Plans unveiled for 18-story condo tower in Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota’s construction boom will continue well into 2015, the result of newly unveiled plans that include another luxury condominium tower and the first new office building in eight years.

In the larger of the two developments, the Ronto Group of Naples plans to build an 18-story condo tower between Gulf Stream and South Palm avenues, investing at least $20 million to compete in an increasingly crowded market for new residential units.

Veteran local developer Mark Kauffman, meanwhile, is preparing to construct a $4.7 million, four-story office building called Centerplex at Ringling Boulevard and Golf Street.

For Kauffman, whose properties include Courthouse Centre and the Hollywood 20/Main Plaza complex downtown, the offices become the latest in a series of new projects in or around downtown.

He already is building Payne Park Plaza, a $1.5 million office and retail development on South Washington Boulevard, near Morrill Street.

The three projects join a post-recession resurgence in downtown construction, with condos, hotels and retail space sprouting from the business district to the bayfront.

Ronto Group plans 17 units on a one-third-acre site called Echelon on Palm, executive vice president and co-owner Anthony Solomon said Tuesday.

While a number of new condos are coming online downtown and on nearby barrier islands, Solomon says demand is sufficient for more.

“The economy is doing a lot better,” he said. “People are looking for new design and new product, and it’s a good time to launch something.”

The company has purchased a parcel at 624 S. Palm, site of the La Palme Royale bed-and-breakfast, and in March will acquire another parcel at 621 Gulf Stream Ave.