VENICE – Kaplan Residential, a Miami-based, family-owned real estate development company, has closed on the purchase of 29.87 acres on Knights Trail Road for almost $6 million, with an eye toward building a 239-unit townhouse development on land once considered a site for workforce housing.
The proposal calls for one- and two-story town houses with covered garages and a target rental price between $1,600 and $2,300 a month, depending on the floor plan.
The project is Kaplan’s first in Venice, and an opportunity for the firm to enhance its Southwest Florida footprint in a growing area.
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Kaplan Residential first hosted a Zoom neighborhood meeting on the complex, “Generation at Venice,” in June 2000.
Following that meeting the 69-year-old family-owned company with offices in Miami and Atlanta revised the density down 326 units to the current 239-home plan.
In January, the Venice Planning Commission unanimously approved the site and development plan for the townhouse development.
The board also approved a permit to allow for a gated community; a special exception to allow for 24 excess parking spaces near the clubhouse to also serve as a loading zone, as well as to account for a wider than normal driveway; and a variance to allow for a larger monument sign.
Overall, the development is slated to have 532 parking spaces, which is 24 more than required by code.
The current proposal would include a central clubhouse with a pool, as well as a pickleball court and dog park.
The complex is expected to be finished by the summer of 2022 and is targeted toward families and young professionals.
The townhouses would be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations and leased out at market rate, but intended to have a luxury feel.
The proposed density of eight units per acre is well under the maximum allowed on the property, and complies with a 2006 ordinance enacted by the city, when Rowco Development Co. planned to develop condominiums on the site, which is at 2201 Knights Trail Road, across from Toscana Isles.
Plans for the condominium were scrapped during the recession.
In 2017, developer Edward Pinto envisioned creating John Nolen Gardens, a 500-plus unit complex, designed to appeal to nearby employers PGT Innovations, Tervis Tumbler and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the new hospital being built at Pinebrook and Laurel roads by Sarasota Memorial Health Care System.
The Laurel Road corridor near both Pinebrook Road and Knights Trail Road has been targeted by both single-family and multi-family developers in recent years – especially after Sarasota Memorial embarked on its plan to build its Venice hospital on the southeast corner of Laurel and Pinebrook Roads.
Treviso Grand, a 272-apartment complex developed by Zilber Ltd., opened in 2020 on Laurel Road, just east of Knights Trail Road.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Ventures Development Group built The Reserve at Venice, a 276-unit complex on the south side of Laurel Road, between Laurel-Nokomis School and the Plaza Venezia shopping center.
Just to the south, Venice Isles, a 324-unit complex built by Orlando-based Nvision Development on Executive Drive, off of the Jacaranda Boulevard exit, was completed in May.
Earle Kimel primarily covers south Sarasota County for the Herald-Tribune and can be reached at [email protected] Support local journalism with a digital subscription to the Herald-Tribune.