Sarasota Developers and Architect
Develop Unique Citrus Square
Downtown Sarasota's New Urbanist philosophy of human-scale, walkable communities is alive and well at Citrus Square. Boutique-style condominiumns are set above ground-level shops and restaurants, outdoor cafes, green spaces and an open plaza. A tree-lined streetscape with distinctive lamposts add a traditional touch to the neighborhood.
Sarasotans George Birkhold, owner of Sharp Income Tax, and Mark Pierce, president of Pierce Contracting, Inc.are developing the project. Another Sarasotan, Chris Gallagher, an architect with Jonathan Parks Architect, designed the development.
"Citrus Square has a distinct feeling to it," says Mark Pierce. "We had the ability to build an 80-foot-tall building, but we didn't. We wanted to create something with a different style, that would feel like what you get with an historic neighborhood."
The building is set back 10 feet from the road, with brightly colored store fronts, oversized doors and small wrought-iron balconies on the second- and third-floor residences.
Working with Pierce, architect Gallagher designed a series of facades that give diversity to the single structure behind them. Varied balconies, windows and terraces rise to a variety of rooflines. Diverse materials and architectural details, and varying colors and finishes, give some areas a slightly different way of meeting the sidewalk. Jonathan Parks Architect was awarded a Keep Sarasota County Beautiful award for Citrus Square.
In addition to the architectural integrity, new buyers are excited because Citrus Square opens a door to downtown living for them. "The range of pricing offers an opportunity for a diversity of ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, which only adds to the cultural richness of the community," says Birkhold.
For Pierce, the completing the first phase of Citrus Square caps more than 10 years of planning and property acquisitions. "We felt north downtown was the natural way for development to go, even before the city started its zoning changes," Pierce said, referring to comprehensive city zoning modifications that took effect in September 2006.
Eventually, Pierce said, he hopes to develop other projects that will both blend in with Citrus Square's design and expand the "new urbanist" feel of the area.