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New Mural Highlighting Local History Going Up in Rosemary District

New Mural Highlighting Local History Going Up in Rosemary District

New Mural Highlighting Local History Going Up in Rosemary District. Local graffiti artist, Richie Brasil, has been getting a lot of recent press coverage for his new mural that he has begun painting right here in the Rosemary district. The work, which was commissioned by the Rosemary District Venues, is being completed on a multi-use development located at 650 Central Ave and is divided into two murals. One that pays homage to indigenous Americans and one that honors the African-American settlers that first settled this area.

The 27 year old Boston native has already finished the first part of the mural and has begun working on the second phase. Speaking to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Brasil said this about the Rosemary District community, “This area has been rebuilt over. A lot of people in this community have a lot of sentimental feelings toward what’s going on here. It’s nice to be doing something to be thinking of them — to be thinking of people who aren’t even thought of anymore.”

Brasil was hired by Lewie Bloom and Mitch Racoosin after they became fans of his work that was displayed in a nearby gallery.  Racoosin explains, “He’s a real energetic young kid that I really related to,. I could see that he had a vision and was very capable. He has a lot of feelings and messages that are within his art. We’ve kind of given him carte blanche to do whatever he wants to do because we’ve seen his other art and liked it.”

The process of painting on a building wall can be very different, especially since the medium is so large. Prior to the work beginning, Brasil spent  six months working with Bloom and Racoosin on concepts, research and sketches. The project began using a projector to beam the image onto the walls so the outlines could be established. “The process is different than painting on a canvas, but as far as the passion goes, it’s the same kind of love, same attitude,” Brasil said. “Sometimes painting bigger is easier than painting small, not snapping yourself into four dimensions.” Brasil explained his use of color to Nick Friedman of YourObservor saying, “I’ve been dying to do these weird pastels. It’s breaking the rules a little bit, but that’s OK. I love that color blocking. You have to listen to the wall when you paint — listen to what it’s telling you.”

We can’t wait to see how the finished piece ends up! Stay tuned to The Courtyard At Citrus Square Facebook page for more details.

Image sourced from Richie’s Facebook page, taken by Virginia Hoffman Photography.


The Rosemary District: Sarasota’s Historic Past

The Rosemary District: Sarasota's Historic Past

The Rosemary District: Sarasota’s Historic Past. The Rosemary District is experiencing a revival or sorts with a variety of new building projects springing up, taking this district to the next level and creating an arts district that is vastly walkable. It’s even more interesting to see where the Rosemary District is going when you understand where its come from.

The Rosemary District was once known as Overtown and was part of the original Town of Sarasota, dating back to 1885.  African Americans first settled this district as early as the 1890s and the area became known as “Black Bottom”. Evidence of this initial settlement can be found at the SE corner Central Ave. and Blvd. of the Arts where a marker has been placed that reads “First Black Community“. The marker was dedicated in 1985 by the Sarasota County Historical Commission and explains the story of the first Black settlers to this area. In 1884, Lewis Colson, the first black settler to Sarasota, assisted in surveying the Town of Sarasota and by 1886 several Black families had established themselves here.

In the beginning, school was taught out of Josie Washington’s home, but a public school– Sarasota Grammar School– was established in 1912 with Wright Bush, Henry Clark, Elbert Clark,  J.P Carter, Campbell Mitchell,  John Mays, John Woods, Ed Carmichael, and J.H. Glover serving as trustees. Emma Booker served as the principle of this school for many years after moving to Sarasota in 1910. By 1935, Booker had helped expand the school with the first class graduating that year. Booker played such an important part in the education system that three Sarasota schools have been named after her: Emma E. Booker Elementary, Booker Middle School, and Booker High School.

The area adopted the name change to Overtown in the mid-1920s, during the height of the Florida real estate boom that led residents to invest and purchase land. Community activity abounded and new amenities were built along 6th street like a movie theater, billiards hall, barbershop, department store, ice cream parlor, auto dealership, filling station, lunch counter, grocery store, print shop, and a furniture store.  The district was officially renamed “The Rosemary District” in 1994 in honor of the Rosemary Cemetery that was established in 1886 at 8th Street and Central Ave. In 2003, the Rosemary Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Evidence of this area’s strongly African-American past is still alive with the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, located right down the street from The Courtyard at Citrus! The WBTT was founded in 1999 by actor, singer, director, and playwright Nate Jacobs and is the only professional black theatre company on Florida’s west coast. The theatre has experienced great success with an average attendance rate of 94%.  The delicious restaurants of Citrus Square paired with a show from this nationally acclaimed troupe, makes for a great night out in The Rosemary District: Sarasota’s Historic Past.

Information provided by Sarasota History Alive and the Downtown Sarasota Alliance.

Rosemary District Named in Top 10 Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Florida

Walkable Rosemary District

Last week, RedFin released a list of the Top 10 Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Florida and The Rosemary District came in at number 10 with a walk score of 86.9! TheSt. Petersburg RedFin Agent, Brian Walsh, spoke about the Walkable Rosemary District saying, “The Rosemary District is one of the oldest communities in Sarasota, and it’s seeing a great renewal with a lot of new construction and building activity taking place. It has a very city-like feel to it in a lot of ways, with huge waterfront towers always in view and a major shopping area just a few blocks away. The community is much more active than some of Sarasota’s more traditional bedroom neighborhoods.”

The walking score is determined by analyzing hundreds of walking routes to nearby amenities and assigning points which are awarded based on the distance to the amenities in a variety of categories. For example, a 5 minute distance or (.25 mile) is awarded the maximum number of points and no points are awarded after the 30-minute mark. It also takes into account pedestrian friendliness of the area by analyzing population density and road metrics such as block length and intersection density.  The Walkable Rosemary District features delicious restaurants like Pomona Bistro & Wine Bar and The Rosemary; close entertainment from The Van Wezel and The Players Theatre; as well as local business amenities like Ameriprise, Pilates Principles, DC Valet and Michael Urban Hair Studio.

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ABC7 Interviews “The Rosemary” About The Courtyard At Citrus

Courtyard At Citrus

George Armstrong, owner of The Rosemary and current tenant of Citrus Square, was interviewed by ABC7 and asked about the Courtyard at Citrus. George expressed his excitement about the new project saying, “It’s good for business and it also promotes a neighborhood where there’s a lot of foot traffic.”

Reporter Rick Adams also spoke to developer and owner of Pierce Contracting,  Mark Pierce,  about his decision to include a closed-in residential courtyard which gives the Courtyard at Citrus it’s name, “We have a courtyard that makes people who are a little residential in nature feel like they have a yard and a space of their own. From the very beginning, we thought it was close enough to feel like you’re downtown but still have that little bit of Midwestern, more residential feel.”

Local Rosemary District resident, Steve McCallister expressed his enthusiasm for the new development saying, “I think the Rosemary District has always had a lot of potential a lot of possibilities, so it’s good to see people building on that, making it more livable, making it more walkable is especially important.”

Watch the video below:

Contact us today to learn more!

Citrus Square Developer Announces Second Project — The Courtyard at Citrus

Citrus Square Developer Announces Second Project

Citrus Square Developer Announces Second Project — The Courtyard at Citrus

SARASOTA, FL – Local area developer, Mark Pierce, responsible for the building of Citrus Square, a mixed-use community on Orange Avenue in downtown Sarasota, announced today that he is developing a second condominium project, Courtyard at Citrus Square, taking this community in the Rosemary District to a new stature.

Citrus Square pioneered the concept of new urbanism within the Rosemary District, establishing a well-planned neighborhood streetscape with ground level retail shops and restaurants, green spaces, and boutique style condominiums on the second and third floors. Retail venues offer residents and the public the best in dining, fitness, beauty care, financial services, etc., to compliment the urban lifestyle.

Honored with the prestigious award of “Best Low-Rise Development” in 2011 by nationally acclaimed Multi-Housing News, the judges stated that “Citrus Square reproduces what’s happening in the city. It doesn’t look like it just showed up. It’s a nice little jewel box – a gem that was well implemented. The downtown retail development works with the fabric of the city and addresses the scale of the project.”

The Courtyard at Citrus Square is an exciting next step in expanding this concept on Orange Avenue between Boulevard of the Arts and the existing Citrus Square project. The developer’s commitment to excellence and attention to detail are evident in both the existing project and the plans for the Courtyard at Citrus Square. Examples of this include the custom-etched finish of exterior railings, copper gutters, 10-foot ceilings, recessed French doors, hurricane-proof, energy-efficient windows, and the ultra-quiet sound abatement.

As well received as the existing Citrus Square has been, Courtyard at Citrus Square boasts additional features that will appeal to discerning buyers. Solar panels will provide environmentally friendly exterior lighting as well as providing emergency power in case of grid failure.  A secluded garden courtyard offers a private residential feel, complete with a fireplace to provide spacious outdoor living space for resident’s enjoyment.

Sustainable features include energy efficient LED lighting for streetlights, an onsite underground water retention area, high performance air conditioning and appliances, highly reflective roofing, and insulated windows and doors.

Residents of Courtyard at Citrus Square will enter their homes through a private, gated street in the rear of the community’s retail and restaurant zone. The one and two bedroom units, all built above industry standards, are priced from $375,000. The units feature high-end finishes such as wood cabinetry, seamless granite counters, designer stainless appliances, and solid-core doors and will include a carport within the gated community.

For more information about residential units and pricing, please call the Citrus Square Sales Gallery, at 941-706-1465 or Contact Us Today! 

New Addition to Rosemary District Real Estate

New Addition to Rosemary District Real Estate

We are pleased to announce ground breaking of The Courtyard at Citrus, a new addition to Rosemary District Real Estate. From the same developer of Citrus Square, Mark Pierce, The Courtyard at Citrus will keep with the European-inspired design that won Citrus Square the “Best Low-Rise Development” by Multi-House News.

The new project is a mixed use downtown Sarasota condominium with 10 designer residences on the upper two levels and retail/professional storefronts on the first level. This desirable location in Sarasota’s Rosemary district provides a convenient downtown location to enjoy Sarasota’s vibrant city lifestyle. Critically acclaimed restaurants such as The Rosemary and Pomona Bistro & Wine Bar are current tenants and excellent options for an after-show dinner.

With the addition of this new development as well as a host of other high profile developments taking place, The Rosemary district is posed to be the new hotspot in downtown Sarasota. Contact us today to learn more!