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Women's Exchange Proposed Site Plan - Community Meeting

Weds. April 30 · 5:30 pm · City Hall, Rm 112

We have received notice of a community meeting to be held to discuss a site plan for alterations to the Women's Exchange building located at 539 South Orange Avenue and 526 Rawls Avenue.

This building originally housed the Sarasota Herald Tribune, and is listed on the national historic register.


The proposed site plan includes demolishing and replacing the south wing of the building (the portion that abuts Rawls Avenue), and adding a new 1 story addition to the north of the main structure (at the intersection of Cherry Lane and Rawls).

The new north building (on Rawls) would include the relocated loading dock for the Exchange — an idea which has caused considerable consternation in the community because it would significantly increase traffic on Rawls and Cherry.


As per our agreement with the City of Sarasota to establish a Laurel Park Overlay District, residents of Laurel Park will have two opportunities to weigh in on the proposed plan's appropriateness for our historic neighborhood.

The first public meeting to review the proposal will take place on Wednesday, April 30, at Sarasota City Hall, and all neighborhood members are encouraged to attend.


A number of residents and property owners on Rawls and Cherry have expressed serious reservations about the proposed relocation of the Women's Exchange loading dock from the Exchange's parking lot tothe new building to be erected on Rawls.

An informal gathering of some of the effected residents was held on April 24. Based upon feedback from that meeting, a letter from Kelly Franklin, President of the Laurel Park Neighborhood Association, has been drafted and will be submitted at the April 30 meeting.

Next Steps

Residents and owners who would like to express their individual concerns are encouraged to attend the meeting on April 30, and / or email a letter to the LPNA (at outlining the issues they see with the proposed site plan.

Payne Park Auditorium

The renovation or demolition of Payne Park Auditorium is being considered by the City of Sarasota.

Please take a few moments to complete this survey from the Public Works Department.

In the News

Laurel Park was rated one of Sarasota's 11 best neighborhods in an article published in Sunday's Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Author Harold Bubil was clearly having some fun with the trend toward "list journalism", but for what it is worth, we Laurel Park is rated #4 in his completely unscientific list of great neighborhoods.

Copyright © 2014 Laurel Park Neighborhood Association, All rights reserved.

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