Tagged : local news

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Real estate has long been one of Sarasota's three key industries alongside construction and tourism. If you're looking at real estate as an investment opportunity, good news: That trend won't be changing anytime soon. Yet, considering how it effects the local economy, it may now be a better investment than many realize.

A recent study by Local Market Monitor, a data company that tracks home prices and economic factors in more than 300 housing markets, has shown Florida to be an excellent place to invest in real estate, with Sarasota County as one of the prime examples. Of the top 20 places to invest in real estate across the United States, 7 of them are in the state of Florida, number 12 being the city of North Port. These "best buy cities" included

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2015 was indeed a stellar year for business development in downtown Sarasota, and judging by all the construction cranes, this growth spurt will spill over well into 2016. Last year at this time, we took a look at major changes coming to downtown in the year ahead; now it's high time to recap those developments and take a peek at what's in store for downtown Sarasota in 2016.


Get a Room, Sarasota!

Probably the biggest change that has come to downtown Sarasota in recent memory is the construction of quite a few new hotels. Hotels in the downtown area will bring a tremendous boom to the local economy, providing local employment and an influx of patrons for downtown businesses. Property values could also rise as more leisure and business

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Photo by Sanibel sun (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In a prior blog post, I talked about some of the changes coming to downtown Sarasota (namely, the construction of five new hotels), but I left out a very big change that really deserves a blog all to itself. I'm referring to the upcoming Legacy Trail extension that will connect the existing bike and walking trail that ends south of Clark Road to downtown Sarasota. If you've ever tried to get around Sarasota by bicycle during season, you would not exactly call the area “bike friendly.” With roads that are crammed to capacity with automobile traffic, there doesn't seem to be much room for alternative transportation. But all of that is about to change.

Even if you are not a

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There's no doubt about it, Canadians are hot for Florida. And who could blame them? Sarasota's Siesta Beach is beautiful, but it undoubtedly takes on a whole new level of grandeur for those whose often face consecutive months of below-freezing temperatures.

But if our neighbors from the north want to stay longer to escape the cold, they run into a hitch: American visas for Canadians are only good for six months. This meant that they would have to either return to Canada, or file for an extension of stay with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

This might not seem like a big deal until you consider some facts compiled by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

  • 70 percent of Canadian visitors who come to the U.S. for a month or longer visit
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Have you noticed all the construction going on in downtown Sarasota? There are some big changes coming in 2015 that could bring a lot more vibrancy and tourism to our little city by the bay. If you had dismissed all the work as just more condos going up, you are in for a pleasant surprise.

The biggest change coming in 2015 is undoubtedly the opening of five new hotels right in the middle of downtown SRQ. Hotels mean more visitors, both tourists and business travelers, who will find themselves a short walk from all our downtown restaurants, pubs, movie theaters, playhouses, and other businesses.  Below are two of the most noteworthy hotels, as they will specifically market Sarasota as a walkable, modern city.

Aloft Sarasota – Aloft's

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After years of congestion, America's #1 beach is well on its way to offering more parking. But the $21.5 million project isn't just about creating more parking spaces. Siesta Key Beach is getting an entire facelift to offer more to everyone who visits or resides nearby.

The three-phase project will not only add about 250 parking spaces, but will also expand amenities for beachgoers. The first phase has been completed with a new parking lot added, new tennis courts installed, and a new maintenance building constructed. To cut down on runoff to the new retention pond (added to help with drainage from Beach Road), the newest parking lot was created with a special pervious concrete that allows stormwater to seep right through instead of overflowing the

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