Affordable development in Sarasota's Rosemary District targets housing for hometown heroes

Off North Lemon Avenue in Sarasota's Rosemary District, a piece of vacant land will soon be transformed. 

"We stayed true to our mission and our vision for putting affordable housing here in Rosemary," said William Russell, the CEO of Sarasota Housing Authority. "Soon 128 families will call this home and it will be an affordable home and it will be in a great location."

He calls Lofts on Lemon a one-of-a-kind project. 

Once finished, the $33-million project will offer 76 affordable and 52 attainable workforce units targeted for hometown heroes -- teachers, daycare workers, first responders and more. 

Lofts on Lemon

"This has been a vision for probably a decade. It’s really hard to pull a deal like this together to get all the seven or eight sources of financing put together," said Russell. 

Funding came from a variety of private, community, business and government financial support, including the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Community Foundation of Sarasota County. 

Those who supported the project know it's the least they could do to thank those who help our community, daily. 

Mayor Hagen Brody said it's vital to have those who serve the community living in it. 

"I look at it as a recognition of the importance of the people who will be living here to us and all of the community," said Brody. "We thank them all the time especially in these dark days and past months of covid, but to really be able to offer something they can then benefit from and improve their quality of life should send the message that they are so important to us and we couldn't be happier about the project moving forward."