Venice City Council gives green light to Sarasota Memorial’s development plans

Construction of new medical complex expected to take about 2½ years, with investment of $437 million

An aerial photo taken in May shows the site of the new Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Venice. Image courtesy SMH

On June 11, the Venice City Council approved a zoning amendment that gave a green light to Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s development plans for its new Venice medical center, Sarasota Memorial announced.

The 65-acre site at the intersection of Laurel and Pinebrook roads, near Interstate 75, had been zoned for a shopping center, a news release explained. With its vote this week, the release continued, “the City Council unanimously approved SMH’s [Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s] request to allow a hospital and related health care facilities to be built on the site. The decision followed two uncontested public hearings and strong support from community and city leaders,” the release added.

“This is a pivotal day for our health system and the community,” said SMH-Venice President Sharon Roush in the release.

The health system broke ground on the hospital campus in April; it has obtained permits to begin land clearing and deep foundation work, the release noted. On May 7, the Venice Planning Board approved SMH’s site and development plans, pending approval of the zoning amendment.

Construction is expected to take two-and-a-half years, with a total project cost of $437 million, the release said. The initial development covers 48 acres on the eastern side of the parcel and includes the following:

  • A five-story, 365,000-square-foot hospital, with 110 private rooms and 28-bed emergency center.
  • A two-story, 60,000-square-foot medical office building.
  • Related support structures and service area.
  • An adjacent parking garage and surface parking lots.

“The hospital will offer a full array of medical and surgical care,” the release pointed out. It will include the following areas: Cardiology Unit/Catheterization Lab; Critical Care/Intensive Care Unit; Emergency Care; Endoscopy & other procedural areas; Gastroenterology; Labor & Delivery/Post-Partum Unit; Laboratory/Diagnostic Testing; Nephrology; Neurology/Neurosurgery; Oncology; Orthopedics; Pulmonology; Imaging/Radiology; and Urology.

The SMH-Venice hospital will be hurricane-hardened “with a seamless connection to SMH’s electronic medical records and information technology,” the release added.

“As the community grows, so will Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice,” said Roush in the release.

“The building design is flexible and expandable to support a significant increase in patient suites, from 110 to 270 beds, a 50-bed emergency center, expanded surgical suites and treatment areas, as well as additional medical office buildings on the west side of the campus,” the release explained. “The site also includes space for a hurricane shelter, pending approval and funding from Sarasota County.”

“The campus is expected to generate hundreds of jobs during construction, and more than 500 employees will work at the facility when it opens,” the release said.

“Located about halfway between Sarasota and North Port off I-75, the campus also will bring SMH’s extensive physician base further south, which in turn will help build the medical staff for a future hospital in North Port,” the release noted.

SMH hosts periodic community meetings to share updates and solicit comments from residents and the public, the release added. The health system also has convened a neighborhood advisory council that meets regularly.

For architectural renderings, building animation and more information, visit