After failure to achieve success in negotiations with Miami nonprofit, county seeking new affordable housing proposals for 4644 N. Tamiami Trail property

New Invitation to Negotiate published on Sept. 23

This graphic shows the property located at 4644 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, outlined in red. Image courtesy Sarasota County

In late February, the Sarasota County Commission discussed details of staff negotiations with a Miami nonprofit that was interested in constructing an affordable housing project on property the county owns at 4644 N. Tamiami Trail.

A month earlier, Carrfour Supportive Housing had submitted a $1.5-million proposal to county staff for the 6.23-acre parcel. That followed commission direction in November 2019 that staff issue a request for plans for such projects on the site, which the county originally purchased for parkland.

Over the past couple of years, the board members have talked at length about ways to spur creation of workforce housing in the community. One of those, they agreed, is to offer county land that would be considered appropriate for such a development.

As it turned out, the negotiations with Carrfour proved unsuccessful, Matt Osterhoudt, director of the county’s Planning and Development Department, reported to the commission in late August.

Yet, staff efforts to secure a workable proposal remain underway.

At the direction of national real estate firm Colliers International — which staff hired to analyze county property for the potential of an affordable housing initiative — the County Commission in early September voted unanimously to declare the parcel located at 4644 N. Tamiami Trail to be surplus property. As Osterhoudt noted in his Aug. 26 memo, that would enable any interested entity to submit a proposal for the site.

As a result of unanimous approval of the commission’s Sept. 9 Consent Agenda of routine business items, staff was to begin marketing the property “in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Surplus Lands Code,” according to Osterhoudt’s memo.

The county purchased the land in January 2015 for $1.2 million, the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office records show. This year, that office put the market value of the parcel at $1,334,800; that figure has not changed since 2017, the Property Appraiser’s Office records show.

The resolution the commissioners approved on Sept. 9 declared the 4644 N. Tamiami Trail parcel surplus for one year.

On Sept. 23, the formal Invitation to Negotiate for the property was published. It calls for bids to be received no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 16.

Any firm needing more information must submit that request by 5 p.m. on Oct. 31, the document adds.

Details of the Invitation to Negotiate

This graphic is included in a Colliers International document as part of the Invitation to Negotiate materials. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The Invitation to Negotiate points out that the property is located in the city of Sarasota, just south of the intersection of North Tamiami Trail and 47th Street. The parcel has 365 square feet of footage on North Tamiami Trail, the document adds. “The surrounding area includes office complexes, governmental facilities, mixed use commercial/residential structures, and retail,” the document notes. “[The parcel] is also located immediately adjacent to the City’s North Water Tower Park.”

“Sarasota County is seeking Respondents who have the financial and organizational capacity to successfully implement the proposed [affordable housing] development in a timely manner, who can demonstrate the positive economic impact on the community and who provide a favorable revitalization vision for the property,” the document adds.

The county will give special consideration to nonprofit organizations, the document notes, adding that the following criteria may be considered:

  • The number of dwelling units associated with a percentage of the annual median income (AMI) set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
  • The “qualifications and experience of potential purchasers, including examples of previous affordable housing projects.”
  • Consistency of the proposed use with the zoning requirements and the physical characteristics of the site.
  • The purchase price or other consideration offered.
  • The cost associated with the transfer of ownership.
  • The economic impact resulting from the proposed use of the property.

The site is zoned North Trail within the city of Sarasota, the document points out.

A chart shows a range of the AMI figures this year for the Metropolitan Statistical Area containing Sarasota County. Image courtesy HUD

Among other details, the Invitation to Negotiate asks that respondents “provide a comprehensive timeline and any phasing of the development, if applicable. The timeline should include realistic and achievable dates for key steps from start to occupancy. If appropriate,” it continues, “identify any anchor tenants for the proposed development.”
Further, the Invitation to Negotiate calls for respondents to “substantiate the project’s ability to demonstrate a positive effect on the County’s economy, job opportunities, function of building design and usage with neighboring uses to create sustainable economic development.”

A formal “Offering Memorandum” from Colliers International’s of Fort Lauderdale office was published in support of the Invitation to Negotiate. The Colliers document notes that the land at 4644 N. Tamiami Trail is “minutes from Downtown Sarasota.”

The memorandum adds, “The county has expressed a preference for mixed-use, workforce housing and has confirmed their willingness to cooperate with developers to help secure necessary approvals and public financing.”

It also notes that the site could be home to 110 multifamily dwelling units and nine single-family homes. The property is within walking distance of neighborhood amenities, the memorandum continues, citing a CVS pharmacy and a Neighborhood Walmart. The land also is within 2.4 miles of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and within 5.2 miles of St. Armands Key, Colliers points out.

Contact information is provided for two representatives of Colliers.