have friends who come to see Selby but have to park at the Friendship Center and trolley in.”
Some neighbors also have concerns with noise and the height of the proposed garage, while supporters say at times hundreds of people are turned away because of the lack of parking. Selby is confident they can arrive at a compromise.
“We look forward to getting more input in particular to the new parameters we’ve established to guide the master site plan going forward,” said Rominiecki.
The staff from Selby Gardens says they’ll take all the input from this evening’s public workshop and continue to refine their expansion plans.