WMG Development broke ground for The Shoppes at Palmer Ranch. The 65,848-square-foot center will be anchored by a Publix, making a trip to the grocery store just a walk away for some residents.
SARASOTA — The ground has been broken.
For The Shoppes at Palmer Ranch that is. The development at the northeast corner of Honore Avenue and Central Sarasota Parkway is officially underway. National real estate investment and development company WMG Development LLC held a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 27.
“When they originally chose this site, Central Sarasota Parkway was supposed to cross I-75,” says Darenda Marvin, director of planning and entitlement. “So this was a major intersection within Palmer Ranch and in Sarasota County. It was actually planned for substantially more commercial than we’re developing today.”
The new center will be anchored by Publix, which will occupy 48,000 of the planned 65,848-square-feet of space. The rest of the space will be encompassed by grocery, retail, medical and restaurant opportunities.
“Today what we have is this roundabout which serves as a beautiful entrance to our neighbors Sandhill Preserve and the intersection with Honore Avenue providing a location for the Palmer Ranch residents who no longer have to travel all the way to Clarke Road or U.S. 41 for their commercial needs,” says Marvin.
She noted that the community members now have a place to walk to for their daily needs, adding that the Master Association president even walked to the groundbreaking that morning.
“When we’re finished, we’re very hopeful that not only is WMG proud of this development, but that it’ll be a place that (our neighbors) are happy to have in their community,” says Marvin.
Former Palmer Ranch resident Ian Black says he recognized the importance of a commercial area in the community. Black's real estate brokerage handled the sale of the property to WMG and is heading up the leasing of the project.
“This was a prime commercial opportunity for a quality project,” he says.
The project is all but fully leased with the team on the hunt for a similar concept to a quality pizzeria or wine bar.
“The less reliance on cars with more ability to walk to serve their commercial needs is very important even in a suburban location,” says Black.
Palmer Ranch, a master-planned community in central Sarasota County, is home to more than 20,000 residents, according to its website.
“Today marks a big day moving from a dream, vision of the project to reality,” says Craig Kopko, senior VP of development. “In a year’s time, there will be a first-class grocery store here in Palmer Ranch.”
But the project goes deeper than the surface-level addition of a grocery store to the community.
“It’s about so much more than just what we’re going to build out here,” says Kopko. “We get to author the beginning of a story.”
Kopko goes on to say that for high school students, the development may be their first shot at a real job. “It could be a doctor relocating to a great market, or a business opportunity for a new company to advance their own personal goals,” he says. “It’s about so much more than just blocks of construction.”
This story has been updated to correct Ian Black's role in the transaction.