Women's Exchange Proposed Site Plan
Second Community Meeting
Tuesday. Feb. 24 · 5:30 pm · City Hall, Rm 112
We have received notice of a second 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).
As it did when the initial plan was submitted last year, 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 have two opportunities to weigh in on the proposed plan's appropriateness for our historic neighborhood.
This second meeting to review the proposal will take place on Tuesday, February 24, in the Annex Building of Sarasota City Hall, and all neighborhood members are invited to attend.
At the first community workshop, held April 30, 2014, a number of Laurel Park residents and property owners on Rawls and Cherry expressed serious reservations about the proposed relocation of the Women's Exchange loading dock from the Exchange's parking lot to the new building to be erected on Rawls.
The site plan just submitted does not include any accommodations or changes to address the safety, traffic, parking, or community impact concerns raised in the first workshop.
On February 4, 2015, the LPNA sent a letter to the CEO and Board of Directors of the Women's Exchange reiterating the concerns raised by the community last year.
Residents and owners who would like to express their individual concerns are encouraged to attend the workshop on February 24 and / or, submit a letter to the City of Sarasota (attn: Pamela M. Nadalini, City Auditor and Clerk) outlining the issues they see with the proposed site plan.