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Sarasota Sky Bar & Club to open Friday

The nightclub is slated to open in the Charles Ringling building on the east end of downtown this weekend.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Following some delays, downtown Sarasota’s newest nightclub will open this weekend in the historic Charles Ringling building.

Sarasota Sky Bar & Club will open at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at 1927 Ringling Boulevard, which is adjacent to McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre. The club will feature 1960s-themed local band Robin and the Retros starting at 8 p.m., with a $5 cover to get in, said co-owner Tony Tannus.

Democracy, a reggae band, will play during the same hours Saturday.

“We have to mix it up,” said Tannus, who said he wants to focus on bringing in a mature crowd to the non-smoking building. “I’m not bringing in 20 year olds to bounce around.”

Tannus, who also co-owns the Meadows Village Pub & Grill, said the 7,000-square-foot size of the interior, and its history, attracted him to the property. Charles Ringling, John Ringling’s brother, constructed the two-story building in 1926.

“His office is still up there,” Tannus said.


Sean Dreznin & Jag Grewal from Ian Black Real Estate handled both sides of the transaction.

Sarasota Sky Bar & Club set to open

Nightclub will occupy Charles Ringling Building in downtown Sarasota.

1927 Ringling image
Business partners, Tony and Marie Tannus, and Alex Hagush have leased the Charles Ringling Building for Sarasota Sky Bar & Club. The building on Ringling Blvd. in Sarasota was built in 1926 and has been home to several nightclubs over the years. // Photo via Ian Black Real Estate

Following a delay earlier this month, the owners of Sarasota Sky Bar & Club say they’re ready to open Friday with a performance by high-energy area dance band Robin & The Retros. Longtime local reggae group Democracy will be playing on Saturday.

Both performances are scheduled for 8 to 11 p.m. with doors opening at 4 p.m. There will be a $5 cover charge for each evening and management has stated that “at this time we will not be offering parking nor valet services to our patrons and will be advising them to utilize available public parking in the vicinity.”

Sarasota Sky Bar & Club, a smoke-free establishment aiming to attract people in their 30s to 60s, occupies the historic Charles Ringling Building in downtown Sarasota. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sarasota Sky Bar & Club, 1927 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; $5;  sarasotasky.club

Sean Dreznin from Ian Black Real Estate handled both sides of the transaction.

Sarasota Sky Bar & Club opening in downtown Charles Ringling Building

Commercial Real Estate Profile: Ian Black

Commercial Real Estate Profile: Ian Black



Ian Black founded Ian Black Real Estate as a boutique commercial real estate brokerage and management firm in Sarasota, following stints with Icorr Properties and Fred Starling Inc. Today the company is one of the largest commercial brokerages in Southwest Florida. Photo by Lori Sax


February 05, 2016

Founder and CEO,
Ian Black Real Estate

Ian Black Real Estate has been busy of late, and not just with the transactions the Sarasota-based commercial real estate brokerage and management firm has been closing in the region’s heated market.

In the past two months, firm founder and CEO Ian Black has named new partners, moved his office, sold his former business address and purchased an investment property in the city’s burgeoning Rosemary District.

His firm has also taken on additional lines of business, been moving into new territory and been involved in some of the largest deals of its 13-year history.

The moves come, too, amid a 30% hike in revenue in 2015.

Taken together, Black says the moves demonstrate the business is “growing up.”

“So much has happened of late that we need to make sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves, and I don’t think we have,” Black says. “We have a good team of people who work well together.”

Most noticeably, the firm moved its headquarters earlier this year to the 84,000-square-foot Kane Plaza office building in downtown Sarasota. There, Ian Black occupies 4,000 square feet and has rights to another 1,600 square feet.

As part of the shift from its long-standing quarters in the city’s Rosemary District, Ian Black also is spearheading roughly $10 million in renovations to the building’s lobby, common areas, bathrooms and signage with owner TerraCap Management, of Bonita Springs. The firm is handling both leasing and management of the property.

“We presented the landlord with a series of recommendations aimed at taking it from a (class) C building to a B-plus or an A building,” Black says.

To date, the recommendations are paying off with new tenants. When TerraCap acquired Kane Plaza, for instance, it was 76% occupied. Thanks to a series of outstanding leases Ian Black has negotiated, the building could be 92% committed by March.

“They’ve done a great job so far,” says Steve Good, a TerraCap partner. “They’re a good fit for us, and we’ve worked really well together as a team.”

While Ian Black has remained focused on Sarasota, the firm has begun chasing deals in Charlotte and Lee counties, as well. It has also expanded into tenant representation, corporate services and by taking on joint listings with giant brokerages like Cushman & Wakefield.

Internally, Ian Black has added partners Michele Fuller and Nick DeVito to its roster, bringing to six the number of principals in the firm. Black, 69, says the appointments recognize the strength and depth of the firm’s talent.

But the firm’s increasing business has really differentiated it. Late last month, firm partner Jag Grewal brokered the $20 million sale of a 30-acre tract in Charlotte County at the entrance of Gasparilla Island. The deal marked the largest in firm history, and came on the heels of its work in the $18 million purchase of the Main Plaza office and retail complex in downtown Sarasota late last year.

“When we made the decision not to have an internal leasing team, Ian was the first person and company I chatted with to do that,” says Fred Starling, a Sarasota County developer and investor whose 600,000-square-foot portfolio is leased by Ian Black.

“I’ve always been impressed with Ian and his team, and his ability to reach out, assess a deal and make recommendations,” Starling adds.

Black, too, has personally been making moves. Last month, he sold his firm’s office at 1069-1075 Central Ave., in Sarasota, for $510,000, and then acquired a building on the same street for $1.03 million through a 1031 tax-free exchange.

Black first invested in the city’s burgeoning Rosemary District in 1995.

And despite all the moves, Black says his ambition is that the firm will continue growing, and move further into tenant representation and receiverships, as well as asset management.

“I’d like us to continue to widen our base of skill sets,” he says. “We never want to be a big company and we know we don’t have the resources to compete in that arena, but I like to think that our marketing material and capabilities are on par with the big firms.

“We’ve had a lot to contend with all at one time, it’s true, but at the same time, we had a great year last year, so we’re thankful for that.”

Click here for the full article and others!

Florida’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange coming to Sarasota

Florida’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange coming to Sarasota

By  via WFLA.com News Channel 8

SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) — Florida’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange is coming to one of the Bay area’s busiest stretches of roadway. Engineers believe the innovative design will help ease congestion and reduce crashes at I-75 and University Parkway.

The Diverging Diamond Interchange eliminates a left turn movement onto an interstate entrance ramp.  Drivers will travel on University Parkway through a cross over onto the left side of the road.  They can then turn left onto the ramp without stopping.  If they are not getting on the interstate, they will continue straight and cross back over to the right hand side of the road. Watch below to see exactly how it works.

Beach Road owners may get OK to build on contested lot

Beach Road owners may get OK to build on contested lot.

Ivory Lounge lawsuit against condo owners continues

Ivory Lounge lawsuit against condo owners continues

by: Alex Mahadevan via The Observer.com

The battle between a downtown Sarasota nightclub owner and his residential neighbors at 50 Central Ave. will continue in court after a judge’s action this week.

Circuit Court Judge Rochelle Curley on Tuesday denied Plaza at Five Point Condominium Association’s request to dismiss the lawsuit Ivory Lounge owner Ambrish Piare filed last year. The suit claims condo owners have made false claims and defamed the bar in order to shut it down.

“Obviously, we’re very pleased,” said attorney Andrea Mogensen, who is representing Piare and his firm Jarala Entertainment in the suit. “We’ll begin to engage in discovery and proceed with litigation.”

In early 2014, the city of Sarasota rejected claims Plaza at Five points residents made that the nightclub violated its conditional-use permit, deprived residents their right to quietly enjoy their units, lowered their property values and operated as an “adult cabaret.” Mogenson said that complaint is just one of several “well-documented” incidents cited in the suit.

“The acts of the (Plaza at Five Points owners) were intentional, spiteful, malicious, without justification and made with a  purpose to,” interfere with the Ivory Lounge’s lease and operations, harm business relationships and compel the city to revoke the bar’s permit, according to the May 12 complaint.

– See more at: http://www.yourobserver.com/news/sarasota/Front-Page/0130201538460/Ivory-Lounge-lawsuit-against-condo-owners-continue#sthash.BtVYpvbL.dpuf

Downtown Sarasota, Taco Bus, Bowling Alley, Evie’s, Jesse Biter… All kinds of new and exciting news for Main Street!

Downtown Sarasota, Taco Bus, Bowling Alley, Evie’s, Jesse Biter… All kinds of new and exciting news for Main Street!

By Alex Mahadevan via the Observer

Taco Bus is another step closer to opening in downtown Sarasota, as construction started Monday on several Main Street storefronts to make way for the Tampa-based Mexican restaurant.

“Besides having two awesome companies on Main Street, this will be two firsts for Main Street,” said entrepreneur Jesse Biter, who owns the property. It will be the first 24-hour venue in Taco Bus, and the first bowling alley, which will be located within an Evie’s business.

Construction will force the closure of a portion of the sidewalk in front of 1560 Main Street for the next 30 days, and the project will be complete in less than seven months, Biter said.

The project is expected to cost roughly $1 million, according to city of Sarasota spokeswoman Jan Thornburg, and includes interior renovations and a right-of-way permit to build parking spaces.

Taco Bus and Evie’s are two of several business slated to open downtown in the coming months, joining World of Beer and Beer Box, the latter of which will open in the space Evie’s currently occupies on Ringling Boulevard.

– See more at: http://www.yourobserver.com/news/sarasota/Front-Page/1231201437861/Top-Stories-Sarasota-October#sthash.csZlC97o.dpuf



Mayor Willie Shaw and City Manager Tom Barwin will congratulate the Sarasota business community for being recognized by Google as Florida’s 2014 eCity “Digital Capital of America” with a brief ceremony Friday, October 17 at 10 a.m. at The HuB, 1680 Fruitville Road, third floor.

This award acknowledges Sarasota as having the strongest combined e-commerce, social media and web presence within the state of Florida. “Being recognized by Google as Florida’s 2014 eCity means we have the most robust e-business community in the State as determined by Google and research,” said City Manager Tom Barwin. “What a great foundation to build upon. With three universities, a vibrant downtown business center and digital business incubators, a San Francisco-like spirit of innovation and creativity is clearly in this community’s business, academic and social DNA.

“Google algorithms have proven what many of us have suspected. Sarasota is open for digital, high tech oriented folks who enjoy cultural amenities and the world’s greatest sunsets,” said Mr. Barwin. Sarasota was determined to have the top online business presence in Florida, connecting with customers and stimulating the digital economy, based on several criteria considered by Google:  Number of businesses advertising online  Ability for customers to make a purchase from a webpage  Mobile friendly websites  Social media presence –

Click Here for full press release <—–=====

Costs soar, start delayed on I-75 Diverging Diamond University Parkway exit

Did anyone see this coming? Substantially increased costs and delayed start dates?? How about assurance that Benderson Development is responsible for the majority of the cost and construction. I have no doubt the mall will be on time and budget.

Costs soar, start delayed on I-75 Diverging Diamond University Parkway exit

By Dale White via Herald Tribune

Costs for construction of a diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 75 and University Parkway has risen 20 percent above initial estimates and the estimated start of the project has been pushed back from early 2015 to August of next year.

State and local officials are under criticism for not tackling the intersection’s woes sooner.

Traffic congestion there is likely to worsen before it gets better. The Mall at University Town Center, also at the southwest corner of the interchange, is to open in October. Thousands of more homes are planned for Lakewood Ranch, which spans Manatee and Sarasota counties east of the interchange. And the reconstruction work itself, largely in the footprint of the existing interchange, will causes back-ups and delays.

Officials are counting on the project being completed before the 2017 World Rowing Championships at nearby Nathan Benderson Park.

That gives the FDOT and the contractor it selects two years to get the diverging diamond, a first in Florida, completed.

The projected $60 million tab is now up to $72 million as the Florida Department of Transportation adds costs such as additional earthwork, a 5,365-foot-long wall to muffle traffic noise along some residential areas along I-75 and other adjustments.

For more good news and the complete article, CLICK HERE <—–======