Thursday, February 16, 2006

Green Space or Liner Building?

During the Pineapple Square discussion, the Burns Square group indicated they disliked the idea of a liner building along the bank parking lot west wall (on Lemon). They indicated that a visual sight line to Burns Square would be good for them and good for downtown.

We agree.

Here is a picture of the view across this area toward Burns Square (click on the picture to see a larger version).

The next picture is an attempt to show the impact of the required (new code) liner building.

The impact of the liner building would be great. While the code attempts to liven the street activity through creation of more retail frontage at the ground level, giving up green space at this particular location does not seem to be a good trade off. The retail space would be separated from the street and valuable green space would be lost.

Save Our Sarasota would much rather have the existing green space preserved. This space could be connected with the fountain area to make a larger green space here. Live oaks with a canopy potential would make a wonderful space for a bench or two and could compliment Five Points Park a couple blocks away.

Whether the State St lot is developed or not, we prefer keeping this particular space green. We have very few places for green space and trees downtown.


Anonymous said...

I understand the Pineapple Square people are in favor of green space in this spot, and think most groups agree with them.

denise kowal, President, Burns Sq. said...

The Burns Square Property Owners Association strongly supports keeping the green space around the Mermaid Fountain and no building the liner buildings. It has been our understanding that the developer of the Pineapple Square project will also support keeping this space green as he indicated at the Downtown Partnership morning meeting yesterday. He stated he had calls from many organizations who support the maintenance of the green space currently there and Burns Square was only one of many.

While the Burns Square Property Owners support the growth of our downtown and feel Pineapple Square has the potential to be a good project, we also feel it is important to be involved with the financial decisions being made by our commission. The Burns Sq. Property Owners Assoc. has written a letter to the commissioners stating our disappointment in the way this deal has come together and suggest slowing down the process so the public can learn if this is the best deal the city can make.

Too many questions without sufficient answers and it is too close to signing to still have this many questions. We request more time for public airing, clarification and negotiations.