SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 13, 2013) The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County will be moving its headquarters to downtown Sarasota at the end of September. The county’s primary economic development organization which includes the Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office will be taking 4,000 square feet.
The move, which has been about a year in the making, puts the EDC near strategic partners such as the county, Visit Sarasota County, and many other partners, investors and volunteers. The EDC had been at the Live Oak office building adjacent to Interstate 75 since February 2005. The EDC issued a request for proposal for new office space meeting its requirements. After careful review of all possible locations, the Board voted unanimously that this location was best suited for the EDC to maximize efficiencies for staff and partners.
“The new location places us in the heart of the county’s financial district and in one of the new economic drivers in our region, the HuB,” said Ben Hanan, chairman of the EDC and Managing Partner of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Sarasota. “It will also place us in close proximity to County Commissioners, county staff and many EDC investors.”
“We believe that the new location will be an added benefit for showcasing our community to growing businesses and business prospects,” Hanan said. “We also appreciate all that Jesse Biter, the building’s owner, did to be responsive to our needs.”
“The decision was made after a rigorous process led by Board members who are experts in this field,” said Venice City Council Member Jeanette Gates. “I feel this is a very good location for the EDC to accomplish its mission to grow, diversify and sustain the economy of Sarasota County.”
Commercial realtor Joe C. Hembree, Hembree and Associates, a board member, led the search process. He and Steve Horn of Ian Black Real Estate waived their commissions on the transaction. Fawley Bryant Architects donated their services to design the interior office space. In addition, the EDC is very grateful to board members Larry Fineberg, of Benderson Development, and Bob Messick, with the law firm Icard Merrill, who also made outstanding volunteer contributions of their time and expertise to this process.
“I appreciate all the time fellow Board members and volunteers dedicated to the process,” said Joe Barbetta, the County Commission’s representative on the EDC Board. “We believe this is the best location possible for helping the EDC fulfill its county-wide economic development mission.”
“As we considered our options, the HuB’s entrepreneurial activity, creative energy, technological sophistication, and other special building features represented a unique set of economic development advantages,” said Mark Huey,